On To Winnipeg

Spending a few days in Indian Head was relaxing. The town itself is small so our time was spent swimming, walking and swatting mosquitos.  With all the rain, they were horrible, and with us the majority of our trip.

Next stop, Winnipeg.  After loading the car back on the dolly, via plank of wood, we headed out. Cool, a bit cloudy and light rain we made our way East.  Crossing into Manitoba, the scenery changed,  trees lined the highway; a nice change from the flat grassland of Saskatchewan

We arrived about 530 pm to the KOA, a nice campground right near the Assiniboine river. Our spot was nice, near a decent off leash dog area- at least Henry could run a little.  There is a poo,l small cafe and the ever-present mosquito. The spots are good-sized for big rigs like us. There was the highway noise, but many campgrounds have that issue, and while we could hear it, I didn’t mind it much.

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After setting up, next order of business was looking for a ramp for the dolly. We figured Winnipeg should have something, as it is a good-sized city. Well if they did, we didn’t find one. We chose to contact the dolly company, we had purchased the dolly not long before we left so it was new for this trip. The folks were nice enough, offered to send us a new light grommet and a new ramp and straps to our campground.  When I got finished with the phone call, Mark realized that, even though our plan was to stay  in Winnipeg a few days, unless they did a rush shipment we would be leaving before it got to us. So, Mark called back and we had to pay for the rushed shipping. Even with that, we had to hope it made it before we were leaving. Thankfully it did, and for the remainder of the trip, the ramps rode inside the van. Not chancing another loss.

Winnipeg provided several fun activities.  One afternoon we spent some time at the local mini golf/go kart center. A couple of trips around the go kart track, a round of mini golf, and bumper boat ride was a fine way to spend some time

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Another afternoon, we spent downtown at the Via Rail Canada, and Winnipeg Railway Museum.  Via rail is equivalent to Amtrak.  Of course the railway museum had the usual trains- and it was a nice afternoon spent exploring their display.

 

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After our tour of the railway museum explored some more of the downtown area. We came upon an area called The Forks. Somewhat of a plaza area along the river. There were shops and food markets inside where we had lunch, and took a boat ride along the Red and Assiniboine rivers. The water was already 7 feet above normal.  2 days after we left, they had even more flooding from the rain.

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We enjoyed our time in  Winnipeg. We relaxed and explored, and of course saw trains. With the new ramp for the dolly, and a light rain, we headed again East.

 

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Indian Head Saskatchewan Canada

As with anything, long trips aren’t always filled every moment with grand adventures. Sometimes it’s the basic things of the day that bring great joy.

After leaving Calgary we headed East. We stopped one night in Maple Creek Saskatchewan at a very nice campground. The park was quiet, clean and had an indoor pool!

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maple creek, Saskatchewan Canada

It was nice to relax and swim after a long drive and I  forgot to take a picture of that pool.

 

After Maple Creek we continued our journey East. The drive was rather plain, low rolling hills but not a lot to look at.

summer  2014 364 As we neared our campground, we came upon a long stretch of road construction, and rain. After the smooth driving we had for most of the day, this rough patch was rather jarring. When we arrived at the campground, Mark went inside to check in, and I walked outside to stretch a bit, and that’s when I noticed….. one of the ramps for our car dolly was missing. The strap that tied them down had broken. Seems the rain and constant bouncing had frayed the buckle and it came off. We checked in and drove to our spot. A nice large spot- but with the rain the back-end of the spot had quite a bit of water, so was a bit soggy.

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We hooked up water and electric and then asked the camp host if they had a piece of wood we could use for a temporary ramp for our car. Luckily they had a nice wood post, which we ended up buying from them- we were going to need it for a while! At least until we can replace that ramp.
This inconvenience clearly didn’t bring us much joy, more like frustration, and phone calls and e mails. We don’t know exactly when we lost that ramp, and sure hope it didn’t damage another car behind us. What we did find at this campground, was that the train tracks were just down the road. With Andrew’s love of trains, this made up for rainy weather. We would walk down the road and watch for the train to come.

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heading to watch the train go by. Andrew likes to collect world flags and was thrilled when he had is USA And Canadian flags.

 

Not knowing the train schedule, we seemed to miss it when we were waiting by the road, but would hear it when we were swimming or at our RV.

This campground had a real nice play area- though rather soggy from all the rain, and a nice pool, always a bonus.

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As we relaxed, I watched Andrew, and thought how these small adventures, the walks to watch a train or an afternoon of swimming, were just as exciting as any grand adventure we might come upon.

 

Calgary Canada

Taking such a long trip doesn’t always give us the time to spend in some of our stops as we would like. With only so much time, our activities can be limited. So what to see, or do, in that short time? I don’t think many people take such long journeys, choosing to spend more time in one place rather than traveling as far as we are. Each agenda is right for that person. Sometimes, I find I would like to spend more time exploring a particular town. We make the best of our time, and note the places we would like to revisit some day. Our days in Calgary were like that.
We stayed a bit out-of-town, and that was ok, I prefer the quiet out-of-the-way campground rather than a noisy city one.
To get a small feel for the city, we chose to take the city train through town. With Andrews love of trains, this is a cheap activity. Not knowing our way around town, the train is an easier way to visit a big city. We get to where we want to go, and don’t just see a freeway.

We spent one afternoon exploring the downtown area, taking in the different buildings and streets in the Stephen Avenue walk area. We stopped for lunch and watched a street performer and listened to some musicians entertain the crowd.

During our walk, we came upon the Calgary Tower. Riding up the elevator in the tower, to the top, 525 feet up, is exciting. As you begin the tour, you are handed what looks like a large smart phone or tablet, and some headphones. All during your tour of the tower, you listen to the narration of information about the city. As you exit the elevator, on the top floor, you are on an observation deck with 360 degree view of the city of Calgary. On one side of the observation deck, there is a glass floor section that you can stand on for a very unique birds eye view below. The view reminded me of standing atop the Empire State Building.
We enjoyed the view from above the city.

Another day, we chose to drive to the Canadian Olympic Park, home of the 1988 winter games. In the summer the park is used for mountain biking, there is a luge ride and bobsled ride available as well. Andrew and I chose to ride the luge; claimed to be one of the longest. I also chose to take a bobsled ride. Where else can you ride an Olympic bobsled?! It was exciting and fun to walk around the Olympic park where those elite athletes competed. You could almost feel their presence among the buildings.

As we enjoyed the scenery and beautiful homes, we listened to the radio, and learned that a year prior Calgary had some major flooding. We learned how the city had rebuilt the damaged area. Arriving back at our campground, we learned that just a few days earlier, had been some significant rain. We missed the current flooding by just 2 days.

So there you have a glimpse of our time in Calgary Canada. I would like to go back and see Banff and Lake Louise. We were close but those towns are west and we were heading east. I know- they are really close but with all that was ahead of us, I will have to keep those on my “bucket list” for now.