After breakfast, we headed west on the Trans-Canada Highway from Regina to the Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan Visitor Center. We didn’t go in, we just enjoyed the sight of the World’s Largest Moose in his natural habitat.
Ten minutes later, we were driving around downtown Moose Jaw, looking for a good parking spot. To our delight, we discovered that Moose Jaw doesn’t charge out-of-towners for parking. We got a spot right near the entrance to the Tunnels of Moose Jaw. We arrived at 10:15 and got tickets for both the Passage to Fortune tour and the Chicago Connection, beginning at 10:45.
We had some time to kill, and so we wandered a block or two up the street, looking into a drugstore (where Katherine bought some postcards that were only slightly less outrageously-priced than those in the Tunnels gift shop) and into Past Times, a store selling antiques and old-fashioned trinkets and baubles. While there, we discovered a fabulous Remington Noiseless #6 manual typewriter. Our tour was getting ready to start, so we left it for later.
The Passage to Fortune tour began first. It told the based-on-reality story of Mah Li, a Chinese immigrant to Canada during the 1800s. Our tour guide played the part of a steam engineer and overseer of illegal immigrant labor. It was an interesting tour, especially given that the US had a similar influx of Chinese immigrants who were responsible for the railroad being put through.
I was glad that we had that tour first, as it was a rather sad and ponderous one. The Chicago Connection focused on the possibility that Al Capone once hid out in Moose Jaw (which may have been referred to as “Little Chicago” during the US Prohibition). It was played with more camp and goofiness and was a light change of pace, though the historical accuracy was sketchy.