Grand Rapids in northern Manitoba wasn’t the most happening place. Apart from work, I mostly curled up in my motel room and watched an unhealthy amount of “How I met your mother.” From Grand Rapids, I went southwest to Hudson Bay, where I stayed at the Fir River Ranch. I highly enjoyed my time there. It’s run by a couple who have several horses as well as three adorable dogs. Everyone in this town was super friendly, from the people I asked about the town to the little old lady who invited me to join her at the restaurant for brunch after Sunday mass.
During my time there, I got to ride a horse which was an adventure and a half. At the start, I thought getting into the saddle was the hard part. Turns out, the hard part is getting OFF the horse, especially when your muscles stiffen up and your sweater decides to get stuck on the saddle horn when you’re already half off. I also got to try venison which was surprisingly good, as well as Saskatoon berries, which were also pretty good.
After being in Hudson Bay for three days, I made my way to Saskatoon. There were a lot of long flat stretches, where I probably could have taken a nap and woken up half an hour later on that same road. For some reason, fields with buffalo in them amused me. However, what amused me even more was one field I passed that was full of llamas. Everyone, likes llamas, right?
So now I’m in Saskatoon. Still not really sure what all there is to do here that’s exciting. I’ve tried asking the locals, but they tend to go “uhhh… Don’t know. Not that much to see…” which has resulted in just some general shopping as well as curling up with pillows in the hotel room. The cheapest room available had two double beds, and since each had 4 pillows, I’ve decided to gather them into my internest (http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=internest).
There’s also a chance of seeing the aurora borealis tonight, so I just wander out past the city lights to a buffalo field and hope for the best.
From the Sault to Thunderbay to Winnipeg to northern Manitoba… Doing some serious distance. I had the best day to be in Winnipeg: the NHL announced that Winnipeg would be getting it’s hockey team back. Heading downtown to the forks, I saw hundreds of people (most of whom were drunk) in Winnipeg jets jersheys, chanting “go jets go!” It was an experience and a half. There were dozens of police officers, who were staying well back of the flying beer cans and bottles. Drove another 400km today to northern Manitoba, where I’ll be for the next few days. On the way up, I saw a pretty set of rapids, so I decided to stop and stretch. In these rapids, there were pelicans! I went closer to the side of the river to get a closer look, I saw splashing. As I investigated, I noticed hundreds of dark brown fish around 2-3 feet long migrating down the sides. Made for an interesting side trip!
So, my summer road trip has started… Already two days in and already have put around 700km on the odometer. The weather today was perfect for driving. Although I’m not sure when spring came, the leaves are now covering the trees on the rolling hills of the Canadian shield.
I stopped at Chutes Provincial Park to enjoy the bagel that I stole from the continental breakfast this morning, and was being amused by the roadsigns warning to watch out for horse and buggy drivers. Turning into the park, I felt like I was stalking this Amish community all dressed in their Sunday best who were walking ahead of my car on my way to the parking lot.
Pulled into Sault Ste Marie late this afternoon. Had dinner at the Casey’s, which is attached to the hotel. I don’t know who had the idea of deep frying the cheese for the sandwiches, but it was definitely a good one. I met an interesting old German guy in the pool this evening… When he asked where I was from and I replied with Ottawa, his next question was inquiring into the male:female ratio there. Personally, when I meet new people, that question doesn’t make my top 10 list of questions to ask. I ran away pretty fast.
That wraps up day two… Thunder Bay tomorrow, then Winnipeg the following!