I forgot to mention that this past sunday ...
Trip Start Jun 29, 1999
29Trip End Dec 04, 1999
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I've been in my share of Internet cafés since this trip began and, right now, Networkx is winning the "Best Internet Provider" Award. This place is nice, especially the comfy leather office chairs. You'll find it on Portage Ave right across the street from the University of Winnipeg.
Manitoba and Northwestern Ontario differ from Southern Ontario greatly. The biggest thing I notice is that once past Sault Ste. Marie the donut wars are no longer won by Tim Horton's. For those of you headed this way you'll have to make due with Robin's Donuts.
On Monday afternoon the forest finally gave in to the great plains about 50km outside of Winnipeg. I know most people find this geography quite boring but I can't get enough of it. I love the big, big sky and watching weather patterns off in the distance. After leaving Kenora it was an easy 200km drive to Winnipeg where I camped just inside the city limits.
Tuesday, August 10
Walking around downtown Winnipeg was a lot nicer than Quebec City or Halifax. Not that the city is any nicer than the other two but at least they didn't build it into the side of a hill. I visited the town's most touristy spot, The Forks, which is quite nice. All you shopaholics out there will enjoy the market there. I also checked out Riel House which is now oddly situated in a fairly affluent subdivision in the southern part of town. Louis Riel did not live here but his family did. After his execution his body laid in state within the house. The house is a good example of how the typical Métis famaily lived in the 1880's. Of course I went to the corner of Portage & Main. This corner is claimed to be the windiest in North America. After enduring many garbage tornadoes at the corner of Yonge and Finch in Toronto I wasn't impressed with the wind here... I suspect that if I was to return in February my mind might change. The architecture found in Winnipeg is quite varied and interesting. I had more fun looking at the train station, parliament building and the old stores along Portage (Eaton's, The Bay) than anything else. It's kind of like a waaaay smaller version of Chicago. In the early evening I took a short drive south of the city along the Red River. Those of you who are aware of my pro-natural disaster stance will be able to remember my obsession with the flood here in 1997. While the flood scored an early victory in Grand Forks and quickly overran many of the small towns in southern Manitoba these cursed Winnipegers and their fancy "floodway" ruined my whole summer. Most of the town of Ste Agathe has been cleaned up and I crossed the floodway a couple of times to see if there was any weaknesses for the next big thaw... alas, I could find none. To cheer myself up I visited a little roadside attraction in St Adolphe: Amaze In Corn. Some farmer has converted 10 acres of cornfield into a giant maze. It took me a little over an hour to finish it. It was fun but I kind of cheated as I was using the position of the sun to keep me from getting too lost.
I have purchased a ticket on what might prove to be the longest day-trip ever. Next Tuesday at 10pm I'll be leaving Winnipeg via train and heading north to Churchill (58 degrees latitude north). The train will arrive in Churchill at 7am Thursday morning. I will then spend the next 15 hours taking in the northern sights and at 10pm I'll hop back on the train that will arrive back in Winnipeg at 7am Saturday morning. I'm going to kill the next week by seeing Saskatchewan and western Manitoba. I'm hoping to catch the Stampeders/Roughriders game in Regina this Friday to see what the heart of the CFL is like.
You can expect another travelogue next Tuesday before I leave for Churchill.
Bradley T Hughes