Category Archives: Manitoba

Towards Alberta, more prairies, then the badlands Day 8

After foraging for Saskatoon berries to add to my morning porridge, we packed everything up again, and started our travels towards Alberta at 8:47 a.m. – destination Dinosaur Provincial Park, mileage 2510 kilometres. 

Before driving off to Alberta, we stopped at the Tourist Information in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan.Welcome to Moose Jaw signn

The World’s Tallest Moose at the tourism office in Moose Jaw.

Moose Jaw Moose with Matt
World’s Tallest Moose

While in the tourist information centre, Matt met a couple who were carrying their pet parrot in a cat carrier case, they wanted to know the temperature for the day. They were concerned it would be too hot for the parrot. We thought this a bit odd since they were travelling in a trailer which most likely had a working air conditioner. The excitement for the morning.

Driving towards Alberta, the landscape of the prairies started to change. Instead of the beautiful canola, large white deposits were seen covering the ground – Potash.

Potash along side of highway
Potash covering the ground.

As we got closer to Dinosaur Provincial Park, the landscape changed drastically. We had entered what is known as “the badlands“. You can read more about the Canadian Badlands on National Geographic. We reached Dinosaur Provincial Park at 3 p.m. on July 8th, kilometres driven 3403. We had an electrical site, site #75 with an unbelievable view, but not one tree for us. We were pretty exhausted after our day of sightseeing, driving, setting up the tent, cooking dinner, but we naturally found the energy for a walk before bedtime.

Our campsite #75
Our campsite, #75, Matt tried to attach our two umbrellas to the roof of the SUV for some shade. By mid-afternoon the shade from the tree across the road, had a

Waking up in Dinosaur Provincial Park, a UNESCO World Heritage site is like stepping back in time. Our alarm clock in the morning were the sounds of howling coyotes. The morning was spent walking as many of the trails possible before the heat really set in.

I don’t even know how to describe the landscape, it was just so different from anything I seen in Canada, having travelled much of the east coast, Ontario, and Manitoba. As we puttered around our campsite, and walked the trails we were warned to be on the look out for rattlesnakes, black window spiders, sinkholes, and oh scorpions! Sadly the only wildlife we did see were plenty of birds, and one deer.

Landscape Dinosaur PP
Dinosaur Provincial Park
Can you spot me?
One of the trails in Dinosaur PP
One of the many trails, where in certain spots there are wooden bridges to walk on.
Matt in Dinosaur Provincial Park
Matt hiked this trail early evening, it was a long trail to reach the top, and I decided to stay at camp knowing it would have been too long of a hike for myself. He sent me a text when he reached the top so I could snap this photo.
Another view of the landscape
Another view of the landscape. We had hiked down to the river, but we were unable to go for a swim in it, due to cow patties, apparently there were cows grazing upstream polluting the water. We were very, very tempted though considering the heat.
A cottonwood tree
The Cottonwood tree quickly became a favourite of mine with such distinctive bark.
Dinosaur bones
Dinosaur bones in the museum.
Doe in Dinosaur PP
One stunning doe!
A picture of a magpie
Our first Magpie. They were all over our site, and others, they seemed to enjoy picking out the dead insects in the grill of vehicles.
Magpie in flight.
Magpie in flight.
The Badlands Alberta
The Badlands.

On the day we were to leave for Calgary, Matt drove up to the camp office to purchase some ice for our cooler, only to have some old guy say to him “you know there is a shovel on your roof?” Matt’s reply “Again!”

2 showers, 2 buckets of ice equalled $100 dollars

Days six and seven had us driving from West Hawk Lake Campground to Winnipeg, Manitoba then Shady Oaks RV Resort and Campground just off of highway one.

