While out today, I spotted someone mowing a small patch of grass adjacent to a strip mall. It gave me a laugh as I thought of an incident involving a former employer and a similar small patch of grass. Perhaps the story will give you a laugh as well.
More important, however, was the people on them.
My first major stop of the day was Lake Calhoun, a highly-scenic area near downtown Minneapolis.
Circling the lake are two separate trails, one for cyclists, one for pedestrians. Again, the separation is respected by the trail users.
I had to stop a number of times to take pictures.
This is a little lake just off the south west corner of Lake Calhoun.
I noticed this sign for the Linden Hills neighborhood.
Back on the Midtown Greenway, I took note of one of the many Emergency call boxes along the route.
Knowing that, unlike the S.P.R.M., they actually have law enforcement agencies in Minnesota, there might actually be someone on the other end of the line who would care if you were in distress.
I continued on past the I-35W bridge and stopped for some shots.
It’s not the biggest park in the area, but it’s certainly worth a visit if you’re staying in Eden Prairie as I was.
There are still some rest stops and scenic places along the route. I went west of I-494 before turning around at the Glen Lake Golf and Country Club and going back to the hotel after covering more than 31 miles.
Fortunately, we were headed in the opposite direction of Monday morning rush hour traffic.
North of Fargo, we spotted a series of wind turbine propellers being hauled south on I-29.
As I sat near the border waiting for all of the liquor boxes to be loaded on the bus, I stared across the 49th parallel into the abyss of the S.P.R.M.
Between Winnipeg Beach and Gimli, PTH 9 has a full paved shoulder and speeds are reduced to 50 km/h through both Sandy Hook and Winnipeg Beach.
I passed on the fresh “pickeral”.
The caboose in Winnipeg Beach.
A block off the highway is the historic Dunnottar train station that has been turned into a museum. I didn’t go in, but I would like to check it out on a return trip.
Approaching Ponemah Road.
An apple tree.
I had the urge to yell “shark”, but I resisted the temptation.
An Olympic rower, Colleen Miller, apparently competed in “Indianapalis” and “Tazmania”.
The Whytewold Emporium is quite popular, though I can’t personally vouch for the reasons why.
The pier in Matlock.
Looking at the northern tip of Netley Marsh from the end of the pier.
One of the many cottages nearby:
A sign from Peter Bjornson, the MLA for Gimli, one of Carli Ward’s former teachers at Gimli High School, and perhaps soon to be returning to his old job after the October election:
I made a slight detour to Moonlight Bay, where I noticed the high water level. Normally, these rocks aren’t covered by water.
For those so inclined, there’s a new Robins Donuts location in Gimli, in the main floor of the Lakeview at Centre Street and First Avenue.
This is the webcam that shows the Gimli Harbor to the world:
A look at Loni Beach from the harbor:
And a look at Willow Island from the harbor:
Having covered this route as a passenger in both a car and a bus, I knew this was a scenic route, but even I did not fully appreciate it until I covered it on two wheels. For anyone looking for a bike journey out of the ordinary, this is a destination I can highly recommend. Public parking is available in Gimli just off First Avenue, south of the Lakeview, where you can bring your alternative transportation and explore the eastern Interlake region at your leisure.
The memory of that championship season still brings a smile to my face and likely always will. For those that don’t know, since the “real” Jets left Winnipeg, I have two favorite NHL teams: the Dallas Stars and whoever will be playing Mark Chipman’s personal hockey team.
I’m sure it’s a fine place to golf, for those who are so inclined, but we didn’t need to stop there on the way to the Peace Gardens earlier this month and we didn’t need to stop there yesterday either.
Not only was there a Tim Hortons location at the light ahead, which can bring about a traffic jam in the middle of a farmer’s field, but we were moments away from the start of the parade. Apparently, it’s a really big deal in this part of the S.P.R.M. and we were in the thick of it all.
I stopped to take a picture of this overhead sign draped across PTH 3/Thornhill Street on my way to Morden Park.
This is a scenic park nestled along Dead Horse Creek that was comparatively free of the hustle and bustle several blocks away.
On my way back to the center of town, I saw some other interesting sights.
I know that at least one reader will appreciate this picture. First, he gets a disease named after him, now he has a furniture store all his own.
Leftovers from the parade that could be heard all over town.
Nice homes in this growing community.
There was not a parking spot to be had anywhere in town. I’m sure the locals appreciate the money the festival brings in every year, but the streets were literally jam-packed with parked cars.
Hockey Night in Morden.
The old court house.
The midway on the east side of town.
The line for ride tickets.
This was the line for Bessie’s Famous Shish-Ka-Bobs.
There were plenty of public washrooms available in trailers such as these. It’s an excellent idea and I only wish other festivals in Manitoba made similar provisions for their guests, such as the Lily Festival in Neepawa, for example.
We went through KANE, as opposed to Kane. It didn’t dawn on me until I got home, but Kane is the surname of a player on the last squad of the Atlanta Thrashers. The young man is about to go from one badly-run team to another.
