Winnipeg with friends

Well in reality it’s been the out skirts of Winnipeg but it’s been an awesome visit.

Friday I left Riding Mountain in the morning and drove south, barely stopping and arriving at Scott and Michelle’s around 2pm. We had a nice visit, I did some laundry and we had dinner before Scott and I headed to the Stadium to watch the Winnipeg Blue Bombers vs Hamilton Tiger-cats. It was a great game and the crowed was revved up as the hometown team won.

Saturday we checked out Pineridge Farms Market, had an amazing brunch at Marion Street Eatery and then did some running around before spending the afternoon swimming in Michelle’s parents pool which was just what you needed on a hot day. And it was smoking hot Saturday / Sunday. So hot that mosquitoes aren’t really an issue.

Sunday we got up early to head out to cottage country. We took their new Seadoo jet boat out to Michelle’s parents cabin to test it out. We had a lovely day with her family riding in boats, swimming in the lake and tubing. Such an awesome and exhausting day.

Which meant Monday was low key. A lazy morning, tidied the trailer a bit. Scot washed the car. I ran some errands, got some groceries, visited some sunflower fields etc. All in all another great day. Tomorrow I say my goodbyes and the Boler 50th anniversary rally fun begins, then it’s homeward bound. How quickly time flies when you are having fun.

Odometer start of day 2873.8

Odometer end of day 3166.0 (Friday after the drive down from Riding Mountain) —– (Monday evening)

Wildlife sightings: not a lot but but did see some super cute farm animals at Pineridge Farms

Fibreglass Egg sightings: about 6/7 over the 4 days

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A more relaxed day

We had reservations tonight at Riding Mountain so the km were limited. In the morning a fellow fibreglass RV owner named Kim stopped by to see the trailer. She lived in Russlle and wanted to say hi. Rosie and I had breakfast and wandered around the park before grabbing groceries at the local IGA and heading to Inglis to check out the grain elevators.

We then drove east and loved seeing the little lakes crop up but the shoulder was narrow and traffic busier so we didn’t stop for a photo until the giant Elk at Onanole. I love me a good roadside attraction.

We entered the park found our campsite and enjoyed some reading in the chaise lounge before attempting to unhook the trailer. Which did not go smoothly, another first in 4 years of owning the boler. After a minor meltdown, where I may or may not have cursed under my breath a few times. I texted a friend for help, got out the carjack, relocated excess weight from the front to the back and pulled myself together and got Dorny upright again.

After a shower I loaded Rosie in the car in an attempt to find lake access she could swim in. After all the whole reason I unhooked the car was to explore. The campground is massive and it’s way too hot to explore blindly on foot. We drove in to Wassagaming and saw it was a cute little tourist village on the lake. Although we could see the packed public beach I knew Rosie couldn’t swim there. We continued driving heading out of town in search of a Rosie friendly beach. Which we found about 10 min away. A closed boat launch at Wishing Well. There was one other family there swimming and watching as their friends tubed behind a boat taking turns to switch. After throwing a stick for a bit and wading I decided to change and go for a swim myself.

Now that we’d both cooled off sufficiently we headed back in to town to explore on foot. We parked at the less busy end and meandered. There so few dogs I even felt brave enough to tie Rosie up in the shade and pop in to a store or two. Nothing I needed so we walked over to the grass area by the public beach. We enjoyed a beaver tail in the shade before heading back to the campground.

It was noticeably cooler and we even grabbed a blanket to read in the chaise lounge. Not a mosquito insight so we read until it was too dark to see. Instead of getting my headlamp we moved inside the trailer and read until my book was done at midnightish. I love how much reading I get to do camping. Plus the added fact that solo road trips = audiobooks means I get lots of reading done on these adventures.

Odometer start of day 2681.1

Odometer end of day 2873.8

Wildlife sightings: 1 Prairie dog that kept tormenting Rosie popping up and down around the campsite while I read.

Fibreglass Egg sightings: 1 13ft surfside headed west toward Russell as I headed east.

