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LAND OF LIVING SKIES BY ROBIN AND ARLENE KARPAN Saskatchewan licence plates proudly proclaim the "Land of Living Skies," a poetic salute to the province's big open skies, clear air, dancing northern lights and breathtaking spectacles during bird migrations. Sunrises and sunsets have a well-deserved reputation as the most dazzling on the planet. SASKATCHEWAN NATURE AT ITS FINEST Beneath those skies lies a tremendously diverse landscape. Head south to ride the open range in some of the largest expanses of rare native grasslands left in North America; explore rugged badlands or experience rural life in Canada's agricultural heartland. Venture north to choose among 100,000 lakes famous for fi shing, and a boundless network of unspoiled wild rivers. Then there are unique landscapes such as the Cypress Hills with its enchanting mix of highlands, grasslands and forest ( www., or the spire-like Sandcastles formation of Lake Diefenbaker ( Saskatchewan is the sand dune capital of Canada, boasting both the largest and second largest dunes in the country, plus a few others thrown in for variety. The vast, other-worldly Athabasca Sand Dunes are some of the largest active dunes this far north anywhere in the world. Situated along the south shore of Lake Athabasca in a pristine northern setting, these dunes support some 50 rare plants and off er the ultimate wilderness adventure. A RICH LEGACY With locations in Saskatoon, Moose Jaw, North Battleford and Yorkton, the Western Development Museum is the most promi- nent chronicler of Saskatchewan's early years ( The Hepburn Museum of Wheat, a half-hour north of Saskatoon, makes it easy to experience that most iconic 1,150,600 Regina Regina International Airport, 8 km (5 mi.) from downtown Skyxe, Saskatoon Airport, 6 km (4 mi.) from downtown SASKATCHEWAN MEEWASIN VALLEY • SHUTTERSTOCK/RICHARD ESPENANT SK 76

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