Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Winnipeg to Moosomin, Saskatchewan, by Margaret Ullrich, part 16, Transplanting

I just brought in our recycling box.
I should've worn oven mitts.

We're having a heat wave, and it'll be hotter tomorrow.
Just like the furnace during winter, our air conditioner is going full blast.
Winnipeg weather sure can go to extremes.

First thing this morning I hosed down our garden.
I don't know if it did any good.
The zucchini plants are looking wilted.
The tomato plants aren't much better.

Mama Robin has been perched on the rim of her nest.
She was poking her head around inside the nest.
Hope they all stay well tomorrow.
No, I don't know if the eggs have hatched yet.

Today's high will be 32º celcius.
Tomorrow will be worse: 35º celcius.
The normal high is 26º celcius.
No sign of it getting that low this week.

Forty years ago was another hot sunny day.
We were finally leaving Ontario.
It seemed like we were never going to get out of there.
I mean, really, they could've made two provinces out of it.

We didn't know what the food situation was going to be like on the road.
I packed a few extras in the car.
Some canned fruit, spoons and a can opener.
Just in case we got hungry.

We had a huge pancake breakfast in Pye's Landing.
I also heated a can of stew for a meal on the road.
Hoping it would keep the stew warmer, I topped the stew with dumplings.
Bye, Bye, Ontario.

We were doing fine until just outside of Winnipeg.
One of our trailer's tires blew.
Paul unhitched and drove off to phone the auto club.
I stayed with the trailer.

It's true what they say about Friendly Manitoba.
A  man and his young son stopped and asked if they could help.
I thanked them and said that Paul had gone to call CAA.

Help came pretty quickly.
So much for the joys of touring the wilds of northern Lake Superior.
There were four holes in the tire.
We ate the stew (it had stayed warm) while the CAA fellow worked.
He told us where we could buy a new tire in Winnipeg.
Some place called Canadian Tire.
He also gave us directions for the bypass to save us time and confusion.

We found the Canadian Tire right off the TransCanada Highway in St. Vital, 
on the corner of Fermor and St. Anne's road. 

I guess Canadian Tire hired more staff in 1972.
We got extremely good, patient service.
Three fellows in the parts department was very friendly and helpful. 
They were delighted when Paul said that we were travelling across Canada.
They asked Paul lots of questions about our trip. 
It took almost a half hour, but they finally found a spare wheel and tire. 
They wished us well, and we were on our way. 

We drove on #1, which changed from Fermor to Dunkirk to Osborne Street.  
Paul was impressed with the very broad streets.
But he was nervous about driving through a big city with the trailer.

I gave Paul a wrong direction and we ended up going into Winnipeg.
No, I didn't do Lucy's Turn right here, left.
It was our first trip around Confusion Corner.
Yes, it was confusing.

We drove down Corydon until it turned into Roblin Boulevard. 
We also passed a locomotive which was on display in a park.
Paul really liked seeing that engine.

While near the park, someone in another car yelled that our chain was loose. 
It was bouncing on the street and causing a lot of sparks.
We thanked the friendly Manitoban, stopped and re-attached the chain.
Paul noticed it was a bit damaged from the bouncing. 
But it was still usable, so we drove on down Roblin Boulevard into Charleswood.
Then we went to the perimeter, over the river and back on the TransCanada.

After spending so much time in Ontario, we just whizzed through Manitoba.
Paul had wanted to make it to Saskatchewan by nightfall.
No problem.
The sun was looking like it was never going to set.
We were driving right into it.
We couldn't avoid it.

We also couldn't avoid four trains.
We had to stop and watch them go by.
Between the engine on display in the park and the four trains on the road, 
we got the impression that trains were very important in Manitoba.

There were cute little round containers by the TransCanada Highway.
Put your trash in orbit.
In most cases there was more trash than the orbits could hold.

The music on the radio was interesting.
Petula Clark singing My Guy.
Bagpipes playing Amazing Grace.
I don't know if the sun's glare or the music gave us the headaches.

Along with the headaches, we were hungry.
There weren't any roadside stops.
While Paul drove, I spooned pineapple into our mouths and we ate.

Finally, Saskatchewan.
It was dark.
We drove on and reached the turnoff for the camp.
The camp was one mile off the highway.
It had received a nice writeup in the guide.
It also had a "Closed" sign on the gate.

Paul had to drive onto a small bridge which led to a farmer's field.
There were deep ditches on either side of the bridge.
The he had to backup onto the road to go back to the highway.
We had a 'second choice' campsite circled.

Bri-Ma-Del in Moosomin.
There wasn't a phone.
Just as well.
The folks would've been asleep by then.

There was a small grocery store attached to the gas station.
Just like on Corner Gas.
Paul bought a box of lemon cookies.
They tasted a bit odd.
I read the ingredients.
They were made with corn flour.

We were in another time zone.
We were in Saskatchewan.
We were eating cookies made with corn flour.

Something new every day.

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