Sunday, July 28, 2013

Day 7–Brandon to Moose Jaw

I’m writing this under the shade of one of the huge poplars that are on our site. The sun is shining, goodness knows what time it is with all the time zones, and lack of daylight savings time.

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We started out our day a little later than usual, we knew we had a shorter day of driving ahead of us so set the alarm clock for 6:45. As it was we , were pretty quick getting ready and were on the road by 7:30. It’s a good thing too as before we even hit the trans Canada we came across a detour that led us afoul. One place you don’t want to be when you have 37’ of trailer behind you is a dead end road….  luckily for us there was a good laneway to pull into. On our way back to the main road we asked a couple of pedestrians about the detour – apparently it was for a local road and not the “highway” at all. Oh well, all was not lost – we saw some countryside we wouldn’t have seen, and met some friendly Manitobans to boot.

Once we got to the main highway, the road was fairly straight and reasonably smooth (okay, not really all that smooth). It was still a divided highway though which is nice.

The landscape that we passed first out of Brandon was mixed small hills, some trees, and farmland.

On our way out of Manitoba we passed signs for Rivers, Souris and Hartney, both places from my youth.

We used to stop in Souris on our way to Hartney to visit my Great grandparents. One of the attractions was the longest swinging bridge – unfortunately it isn’t open. The other stop was for fresh honey. Sometimes we’d even get the honeycomb and Kirsten & I would chew on it during the drive. We also used to stop at this rock collecting place – probably the reason that I remember it is that they had two huge Great Danes that were orange brindle – when I first saw them I thought they were tigers!

My Great grandparents lived in Hartney, in a little yellow house. When we first started going there they had no indoor “facilities” and we had to use the outhouse. They had a lovely lot, and my gg had a huge garden that he kept up until he was into his 90s. My ggmother always had so many stories to tell about when she was young and when they came to Canada. I wish now that I had paid better attention.

So long ago…

It wasn’t long before we entered Saskatchewan. Even still the mixed landscape continued. Then… we hit areas so vast and flat it could hardly be believed. Some of the areas were a  patchwork of brilliant yellow, soft blue and lush green. It someone had painted it you’d think they were crazy! Anyone that thinks these are boring roads to drive over lack imagination.

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We made a few quick stops at little pull-offs along the road. Nothing really spectacular. At the one where we ate our lunch (in the truck), the wind was blowing and it was cold!

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Before we knew it Regina was on the horizon – we could see the tall buildings from downtown so far away. That’s where I got good internet again and could post yesterday’s blogs. That’s also where we could see rain all around us. Was this going to be another day of setting up in the rain?

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My gps started giving weird directions as we came into Moose Jaw – MAYBE we could have gotten to the campground that way, but since there was no road other than a dirt track we decided to take another route.

We did make it to the River Campground, but too late – all the sites were taken. It looked like a nice park with paths down by the river. I think it was a municipal park.

They pointed us over to Prairie Oasis, which is where I sit now. It isn’t a great walking park – we’ll have to drive somewhere for that (maybe park near River Campground), but our site is nice. It is the first site that we’ve had that is lovely and grassy, and the first where both the weather and the site are inviting enough to sit outside. It is very spacious. Just below us is a bit of the river, and beyond that is the Trans Canada – our old friend. There is some traffic noise, as well as the roar of the occasional train, but those don’t bother us.

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The dogs seem happy to be on firm ground and are stretched out in the sun!

We are here for two nights. Tomorrow we plan on touring the underground city. We’ll also drive around a bit to explore the area.

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Then it is a short days drive to MEDICINE HAT! Wowzers!

Oh – did I mention that there are no bugs? Nor were there any at the last campground. I think they are all congregating at Echo Dale, the location of the reunion :-/

 

 

DSCN2234Are we there yet?