Animals of all sorts in Manitoba, an elk in Onanole and
a swan in Swan River.
I don't think many truly realize how unbelievable Canada is. I can't say this enough. Manitoba, said to be a prairie province and a flat and flowery grassland is so much more than that. With giant statue-like animals, clear, crisp lakes, white poplar forests and abandoned churches, the province was more than we bargained for.
On day three of our trip we ended up in Winnipeg, and my lovely friend Andrea had us stay in her bed while she voluntarily slept on her couch. We went for dinner with her and our friend Lisa Joy and saw the insides of the provincial capital.
To be honest, Winnipeg was intimidating. The downtown core (where we stayed) felt dark at night, and more than once in a 2-block radius we were asked for spare change. Perhaps it was because for 2 nights previous we'd camped in the quiet and suddenly we'd been thrown back into civilization. But seeing old friends made it worth the while.
|Friends don't let friends sleep on the street! Andrea and I.|
Day four, we're up fast and driving into northern Manitoba on our way to Carrot River, Sask. There are fields upon fields of sunflowers, and my eagerness to capture each province through photos nags at Ben to pull over at numerous locations. We drive up the Yellowhead Highway and then onto HWY. 10 towards Barrows (my dad got his first teaching job in Barrows).
We stop for a swim in Clear Lake at Riding Mountain National Park, where the water is literally so clear you can see the bottom no matter how far out you swim. I saved a ladybug from drowning here, and then I hit a bird with the truck.
If there was anything I've noticed most prominently about the drive thus far, it is the abandoned churches, homes, towns. Likely at one time flourishing with life, today they are overgrown, the whitewash paint pealing from the siding and the door handles rusted from years of ill use. This church we ventured to was beautiful, the inside still colourful, and you feel a certain calming when exploring it. But at night I can only imagine it chilling and eerie.
Lastly, before crossing the border into Saskabush (Saskatchewan), we stopped at Barrows, where my dad taught 35 years ago, and went up to Red Deer Lake. My dad used to hunt moose along this lake, so visiting this spot was especially meaningful to me. I drove past his old teacherage house and we even stopped to see his old boss - who was unfortunately in hospital. But I did meet this man's son, who is my dad's Godson.
I liked Manitoba. And I can't wait to go back and explore it.