After passing through KANE, we went through LOWE FARM.
Rosenort has their own arena.
On the right is the Rosenort Subway.
Two of their more significant problems are deer and coyotes and they’ve come up with some ingenious ways of fending them off. They have red lights on top of posts to ward off deer, who confuse them with the eyes of a coyote, in addition to the electrified fencing around their chicken yard.
They do sell “tomatoe” plants, though I didn’t ask what they were.
An elaborate irrigation system.
Their worm farm.
Chickens, chickens, and more chickens. If you’re wondering what that big black pile is off in the background of the second chicken picture, it’s all horse manure.
They have some chickens out on one of their berms fertilizing the ground and they regularly move the chickens from berm to berm.
The first of their “tractors” was empty on account of the fact that the chickens had already been taken to market, but the second set still had the chickens inside, though they only had days to live. I was able to touch one of them, as did a few others.
Just outside the cage is his kitchen:
It’s not something you’re likely to see on HGTV, but it works for him and that’s all that counts. Nearby is the tent he calls home during the summer months. He has no power or running water and he has to truck the water he has from nearby Bethany. He does, however, have a solar panel that he uses to get a small amount of power to charge the battery on his BlackBerry. I remain convinced, now more than ever, that I am the last person in the Western world without a cell phone.
When in Carman, you can pick up your winter “brochers” from this travel company:
I suggest asking what a “brocher” is first.
While sitting outside, I listened as a few of the golfers were chatting about the unusual presence of the tour bus in their midst. “I don’t know how they found us,” asked one of them. That’s a very good question that I wouldn’t mind an answer to.
I would have expected such a thing in Winnipeg, but to each his own.
Having seen the Great Pumpkin of Roland, we headed west along PTH 23 only to have a red light pop up on the dashboard moments later. After an investigation, a bolt had broken off that was somehow connected to the cooling system. Harold had his own tools with him and knew how to fix the problem, but the only thing he was missing was a spare bolt. He called the bus company in Winnipeg and he was told that a mechanic would have to come out with a new bolt.
Sadly, however, PTH 23 turned out to be another one of Manitoba’s highways that are badly in need of repair or “renewal”, as the propaganda signs from the government say when they do road work.
Contrary to popular belief, Manitoba is not completely flat:
We passed through Baldur (not von Schirach – some former colleagues will appreciate that reference), home of the late Tom Johnson, a member of the Hockey Hall of Fame. The sign at right proudly informs visitors of that fact.
The highway didn’t get any better once we passed Baldur.
We eventually reached PTH 10, the highway that would take us directly to the Peace Gardens. Unfortunately, the highway conditions failed to improve, despite being on one of Manitoba’s most well-travelled and important routes.
I’m guessing that shots like this don’t make it into any Manitoba travel brochures. It’s not exactly an inviting welcome for American tourists coming from North Dakota, only 10 miles south of where this shot was taken.
Our first stop was the pavilion for an overdue lunch, consisting of some sort of vegetable soup, stale buns, and cold cuts.
We were sharing the pavilion with a group from the Canadian Cancer Society and their Relay for Life event.
I dispensed with the lunch quickly and went out and took some pictures of the fountain and surrounding gardens.
I went to the entrance and took a couple of more shots.
We got back on the bus, then we were given a guided tour that included a visit to the new 9/11 memorial.
Nothing like some distasteful government self-promotion to tarnish a poignant display. As a side note, this might also be the only such Canadian and Manitoba signage on U.S. soil.
The 9/11 Memorial, a collection of steel girders recovered from the wreckage of the World Trade Center.
The peace tower:
Looking back at Lake Udall, on the American side, which is named for a Canadian. Lake Stormon, on the Canadian side, is named for an American.
The Peace Chapel. Our guide told us that they had to get special permission from both governments to build it on the border, since the treaty that defines the border expressly forbids it.
A cairn marking the Treaty of 1908 at the foot of the peace tower. On the left is the Socialist People’s Republic of Manitoba and on the right is the United States of America.
After the guided tour, we were given a few minutes on our own and I got a few more shots in. The floral clock near the entrance:
The peace poles:
With the hour growing late, we had to be back on the bus. I wanted to spend a little more time around the gardens and I felt rushed during the time I did have, but it was a nice experience.
Wouldn’t Jack Layton and his troupe of leftists be proud of those “no guns” signs?
The Socialist People’s Republic of Manitoba welcomes you.
Radar detectors aren’t just illegal in Manitoba, they’re ILLEGAL. Then again, with law enforcement in Manitoba being rather, well, lax, one has to wonder why they bother with the sign. The honor system isn’t exactly working in this part of the world.
We took PTH 10 north and soon came to Boissevain, or rather, as the sign says, “BOISSEVAIN”.
While passing through BOISSEVAIN, we saw the town icon, Tommy the Turtle.
Crossing the Souris River north of BOISSEVAIN.
We had not seen the last of bad highways.
The L & J Drive-In where we stopped.
If you have some dirty change in your pocket and need it cleaned, the Esso station in Treherne might be able to help you.