Sunday, July 22, 2012

Riding Mountain National Park

Still not having acquired a good Manitoba road map – owing partly to the lack of any government info centres along my route – I consulted my atlas, and found that I was south of but in proximity to RMNP.  And not having been to the park since about the 60’s it was about time for a visit.  I also have some friends still working there despite the new and disturbing direction being taken by upper parks management.  So I was not really surprised to hear that two of them had essentially given up on parks and were moving on down the road in search of new opportunities and perhaps an employer they could trust.  Their skills, knowledge, and experience will be missed, and will not likely be replaced.

Even without decent maps, my iPhone apps were able to download enough information so that I could navigate fairly well, and I was surprised to find Roger’s coverage was fair to good in many areas.P7194553P7194554

I stumbled into the park via a back road entrance, and thought what a great place for poachers it had become with the loss of  many of the previous law enforcement officers who had been assigned ‘other duties’, or relieved of duties entirely.  I did a helicopter recon of one section of the park boundary, but failed to spot even one poacher.


I was able to meet up with my friends there, and solve a few more of the world’s problems along the way, while helping them prepare for garage sales as they prepared for their departures.

The bush is very thick in many areas, but I did manage to find some bison in the paddock, as well as a few deer, some wolf pups, and a lynx crossing the road.  Only the bison consented to photos, however.P7204604P7204606P7204608P7204609P7204610

Hailey and I checked out the beach scene, both on isolated spots all to ourselves, as well as the main beach in downtown Wasagaming.



We checked out the local liquor laws and found them to be on par with perhaps Ontario – still with mostly government stores, but I did find this one at a Home Hardware store!  But when I tried to buy domestic beer, I was told I had to go down the street to the bar!  Hmmm?  It is 2012, you know Winking smileCIMG7970

We exited the park through a more conventional route, but not before checking out the fish ladder around a small dam on Whirlpool lake.


This park entrance still had the original ornate gateway and buildings constructed in the 1930’s.


After a few days in the park, it was time to move on, so we plotted a route a bit north through the Lake Manitoba narrows.  Pretty flat country up there, and the trees are starting to get a bit shorter that far north.P7214631P7214633

We weren’t able to connect with friends in Winnipeg this time, so skirted the city on the north side and set our sights on Ontario.  But not before passing through Rennie – almost famous for something yet to be determined!P7214636

And just 60km or so short of the Ontario line, we encountered the first rock outcrops – a sure sign of approaching the Canadian shield country!

Since we are not carrying our satellite internet gear on this trip, we have had to rely on wifi and iPhone to get online, but with McDonalds (free wi-fi) being about as rare on Manitoba secondary roads as Roger’s coverage in Saskatchewan, sometimes the blog does not get published right away.  And this is one of those times!

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