Over the last two days we have continued travelling on the flat black soils of the Prairies towards Winnipeg. We continue to be staggered at the rate of growth of the crops, known as “northern vigour”. So much growth in the space of 4 months to mature before the cold weather returns. I have included a picture of a canola crop soon to be in full flower (in the distance) which was planted in the first week of May.
By and large the roads haven’t been too bad but the most uncomfortable experienced to date would be a 50km section of Lord Selkirk (Highway 75) from Saint Jean Baptiste almost all the way into Winnipeg. H’way 75 is the major link between Winnipeg heading South to the US. A number of major floods and frost heave have caused a lot of damage over recent years. There were plenty of holes far worse than the one in the photo, and in other concrete slab sections small steps had formed making for a very bumpy ride.
We were lead into Winnipeg by Paul Guise which was a relief for us. It is always good to have a local to help us navigate through the cities. (Winnipeg’s metro population is around 730,000. It is also the coldest big city over 600,000 in the world. In mid winter the average ranges from minus 21.7 to minus 13.9, and in mid summer the average is around 18-21 deg C). Paul and his wife Jan and their son Felix have been very kind in hosting us for the night and spoiling us with a wonderful dinner. Paul has also provided us with some really good knowledge and advice about our journey ahead.
As we got into Winnipeg (also known as “the Peg”) reasonably early we had time to look around The Folks in downtown Winnipeg. The Forks is a historic site and meeting place in located at the confluence of the Red River and Assiniboine River. For at least 6000 years, the Forks has been the meeting place for early Aboriginal peoples, and since colonization has also been a meeting place for European fur traders, Métis buffalo hunters, Scottish settlers, riverboat workers, railway pioneers and tens of thousands of immigrants. (Wikipedia).
We had a quick look through the market place but the one thing I can highly recommend is the cinnamon buns from the Tall Grass Prairies. The best I have tasted. I have included a few photos taken from The Forks area.
Our host, Paul Guise pictured at the fruit market.
The building under construction is the Canadian Museum of Human Rights (The first national museum outside of Ottawa)
NO BLOG FOR A WEEK:(: Our hosts in Winnipeg have advised we will have very little to no telephone reception as we head into Southern Ontario over the next few days. Therefore, unfortunately I won’t be able to post a blog for about a week, nor be able to respond to emails and comments etc.