Saskatchewan nice to meet you

We had a pretty low key morning this morning. It was cool in the trailer so we relaxed for a while. Then we headed for a walk on the short gravel road by the truck stop. Rosie loved being free and we checked out the ducks on the pond before heading to breakfast and gassing up. Breakfast is one of my favourite meals to eat out on the road and at home. It’s usually affordable, hard to screw up the basics and weather wise it’s usually the only meal that I can leave the dog in the car. We also got our picture with the giant cactus before getting on the road east.

Lots more fields and cattle I didn’t take as many pictures as the sky was quite hazy. I’m guessing smoke from our wildfires. Plus there aren’t a lot of pullout options and every stop slows you down. We stopped briefly at the visitor centre in Oyen Ab to use the bathroom and sit in the shade and use the wifi. They also had a nice picnic area but we weren’t hungry yet.

We did of course stop for a photo opp at the boarder to Saskatchewan. I’ve never stepped foot in this province before today.

I wasn’t sure where I was headed today just somewhere in the Saskatoon area but not in Saskatoon as I try to avoid the big cities with the trailer plus they are generally hotter. I decided I’d like somewhere with electric as I wanted to run the cooler and the fan if I was paying to camp. I also wanted somewhere with water for Rosie to swim and hopefully a breeze. Outlook Regional park met all those needs and we were happy with our choice. I was a bit surprised we had to pay for a day pass on top of a camping pass. They usually are combined. At $34 for the night it wasn’t that bad and it was nice having electric and free showers too.

Odometer start of day 1834.0

Odometer end of day 2178.1

Wildlife sightings: the prairies sure do lack the wildlife. Though I did see one piece of roadkill.

Fibreglass Egg sightings: 2 both headed west. One older Green

Trillium and one 80s boler or perhaps a scamp it was less identifiable as it was white with no visible markings.

Welcome to friendly Manitoba

I woke up really early but fell back asleep until close to 9. Rosie and I got up for a walk and to explore the campground some mor while it was cool. I’d read the trans Canada trail went through and that there was a massive pedestrian bridge to cross the River. Although we saw the bridge and found the trail we didn’t cross the bridge as I knew Rosie would hate it, instead we hiked the trail for an hour. Then Rosie chilled at the trailer while I had a nice shower and we were on the road just before 11.

Today we drove all over Saskatchewan. Generally in the direction of East but also south and north. It started out as a whim to go and see a road side attraction, a giant coffee pot in Davidson, Saskatchewan.

It wasn’t a big detour but google maps wanted to route me down towards Regina as the quickest option of getting to Riding Mountain but since I didn’t have reservations until tomorrow and I also wanted to check out the grain elevators near Russle Manitoba. I decided to take googles second option which was more direct but smaller highways. I learned that smaller highways in Saskatchewan might mean gravel roads. I did about 19km on decent gravel roads through scenic countryside on Hwy 99.

Then I zig zagged across the province on various paved roads in various conditions cutting back up north. Most were deserted so I stopped for some photos as the sky was less hazy as I headed north east.

After a good nights rest last night although I thought about stopping sooner I drove to Russle and pulled in just before 7pm. I checked out the travel info centre first as I rad they had room for a couple of RVs to park after hours but since they didn’t have out houses and I’d enjoyed the luxury of electricity the night before I decided to check out the town campground at the Peace Park. I was pleasantly surprised it was free. No out houses that I see, but it’s off the highway, grassy and has electricity so no complaints from me. Rosie and I went for an evening stroll around the park attached to the campground and then started a new knitting project that Joan gave me.

Odometer start of day 2178.1

Odometer end of day 2681.1

Wildlife sightings: prairie dogs lots or the same few keep tormenting Rosie.

Fibreglass Egg sightings: 1 17 ft cream with orange striping and Alberta plates. Parked in a storage yard beside the train tracks I believe in Churchbridge Saskatchewan

Out of the hills into the flatlands

We had a lovely breakfast and visit with Joan. Then she took me out to Rocky Mountain House Historic Site. It was a quick visit in a beautiful park, I’ll definitely have to go back and explore some more. We grabbed some groceries and then got back on the road.

