Yesterday in Regina while waiting for the bus to Coronach, I was struck by a big map of Saskatchewan on a wall in the terminal that listed all of the routes operated by the crown corporation STC. What lept out at me was the big area with no service east and north of Coronach. Along with the Cypress Hills near East End and the Great Sand Hills south of Kindersley, the area east of Coronach to Estevan and north to Moose Jaw is the largest unserviced part of southern Saskatchewan. You can view the map here.
It is the clearest indication I have yet encountered of how few people live in this part of the province. Because of the shape of the unserviced area, and because it includes the Big Muddy Badlands, I have given it the name "Big Muddy Triangle." The land east and north of here is beautiful, dry and largely uninhabited.
I got another indication of Coronach's isolation from the number of passengers on the bus. Yesterday traveling south – just as on on Boxing Day when I traveled north to Regina – I was the only passenger on the bus between Coronach and Assiniboia, a drive that takes the first or last hour of the journey.
That said, this morning I awoke to sunshine and mild temperatures, I have a sermon percolating in my head (check for it on the blog on Sunday!), and I am glad to be back.