Fire Cloud...
An irregular marking on the exterior of Native American pottery: usually resulting from burning fuel coming in direct contact with the vessel during firing

Friday, 22 June 2007

In the Corner of Some Foreign Field

Winnipeg, Manitoba – June 19, 2007

One good thing about Winnipeg is the free parking for visitors. We walk though a park near the railroad station and over the bridge to the French Quarter, the community of St. Boniface. We learn that four Gray Nuns made a long canoe trip from Montreal to settle here in the early 1800s.

The bridge between St. Boniface and Winnipeg was deliberately severed in 1905, which hints at trouble between the two communities. Now all the traffic signs are unfailingly in both French and English, so relations seem to have been repaired.

We have a fine lunch buffet on at revolving restaurant on the 31st floor of a hotel. I take a three hour nap afterward. The campground is ten miles from downtown in the middle of a newly planted, vast, flat field. The sky changes frequently with rainbows, hot air balloons, thunderclouds, sun and lightning bolts. It’s pleasantly cool at night, about 10 C.

We grill the wild Alaska Sockeye Salmon for dinner. There’s enough left for a salad tomorrow.

Wynard Provincial Park, Saskatchewan – June 20, 2007

We made about 400 miles today. It’s still 410 to Edmonton, Alberta. The two lane road is empty and smooth. The view is mostly of huge agricultural fields, farm equipment dealers and huge silos and granaries.

The Dakota plains, 300 miles south, has similar views so this should not be a surprise. Dinner is breaded fried catfish. I try to buy an $8 bottle of wine, but it’s $15 during LB Hours and $21 after that. Liquor Board hours, I learn, end at 6 PM. We settle for a cheaper bottle of California Red.

No one in town has a non-citizen fishing license. If they had one though, it would be $39.76 for a three-day non-citizen license. We consider diverting North to the Prince Albert National Park. After discussion, we decide to press on to Skagway.

Elk Island National Park, Alberta – June 21, 2007

There are hundreds of buffalo wandering about. We also see a wolf on the side of the road. We have internet and look for tennis courts in nearby Edmonton. We find ten and decide to spend a couple of days playing tennis. Here are some buffalo.

Edmonton has the world’s largest shopping mall, complete with indoor waterslides.

Our mail is on the way to Skagway, Alaska. Here are some more buffalo pictures. Skagway has a population of 962.

The beginning of the Alcan Highway, at Dawson Creek, is another 400 miles.

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