Recounting a bike trip from the past

Wayne Boldt, Caron resident, is now published in Chicken Soup for the Soul: The Spirit of Canada with a story from when he was a young boy. Photo courtesy Dan Brown Photography

Caron resident Wayne Boldt has story featured in Canada 150 Chicken Soup for the Soul book

When Wayne Boldt was 12 years old, he and his friend Neil decided to go on a two-day bike trip from Saskatoon to the grand opening of the Gardiner Dam on the South Saskatchewan River.

The dam, which is the third largest embankment dam in Canada and one of the largest in the world, officially opened on June 21, 1967.

“I didn’t think my parents would go for that, so I said, ‘Let’s call it our Canada’s centennial project. Maybe that will elevate it,’” said Boldt, who now lives in Caron.

“Just the thought of today letting a couple of kids go without any kind of adult supervision would seem completely irresponsible to today’s mind, but back then it was just an adventure. It was just what you did and part of enjoying life.”

Now, 50 years later for Canada’s 150th birthday, Boldt’s 1,200-word story about that bike trip is included in the recently released book, Chicken Soup for the Soul: The Spirit of Canada. It is the first time his writing has been published.

Wayne Boldt, Caron resident, has a story featured in the Chicken Soup for the Soul: The Spirit of Canada book. Submitted photo

“That was pretty exciting,” said Boldt. “(My reaction was) a little bit, ‘I can’t believe it’ and a little bit excited. I didn’t go running around my house waving my arms or anything.”

If it weren’t for his daughter, he might not have even written his stories down. She is the one who encouraged him to do so.

“Now I’m nearly famous,” he said with a chuckle. “I’ve certainly enjoyed communicating and reading. I’m more of the oral storyteller. Writing is new territory.”

The story chronicles the two boys’ adventures on their bike trip that began in the early hours of a Friday morning in Saskatoon. Boldt borrowed his sister’s used three-speed bicycle, as he only had a single-speed bike.

“Back in the day, if a boy was riding a girl’s bike, it was a big thing to swallow,” he said. “That’s why in the back of the book under the biography book it says I no longer have to borrow my sister’s bike to have an adventure.’”

The boys also didn’t have a concrete plan in place prior to leaving.

“We just made it up as we went along and had to deal with a flat tire and hot, dry weather. Our canteen was empty within about an hour. We had little sleeping bags tied to our bicycles,” said Boldt.

For more on this, see the June 14, 2017 print or online edition of the Moose Jaw Times-Herald.