After a good night sleep, we were up and ready for another day. We have learned a few tricks from our last long road trip and know to bring into the hotel, only those things we need. We bring in a change of clothes instead of a full suitcase and share a small bag with toiletries, medications etc. So one suitcase and the computer bag come in each night. Periodically we bring in the big suitcases to re-arrange stuff or when we do laundry. Prior to this trip I checked the internet for packing tips for road trips and they suggested a roll of paper towel, so I tossed one in. This morning our back window was filthy with dust and overnight dew, so was in need of cleaning and that roll of paper towel came in very handy.
I did all the driving today while Brian played tourist/passenger. The roads in Saskatchewan ( #1 Highway) were not in great condition as opposed to Alberta, but Manitoba was even worse. Maybe that is why Manitoba has a speed limit of 100 on the four lane Highway 1. East of Brandon we crossed over the Assiniboine River and the river is still high and you could see the surrounding areas filled with debris and fields remain under water. When we left Alberta we noticed the crops were maturing fast and the canola is finished blooming and in one case has been swathed. The further east we drive, the crops are further behind with places in Manitoba – the canola is just starting to bloom. The prairies are unusually green for this time of the year.
We stopped in Moosomin for lunch at the Red Barn. The place is new, spotless and while busy the service and food were good. When we left Moose Jaw this morningthey were starting to get hit by a severe thunderstorm but we were able to run out of it, but it looked pretty ominous in the rear view mirror. We no sooner left the storm when we hit fog at Regina. We had cloud cover until after lunch today which actually made the driving quite pleasant. I am surprised at how light the traffic is. The other thing we have noticed is the lack of gophers( Richardson ground squirrels). Since we left home we have seen 1 road kill but nary any others. I thought they had over run the prairies, so not sure why they seem to have disappeared.
We arrived in Portage La Prairie early but then found out we lost an hour…so not as early as we thought. It’s a windy but sunny day so we opted to check out the little town. It has a population of around 13,000 folks but serves a business area of 50,000. It is a main hub for trains as 72 trains pass through daily. The land around the town is very fertile ( likely from repeated flooding) and grows potatoes, beans, strawberries and grain crops. The potato plants grown here supply McDonald’s and Wendy’s food chains. Too bad we weren’t here this weekend. The are having the potato fest this weekend.
Portage has a lovely large park called Crescent Park which we opted to check out. I loved to see thefloating water lilies – in bloom and they have a Dutch style windmill, but can find no reason for it. The lake reminds me of Wascana lake in Regina, especially with the number of geese. You have to watch your step in the grass!
Tomorrow we are off for Winnipeg to visit a good friend then carry on to Kenora. Not sure what is going in Kenora, but it was a challenge to book a room, and that was over a month ago!