We figure the Great Plains, called "The Prairie" in Canada, were about as exciting in Canada as in the U.S., so we planned to take longer travel days and get further east. Bill's description of our journey is, "kilometers and kilometers of miles and miles". We started with a 126 mile drive from Lake Louise to a campground in Calgary, AB to re-supply on August 22. Here is our campsite and some neighbors we had also seen at Lake Louise:
We never did talk to these neighbors, but they were traveling together making them easy to recognize.
We bought groceries at both Costco and the Co-op supermarket, we were well set to drive across the Prairies.
The next day (23rd) we drove east, hoping to get into Saskatchewan a ways. There was not much to see, but as we were nearing the Saskatchewan border we saw a large thunderstorm to the north, we were glad we were missing it. Then the highway turned right towards it and we could tell it was going to hit us. We checked the campground guide and there was a campground at Maple Creek, just inside of Saskatchewan, so we pulled off and checked in. Diane told the office a large thunderstorm was coming, so they came out and agreed. We just had put the leveling jacks down when Bill looked up and told Diane to quit extending the slideouts, the thunderstorm was upon us. Diane retracted the slideout, Bill came in and the thunderstorm hit. Winds were gusting to at least 70mph and we had a couple hail storms with penny sized hail. Then it rained hard. After about an hour it was over and Bill connected the electricity and we setup for the night. Here is how the place looked:
Welcome to the Prairies. We decided not to put up the internet dish though we had a clear southern view, it was late and the ground was wet.
The next day (24th) we drove 240 miles to Regina, SK, the capital city. Here is our campsite, with the Trans-Canada highway at our rear:
We tried our first Kelsey's and liked it and we decided to check our the Real Canadian Superstore, which we had seen across Canada. The Superstore was a great place to buy groceries and other items for really good prices, we were glad we had finally gone into one and wished we had visited in British Columbia. The Superstores were often really close to the Wal-Marts and the Canadian Wal-Marts did not say, "Always the Best Price" as in the U.S., now we knew why Canadian Wal-Marts did not boast.
Regina would be a good place for a longer visit, it had many attractions, but we had decided to not linger here.
Looking at the map we decided to make our next stop Brandon, MB, and stay two nights to see Riding Mountain National Park. Some of Trans-Canada 1 in Saskatchewan was very rough and the the trucks were still going fast, we picked up another rock chip that ran on the drivers side. Now both windshields, driver and passenger need to be replaced. Our trip was 222 miles and here is our campsite:
The next day (26th) we drove north to Riding Mountain National Park using our Canadian National Parks pass again. It rained off and on so the camera didn't come out very much. We took one ranger tour, talking about endangered species. The tour was very interesting and we learned a lot about the plants and animals. Bill found out that the white inside an apple seed shows arsenic, so he will quit eating the seeds. After the tour we drove over to where the buffalo roam. Here are a couple of the pictures we did take:
Riding Mountain is definitely a place to come spend more time.
We drove to Winnipeg, MB on the 27th and decided to spend three nights there hoping we were out of the Prairies. We drove 145 miles and checked into the huge Traveler's RV Resort, the only campground in Winnipeg. Here is our campsite and another green 2004 Dutch Star in the campground, though with the other paint scheme:
For a couple days we had neighbors from St. Louis, who we would see again in Thunder Bay, they told us where to get work done in St. Louis. Another day we spent a bunch of time with the couple camped behind us in a Holiday Rambler, they were recent full-timers since he retired at 50 and she was 42 so we had a lot in common.
We again stocked up at Costco and the Canadian Superstore and again ate at Kelsey's. Since Winnipeg is known for its restaurants we researched and found Ivory, an Indian restaurant, in downtown Winnipeg and tried it and were very happy with our meal.
Winnipeg turned out not to be out of the Prairies, but it was still an interesting place.
We decided to hang out in Thunder Bay for Labor Day, so we pushed to Ignace, ON on the 30th after 288 miles. Our campsite was cheap for Canada, $16.80US, but was not very level:
We were finally in some trees again, but the rain flows into the Arctic Ocean here as it does in much of Central Canada, it doesn't flow into the Atlantic until about 40 miles from Thunder Bay, which is where we headed on the 31st.
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