Red Coat Trail
This Highway 13 is also known as the Red Coat Trail, the Royal Canadian Mountain Police made this their patrol route, a century or two ago. On horseback they moved. Now with less charm, police use motorcars. But, they are rare to see. I guess it’s a good sign. Crime is at a minimum along this quiet prairie trail where I feel at times a stronger presence of hawks than humans. Locals tell Daruka and I that a man on a horse came through here last year. Dressed like a knight in shining armour, he got quite the attention.
It was a young farmer, Carlin, who got curious about Daruka and his bird. Daruka was on the side of the road, snapping away with his camera when Carlin demonstrated the usual prairie road courtesy. If you’re parked on the side of the road in the prairies, that means you could be stranded, so Carlin inquired when he saw Daruka, “Is everything okay?”
That encounter led to another brunch invitation, this time, by Carlin. I completed my quota of 30 kms when Daruka had come to get me on board for a quick trip to the farm. There we met Becky, his wife, a 3 year old son, and a new born of 6 weeks. Our hosts treated us warmly to kamut, a delicious grain that pulled the Egyptians through hard famine years in ancient times. If this clan is a sample of wholesome prairie life, then I’m impressed. We were made to feel at home.
In conversation we didn’t so much speak about pilgrimage, but of the kamut itself and of the way of looking at food from the Vedic perspective. We shared with them the neatly categorized food types according to the Vedic wisdom of India. These 3 basic categories are sattva, food that either calms and/or provokes attentiveness, rajas, food that inspires passion and fire, and tamas, food that encourages lethargy, slowness or dullness. For our short stay with the family, the food category we partook in was very life giving.
Our visit with this farming couple terminated with a drive to the city of Moose Jaw, known for being mobster Al Capone’s hideaway in Canada. At Crescent Park, a small group of enthusiasts for kirtan (chanting) gathered to send a collective good vibe to this city whose attraction draws casino goers as well as other more sattvic features. The local newspaper rep, Justin, reporting for the Times Herald, came by, I guess to harness a positive story for the long weekend.
My message is, “You don’t have to walk to the extreme like me, but if you put in a small percentage of that, you’re doing good. Do meditate, chant or pray in the process. In this way the physical and spiritual become one.”
Thanks to Victor and Jagadish for all the help they provided today.