*This post was created in collaboration with Alive Sky Lodge. But as always, the experiences and opinions are completely my own.
I’m always in search of unique destinations to stay overnight. I’ve slept in a treehouse in a Laotian forest, in a cave in the Malaysian jungle, in hammocks across Colombia and in a bivy sac under the midnight sun on an Antarctic island.
Yet right at home here in Saskatchewan, on a small grain farm nine kilometres south of Rosetown, is a lavish grain bin lodging – sans the grain dust. Dubbed “Bincredible, Bin Sweet Bin,” I planned a weekend getaway to experience Saskatchewan’s iconic prairie metal grain bin from a new perspective.
In late 2014, April and Darryl Anderson opened Alive Sky Lodge, a bed-and-breakfast located in their farmyard. Two years later, they designed and built the luxury bin to add to their business. It’s a Saskatchewan twist on convertible shipping containers; instead of a sea can, the converted grain bin is complete with a queen size bed, heated flooring, a chandelier and two fireplaces (one of which is in the bathroom).
Pulling into the Anderson’s spacious yard late in the afternoon, I quickly spot red Adirondack chairs on the front deck of the grain bin. The bin’s smaller size, the wooden wheel-chair accessible deck and the addition of white-framed windows set it apart from the working grain bins in the farmyard.
As we park the vehicle, two tail-wagging pups and a couple of friendly farm cats come wandering over to greet us. I know right away we are going to enjoy our stay.
With daylight slipping away and a sunset picnic to be had, April gives us a quick tour of the yard before handing over a basket full of homemade goodies. She recommends we enjoy the sunset at an area set up near the dugout just outside the yard.
In our haste, we choose to lay out the blanket and picnic on the edge of the field near a slough. It’s a very Saskatchewan setting, but the view of the cotton candy coloured clouds reflecting off the water remind me how magical our living skies really are.
To my delight, the two dogs join us, as does one of the cats. It’s a real sunset party. Surprisingly, the cat is the mischief maker, nosing at the container of bagels and lunch meat, curious to sample what’s inside.
As the last rays of the sun dip below the horizon, we pack up our picnic and head back to fully explore the bin. With a country-chic aesthetic, the attention to detail and design is what makes it feel so luxurious yet cozy. The bin’s interior is lined with white-washed wooden panels, each hand-cut to fit perfectly all the way to the peaked ceiling. Next to the fireplace, the wood-framed bed is covered with a red-and-white checkered duvet cover. A velvety cowhide rug connects the sleeping space to the marble-topped kitchenette. There’s even a china dish set in the kitchenette cupboards.
The bathroom is separated by a wall and sliding barn-style door. Complete with a full tub and a second fireplace and chandelier, it’s an ideal space to spend the night in a warm bath relaxing with a good book.
But as the night settles in, the backyard of the bin is calling. There’s a fire pit and a stack of wood waiting to be used for an evening bonfire. We even have maple flavoured marshmallows to roast.
I brew up some hot chocolate and we settle back into the Adirondack chairs to enjoy the heat from the flickering flames and a clear view of the stars. This is something you can only get in the countryside.
After a leisurely sleep-in the next morning, I climb out of bed and sneak outside to grab a second picnic basket waiting on a side table on the bin deck. April has delivered us a hot breakfast in bed.
Unwrapping two foil covered containers, the scent of homemade Saskatoon berry and apple crumble makes our mouths water. Pulling out the china dishes from the cupboard, I put together our second picnic of the stay and we dine on the checkered duvet spread.
Wanting a special weekend away to escape city life, the short trip west of Saskatoon to Alive Sky Lodge is the perfect getaway. In fact, it could be argued the whole experience is bincredible.
Want to book a night in the bin? It costs $130 per night + tax and includes breakfast. The sunset picnic can be included for an additional fee. Book here for your weekend getaway!
Southwest Saskatchewan Weekend Road Trip
Want to turn your weekend away into an adventurous Southern Saskatchewan road trip? Here’s how we planned our two-and-a-half day weekend from Saskatoon.
Early Friday afternoon, head to Shaunavon to check out (one of my favourite) restaurants, Harvest Eatery and Fresh Market. Completely indulge in their new summer menu and don’t skip dessert. Drive an hour further that evening to camp at Deer Lake Campground in Cypress Hills Interprovincial Park.
After a leisurely breakfast at your campsite, head north and stop at the Great Sand Hills near Sceptre for an afternoon of hiking and exploring. Make sure to take sunscreen, a hat and extra water. Cool down afterward with heaping ice cream scoops at The Big 10-4 in Leader. Mid-afternoon plan to make your way to Alive Sky Lodge and Bincredible, Bin Sweet Bin for a sunset picnic and marshmallow roast over the backyard fire.
With a luxurious late-morning sleep-in and breakfast in bed, pack up and head south towards Beechy to spend the afternoon hiking at the Beechy Sandcastle and Sunken Hill Trail. On the way back to Saskatoon, stop in at Danielson Provincial Park for late afternoon fishing or check out the view from the Diefenbaker Dam spillway.