Winnipeg to Brandon to Moose Jaw to Swift Current
Sep 22 – Winnipeg to Brandon
A beautiful 8 degree morning to get up in Winnipeg with dew covering the tent but just enough sun to dry everything out while we had a shower and had our yogurt and cereal.
We started the day by visiting the Royal Canadian Mint where, years and years and years ago my parents had let me strike a coin with the machine in the lobby. Alas, the machine was “out of order” so there will be no 2016 companion coin. They make coins for many countries here and spearheaded such innovations as the bi-metal twoonie fusion process and ink-jet printing for colour coins.
We visited the Winnipeg Art Gallery hoping to see some of the largest collection of Inuit art in existence. There was quite a bit on display but we’re still a few years too early to see the upcoming Inuit Art Center that is slated to open sometime well after the breaking of ground in 2017.
Next we visited The Forks Park (where the Assiniboine and Red River meet and a native gathering spot). Now there are gather spots, shopping, eateries, walking paths and more. It was a nice spot for lunch: Club, beer and sangria on the Patio before moving on and doing some driving.
Short drive to Brandon where we ended up at the worst Worst Campsite Ever (so far), the Meadowlark campground, where you can practically inspect the underside of the passing 18-wheelers on the Trans Canada from the comfort of your ditch-side tent. On the up-side, we had a spectacular rising sun in the morning (since the trucks woke us up at… well all night). When I asked Paul (our friend who had been stationed at the nearby Shilo forces base) if he had a recommendation for what to do on a Brandon morning, he replied:
Sep 23 – Brandon to Swift Current via Moose Jaw
Up before sunrise and breakfast on the road! We ended up having the Bacon & Egg’r breakfast at A&W about 80 km west of Brandon. It was definitely the place-to-be as all the workers were coming in for their morning eggs & toast & coffee.
We took a diversion from Trans Canada at Verdin to see oil pumps and to get more up close and personal with the prairies.
Unfortunately, the day was (very) rainy and hid most of the prairie views so we returned to the Trans Canada (HWY 1 through Saskatchewan) to continue on our 650+ km day.
We stopped in Moose Jaw for some shared Pad Thai and to wander the city ever so briefly in the pouring rain. This is the home of Al Capone (of the North), Canada’s Snowbirds, and (of course) the biggest moose in the world. We took a picture of the yet to be unveiled Moose Jaw mosaic made to contribute to the Canada 150 Mosaic project (check it out in detail… very, very cool — and you saw it here first!)
Moose Jaw is also known for the many city murals painted on building walls. If we had the time (and it wasn’t pouring rain) we would have checked more of them out!
Next off to
camping, uh, Moteling it with a campsite dinner in Swift Current.