After a hectic and stressful week, I am back online speaking to you from my new home in the Garden City of St. Catharines. I know many of you who know me are anxious to hear more details and I’ll post them in the coming days. For now, I am thrilled to be a new St. Cathariner and I look forward to beginning the next phase of my life here.
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.