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The joke in Saskatchewan is that if you fall asleep at the wheel you won’t hit anything, you’ll just keep going straight till you run out of gas.  But there IS at least one tree that might slow your progress down.  The Lone Tree.

Swift Current's Lone Tree

Swift Current’s Lone Tree

Not in actuality the area’s only tree, the mystery surrounding how the tree got there, and the bigger mystery of why the tradition is to honk as you pass the tree (with one variation being that if you are unable to honk, you knock on the roof of your car 5 times), is one of those local tales that is mired deep in folklore.  I just don’t know what it is.

So enamoured are people by the tree that there are photos galore of it to be found on the web including:

Lone Tree on a Hill Top by Cabbit

Lone Tree by Kristen Soveran

In Kristen Soveran’s blog she writes: 

My Ontario friends might find this post a little humorous … but a significant landmark as you drive north from Swift Current on #4 Highway (towards Kyle & 2.5 hours latter- Saskatoon) … is a tree …… a lone tree ……. a tree all by its lonesome … THE Lone Tree.

I rather chuckled to myself when my brother was driving me out to Kyle on my first Sunday in September. Leslie pointed out … that’s the “Lone Tree.” Nobody knows how it got there. This area isn’t known for trees (as compared to northern SK as you enter the Canadian Shield.) I couldn’t figure out why I would want to know about a single tree.

About two weeks after seeing the lone tree I was in confirmation class. I discovered one student lived on a farm. I asked “Where?” She said, “Do you know where the Lone Tree is?” … With confidence I could say “Yes!

Lone Tree covered in hoarfront by AjH

Lone Tree by Doris Smytaniuk

Even artists are inspired by its uniqueness.

I don’t know how the tree came to be, or how the tradition of honking got started as you past, but I’d sure like to know – so if you know the tale behind this tree…feel free to clue me in.

How to Get There:  The Tree is located about 1 km north of Swift Current on Hwy 4 – you can’t miss it.  (Don’t forget to honk)

Gotta Go?:  You’re outta luck – no such place.  Good thing Swift Current is so close.

Good to Know:  I hear tell there’s even a Facebook Page devoted to this iconic landmark.  Maybe the “North Hill Gang” knows about it?!