The roads were straight with a few dips in the hills with farmland as far as the eye can see. A few cattle but mostly wheat and Canola.

After a recommendation that Drumheller was a must see. I’d heard about the dinosaur museum but also knew that it wasn’t really an option with the heat and the dog. We were told the rock formations were unique and a must see. They did not disappoint. It was smoking hot but worth the detour.

We also got a glimpse of the worlds largest dinosaur. I love roadside attractions.

We cut back up to Alberta 9 to head east on another straight road. The hills disappeared and we are firmly in the flat lands of the Canadian prairies.

As it’s miles of farmland with few options to pull off we used the Allstays app to figure out where to stop for the night. We chose a flying Js truck stop called Cactus Corner just outside of Hanna Alberta and were rewarded with a spectacular prairie sunset.

Odometer start of day 1464.4

Odometer end of day 1834.0

Wildlife sightings: zip zilch nada unless you count the dinosaur in Drumheller

Fibreglass Egg sightings: one 17ft boler I think it was green and blue? Can’t remember and also a blue and white 13ft boler parked by a gas station both in Rocky Mountain House.

Out of the Mountains

Well we had a few firsts today. The first one I’m a little embarrassed about. We were on the road just after 11 headed south east. We hadn’t gotten too far when I thought geez I forgot to gas up in Jasper. I only had a 1/4 of a tank but also thought hmm I haven’t seen one of those warning no gas for x kilometres so we decided to keep going. Then about 10 min later we saw the sign. Looking at my estimated km left it was debatable if I’d make it and I didn’t want to risk it towing a trailer up and down the Rockies so we back tracked to Jasper to gas up. I’m usually hyper vigilant about running on the top half on these long road trips but I guess I wasn’t thinking this morning.

So just around noon we headed south east again along the ice fields parkway. It was a beautiful day and such stunning scenery. More than once I thought if only I didn’t have the trailer in tow it would be so much easier to pull off and snap a photo. We did manage a couple of pullouts but mainly just enjoyed the drive.

The 2nd first happened when I turned east on the David Thompson Hwy. I was now driving as Far East as I’ve ever driven. I’ve flown east, I’ve been a passenger in a car when my cousin drove me and my grandma to Montana as a kid but I’ve never driven east. It was another beautiful drive as we headed out of the mountains and in to the hills on very straight roads. We passed hundreds of people camping some on the glacial blue lakes at rec sites but many simply on the side of the road with their big truck and trailers. We also passed a lot of ATVs. We even passed two heards of wild horses, the first containing about 10 the 2nd had 4.

We arrived in Rocky Mountain House just after 5 and parked at my friend Joan’s place. We left Rosie in the fenced yard and headed to Leslieville for super. It was a community supper as part of their antiquities days held in their community hall. It reminded me of many dinners at the Union Bay hall where 90% of the attendance is well past 60 but it was excellent food and the country music entertainment to follow was very enjoyable. I’m such a small town gal, it reminded me of home.

I was a little worried about leaving Rosie somewhere new for so long but when we returned she was sleeping on the back porch.

Odometer start of day 1058.4

Odometer end of day 1464.4

Wildlife sightings: 1 young goat but not in the parks. Despite all the do not feed wildlife signs we didn’t see any in the park. About 14 wild horses

Fibreglass Egg sightings: 1 17ft boler headed in to Jasper as we were leaving for the 2nd time.

Exploring Jasper

We spent last night camped out in Kate’s backyard. We had a lazy morning visiting and then went for a dog walk with Rosie and her friends Noya, Banks, and Ruby.

Then Kate and I left the pooches at her place to go and explore the town and window shop. We had a lovely lunch at Famoso. Then we went out to explore Pyramid Lake and Patricia Lake. Before we returned for backyard beverages and a chill night.

Odometer start of day 1048.3

Odometer end of day 1058..4

Wildlife sightings: 1 squirrel, 1 chipmunk, 1 deer and a small herd of Elk

Fibreglass Egg sightings: we revisited yesterday’s sightings for photo ops and also found a parked surf side.