It's being touted as one of Saskatchewan's best summer jobs and Jeff Stock isn't disputing it.
Stock, has the enviable task of being this province's Saskatchewanderer this summer and he's doing his best to have as much fun as possible, which is pretty well the job description. Unconfirmed rumour has it that he also accepts a paycheque for this pseudo job.
So in this pursuit of fun, Stock naturally made his way to southeast Saskatchewan in the early part of June to check out local fun spots and action and wasn't disappointed in spite of the fact that he was greeted by fierce winds and cool temperatures in the Energy City on Sunday and Monday, June 10 and 11.
Stock has learned early on in his experiences though, that a community and its activities are not to be judged by weather conditions or what day of the week he happens to hit it.
The young man from Maple Creek, who is heading to Vancouver to study graphic arts this fall, began his so-called job on May 7 with his first road trip back to his home country near Maple Creek where he stayed at a guest ranch.
The job consists of spreading the good news and interesting tidbits of information he uncovers during his travel by use of blogs, tweets and Facebook entries along with traditional media coverage.
Stock said he expected to travel around the southeast sector for about a week.
"I've been to Roche Percee now, I hope I'm pronouncing it correctly (he was) and checked out the coal mining operations and Boundary Dam," he told The Mercury in a late Monday afternoon interview.
Stock was accompanied by Kevin D'Souza of Estevan's C of C tourism arm during this foray into these major coal and power generating sites. And although the weather was far from perfect, that didn't diminish his enthusiasm for the local offerings.
"This job seemed to be perfect, and it pretty well is. I don't see any major glitches in it," Stock said with a wide smile.
"I get to travel the province and do cool things. I'll get to see the north for the first time. I've never been to the southeast before. I get to meet people, do a video and then blog, tweet and do Facebook," he said. "I wasn't a big Twitter user before, but I'm getting accustomed to making regular entries now and I'm getting most of the feedback from Facebook followers, generally speaking."
The job Stock has, is a concept developed by the Ministry of Tourism, Parks, Culture and Sport and was launched last summer with someone else in the role as Saskatchewanderer.
"I think I've been able to keep the balance in terms of sorting out activities, weather and dates," Stock said. "Every town, every community is different and I look for the things that set them apart. I see similarities too. The Saskatchewan sunset is great wherever you are. I look for what makes a community beautiful and it's not the weather, it's the people who make the impression."
Stock said he's usually in any given community for just a day, or for one event and then moves on. A lot of his decisions are based on the length of the drive time in his well marked Saskatchewanderer SUV. There is also a mandate to visit areas that last year's wanderer was unable to hit.
"I get a little bit of direction as to where I should go, like visiting places where last year's guy didn't get to, but the people in the ministry who develop the schedule do it with me in mind. They look at my interests and travel time for instance and we work together."
Stock said these interests include "a lot of outdoor stuff like camping, fishing and hiking." He also likes the world of art, thus his interest in pursuing a graphic arts career after he's finished with this gig.
"I like this world of art because you can see the beauty in a lot of places."
Stock was slated to spend some time in Weyburn attending a meet and greet session with the Saskatchewan branch of the Canadian Automobile Association (CAA), a major sponsor.
"I expect to get up to Moose Mountain, hit the waterslides and do some kayaking and a bit of hiking and other fun stuff in the park. I might get in a round of golf. Again, I hadn't ever been there before, so it should be interesting."
Stock said he was aware of the bass fishing opportunities offered at Boundary Dam reservoir and wondered out loud whether or not local fishers "were trying to keep this low key, or are they willing to spread the word?"
The only difficulties he has experienced so far were right at the beginning of the adventure ... like posting his entries on time and doing the necessary editing, but now he's enjoying it all.
"I enjoy this time away on the road. I do have a day or two off every week, that's usually not on the weekend though," he said with a smile, acknowledging that the majority of special provincial activities are scheduled on weekends, so he wants to be there.
But isn't his whole job sort of a day off kinda thing?
Stock chuckled and shook his head in the affirmative. But it's always good to escape whatever you're doing, even if it is having to have a ton of fun. And when he does, he usually gets back to Maple Creek.
"I don't know if they're doing this in other provinces, but I like the idea."
Asked if he would jump at the opportunity to "sell Saskatchewan" in a neighbouring province, Stock said he would.
"The first thing I would talk about are the people. Saskatchewan people are close knit. We're close knit in our different communities and actually as a province too, yet we easily welcome everyone who comes to stay or just visit. I would tell them about our remarkable skies and our different ecospheres, and I don't even know if that is a real word, but I use it to describe what I'm finding out about Saskatchewan, and I'd tell them about some wonderful places and different types of accommodations they'll find here."
And he's barely one month into the job.
While in Estevan, Stock booked into a local bed and breakfast and was facing a busy schedule the next morning.
Follow Jeff Stock on Twitter at: skwanderer or Facebook (same title) or his blog www.saskatchewanderer.ca