Matt in front of Winnipeg signWinnipeg was our only city destination, our son, who had visited the city a year ago, recommended we make a stop at the Canadian Museum for Human Rights. We spent the first half of the day exploring each floor of the museum. The architecture is modern, almost construction like on the inside, with a centre ramp to each floor. As you ride up the elevator, one side displays the inside of the museum while the other offers views of the Red River and Assiniboine River.Canadian Museum for Human RightsAll Human Beings are born free and Equal
Human Rights obviously differ from country to country, but as the sign above states “All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights”. Sadly though even in present time, this is not the case for all.  The museum gives you a history of human rights, not just in Canada, but the world.  Visitors may find some of the displays quite distressing, yet one should try to remember how far we have come in fighting for rights of others.

After the museum, we spent some time exploring the area, walking along the rivers.Pelican fishing Pelican flies off with fishEarlier in the day, we had asked middle child to find us a hotel near the museum that would not break the bank.  Neither Matt nor I are fans of hotels, preferring to sleep in a tent with our fifteen inch air mattress. When we arrived at the hotel, there was hesitation in our minds immediately, but both of us were exhausted from the long day, in need of showers, and I wanted to do some of our laundry. I was first to have a shower while Matt brought in more of our belongings, and went for ice to fill our cooler. Terrified of bringing home bed bugs, I continued to inspect the room while Matt had his shower. I then noticed that the box spring of the bed was wrapped in a plastic covering (ripped in the corners) which instantly sent warning signals to my brain.

As Matt went to fill the ice bucket again, I scoured the internet for information on which hotels had been noted for critters running around, and not to my surprise this hotel was listed. The minute he returned, both of us spoke simultaneously stating “we’re leaving”. Apparently while he was retrieving ice, an individual horked a wad of phlegm in the stairwell only a few feet in front of him!

We still had to wait for our laundry to finish, in the meantime though, Matt put our belongings back in the car. Once it was finished, we went to the front desk to check out, and since we had been in the room for approximately three hours, the woman at the desk stated she would have to charge us $100 dollars and change.  At this point Matt and I did not care, we paid the bill, and practically ran to our vehicle across the street where it was parked in a parkade. Parking was not included with the hotel, and naturally the machine decided to have a hissy fit by spitting out our twenty-dollar bill over and over again (I did not want to insert our credit card into the machine, as I was afraid it would eat it). While Matt set off to find someone to pay, I had a view of the front entrance, and watched as Security physically threw out what appeared to be a prostitute, as her friend/pimp held her purse/bag a few feet away from her.

Back on highway one, we just drove, having no idea where we were going to stay for the night. The nearby provincial parks were day use only, so we drove and drove. Finally we saw a sign for ‘Shady Oaks RV Resort and Campground’ just past Portage la Prairie. This was mainly a campground for RV’s, but there were a few spots for tents at the very back of the lot, surrounded by trees, giving us some privacy.Shady Oaks RV Resort and Campground

After setting up our tent, I went on a hunt for drinkable water. As I walked around the campground, I found it quite astonishing the number of RV’s at this place, minutes from the highway, with no beach, just a pool surrounded by high wooden walls and not a tree in sight. The washroom and showers were so old, some of the bolts holding the toilets to the floor were loose, so every time you sat down, you were unsure if it would actually tip over. Overall, the woman who ran the place was very nice, and the night only cost us $20.

Next Buffalo Pound Provincial Park to meet a blogging friend of mine.

Onward to Manitoba Day 5

Our destination for day five was West Hawk Lake Campground in Whiteshell Provincial Park, Manitoba. The fascinating thing about West Hawk Lake is it was created from a meteor impact. This was of course, a lake, my husband definitely had to go for swim in!

After leaving Quetico Provincial Park we continued on highway 11, where we saw our first brown bear crossing the road just outside of Fort Frances, plus a moose sauntering across, and then a bald eagle.

For lunch we decided to stop at Nestor Falls, and what a treat that was! Pelicans everywhere in the water!Pelicans Nestor Falls Nestor FallsBack on the road again, we reached our destination in no time at all. The campground was not what we were accustomed too, everywhere we looked there were large trucks, RV’s, and little to no trees. Thankfully at the very back of the campground there was a small forest for us to set up the tent. We were amazed that there was a deer. West Hawk Lake campground Deer at West Hawk Lake
Tomorrow Winnipeg, Manitoba.