I had outsider eyes last night. I don’t know if there is a specific word for them, but that sounds right to me.
I was travelling, which I will be doing a lot more of over the next year, and I was spending time in Moose Jaw. The first night was quite hectic, so I wasn’t able to really have a good look around this town.
My second night was quite different. The day wrapped up efficiently, and I was left with time on my hands to explore. I have never been intimidated by finding my way around towns on my own and have no fear of becoming lost.
So I wrapped up my laptop and work gear, grabbed a Tim Horton’s (found that easily) and started a slow meandering drive through the streets of Moose Jaw.
The first thing that really struck me was the architecture. The historical buildings extend much further than just the much touted main street. Beyond the central core you find little nooks and avenues with character homes. Some beautifully restored with a designers eye to detail. Some are just barely holding on, with sagging porch roofs and battered, weathered paint. The mixture blends so well together.
I pressed on, past the houses and into the industrial areas. These have a beauty of their own, but you have to look a little deeper to see it. The childish, almost desperately cheerful murals on the front of the Humane Society, so determined to be happy against the bleak grey landscape, barren streets around the building.
The vast stretches of parking areas around warehouses that jut from the ground look like futuristic art to me. Nobody moving around, just stiff and stern. Large trucks parked in little rows, cold and calm.
Then there’s the miles of rails and cars. I circled back several times to drive the overpasses, several times to take in the railyards. It may not appeal to most people, but the intricacy of the rail patterns weaving into each other, mysteriously working together to avoid each other, it is as beautiful to me as a sunset may be to others.
And strangely, my favorite I think was the strange little pairing of a shopping cart and two tires. The shopping cart had this little tilt towards the road, jutting out from the side of the building, almost like it was watching down the street for something to happen. The two tires tucked in behind the shopping cart reminded me of a younger sibling, hesitant and shy.
I drove until the sun had long dropped, the sunset faded into grey and the neon lights illuminated the streets. After a long and interesting day with the Times Herald team, maybe it was just an overactive imagination, but I had a fabulous evening on the streets of Moose Jaw, in the most unlikely places.