I Have Seen The Light(house)!

A trip up north to see a Saskatchewan 'anomaly'

I decided to get a bit of a head start on my summer touring plans this past weekend when I motored up north to the resort village of Cochin to check out the lighthouse.

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Needless to say, it's a bit of a hike getting to the top. - Derek Ruttle

Yes, you read that right.  We have a lighthouse here in the landlocked prairie province of Saskatchewan.

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I’d heard about it a few times and I’d seen some photos posted online, but I knew I had to see this behemoth up close for myself.  So, I found myself cruising up there on Saturday, July 20.  It’s gorgeous country up there, with fields of lush green and vibrant yellow, and it defies the stereotype that Saskatchewan is just a flat land mass.

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One might think I was in Atlantic Canada, but I wasn't. - Derek Ruttle

When I arrived, it was one of those “Whoa!” moments you have when you’ve read all about a certain attraction, but you’re experiencing it in person for the first time.  The lighthouse, erected in 1989, sits on Pirot Hill overlooking Jackfish Lake and the village of Cochin.  The community itself is quite cozy-looking and it brought up memories of vacationing with my family up at Candle Lake, as Cochin is very much a “summer town” that offers up all the amenities that campers and boaters are looking for during these peak holiday times.

Now, actually getting up to the lighthouse is a bit of a workout, and standing at the base, it can look like a daunting task.  It’s 153 steps to the top, and some are a bit steep.  But it was definitely worth it.  When I reached the top, I felt like I was standing on top of the world, or at the very least, standing on top of the province.  You’re standing 1,867 feet above sea level and you just feel like you’re towering over everything.  The views from the lighthouse are incredible – Jackfish Lake, the beach, the village of Cochin, and then the connecting Murray Lake.  Needless to say, my camera gear also got a good workout.

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The dimming evening sky gave the structure some amazing color. - Derek Ruttle

The 38-foot-high lighthouse may look like something that some would say fits in better along Canada’s east coast, but I like how it’s something of an anomaly in Saskatchewan.  I can only imagine the number of romantic dates that have taken place up there, perhaps even the number of proposals that have been made.  You’d be hard-pressed to find a woman who’d say no to the big question in such a picturesque setting.

In all the photo-taking and appreciation of what was around me, I almost forgot that it’s also a working lighthouse.  After the sun had gone down, I glanced up and sure enough, it was putting out a rotating beacon of light.  Very cool, and I’m so glad I made the day trip up there.

Driving home, I was thinking about the fact that it’s the only lighthouse in the province, and then I wondered if it *should* be.  Could Lake Diefenbaker benefit from such an attraction?  After all, there’s so much talk these days about promoting the lake area and exploring how the tourism sector can get a major boost.

Something to think about, perhaps.

© The Outlook

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