From Otherwise, published by McClelland & Stewart in 2008.
We set off from Dundurn in mid-morning and on through the night to Swift Current, before heading to Maple Creek, just north of Cypress Hills. What a weird country! Arid semi-desert for miles and miles of mostly abandoned farms doomed by the drought, then the land starts to roll as if a big sea was building under it, except the surface is covered with sage brush. Hardly any sign of living people. The hills got bigger and higher until suddenly we were in a pine forest. It smacks of the miraculous. Pine trees, and a cool breeze and even some green grass!
We didn’t think they would let us into Cypress Hills Provincial Park since we were collectors, but the park warden winked an eye. We set up camp then drove to a sparkling little clear-water lake we’d passed on the way in.
We were stripping off in the car for a skinny dip and were mostly naked as frogs when another car pulled up and four big guys hopped out. They were Mounties. A corporal came loping over, peered through the back window, saw some of our guns and let out a shout.
At that they all pulled out revolvers and scurried for safety behind their car before ordering us to come out with our hands up.
We were kind of slow, being nude and not too amiable after driving all day and night. We lined up, looking like a bunch of skinned rabbits. There was nothing on us to search so they searched the car and hauled out guns and ammo. They told us we were under arrest because we were a bunch of bank robbers from Ontario trying to make a getaway to B.C.! They’d been looking for us, they said.
Frank and I dug out our collecting permits and all the other papers we could find and we tried to explain who we were. They just kept their revolvers pointed at us. Finally I told them Inspector Mundy of the RCMP in Saskatoon was a friend of my family and they should phone him. They let us get dressed but took the keys to the car and our guns and told us to stay in our camp till they came back. Which they did in about two hours. Inspector Mundy had vouched for me, but they were still suspicious and hung around asking more questions until I got out a mickey of Scotch whisky we were saving for a special occasion.