Friday, June 21, 2019

Winnipeg Manitoba to Fishing Lake Saskatchewan

The temperature and humidity were perfect as I stepped outside this morning. We would pick up another hour at the Saskatchewan border because that province is smart enough to not go through the "fall back, spring ahead" nonsense. In winter, Mountain Time starts at the Alberta border. As mentioned, this unusual Super 8 had a hot breakfast. It featured eggs, sausages and potatoes along with the usual cold fare, so we ate before leaving. In no rush, we were on the road at 8:40.

Manitoba gas price

The speed limit started out at 110 KPH but then was reduced to 100. We turned onto the Yellowhead Highway near Portage La Prairie and started northwest on the major route across the prairies that is NOT the Trans Canada Highway. The prairies have a reputation for being flat, boring and punctuated by grain elevators. That was partly true. We saw that, but it was punctuated by sloughs, areas of trees (primarily deciduous) and valleys where rivers had cut great furrows into the countryside. The latter caused the highway to sweep down and back up through curves that made the drive more interesting.

We also saw long unit trains of tank cars being hauled east by Canadian Pacific engines. In one case, the pusher engine was Burlington Northern Santa Fe while in another it was a Union Pacific unit. I suppose that CP is leasing motive power to make up for shortages in its own fleet as the oil traffic expands due to lack of pipeline capacity.

Scenes along the Yellowhead

Oil unit train pushed by Burlington Northern

Forget the car dealerships

This was a Mercedes Sprinter demo vehicle

We had been seeing signs along the way advertising the Russell Inn and Family Restaurant. The spoke of suites and water slides. They even ,mentioned a water slide suite. It was about lunch time when we reached Russell, Manitoba so we pulled in to the Inn and were shown to a table. I had a BLT with beef barley soup. Sandy had a fruit and yogurt plate with an up charge for chicken. Jan had a salad that was supposed to have chicken but, being vegetarian, she asked that the meat not be added. The server was unable to reduce the price for no chicken, so he didn't charge Sandy for hers and it all worked out in the end. My food was excellent but the desk clerk had no idea what a water slide suite was. She thought that perhaps a comma was missing. Punctuation is. Everything.

More Scenes Along The Yellowhead

Sandy missed another provincial border

Look at all the street lights in Langenburg Saskatchewan

Richardson Pioneer Grain Elevator - Langenburg Saskatchewan

And a second RP elevator (the tank cars fooled me)

Track crews doing repairs before the next train

It looks like the potash cars are being stored

Is MacDonald old??

Cattle are another valuable product

Another oil unit train

With a Union Pacific pusher

As we approached Yorkton, I needed a bathroom break and more coffee. We got off the highway and drove through town to Mickey D's, where I took care of both. They did not have cranberry orange muffins here either but the strawberry one was on the shelf, so I guess the decision to change was national. They were advertising a Chocolate Nanaimo McFlurry. It was good this was a temporary item because it was probably too much of a good thing in one place. We got back on the road and headed for Foam Lake, the closest town to Fishing Lake.

The Great Canadian MacFlurry

Road without bend, Amen

Foam Lake is pretty sold on itself:-))

And patriotic, too

Arriving in Foam Lake about 3:00 PM Mountain Time, we stopped at the Co-op Grocery Store to get supplies for the weekend. These all managed to fit into the Equinox with all the other luggage. Then we followed a secondary road north out of town to Fishing Lake. It was Friday and the truck ahead of us was towing a fifth wheel plus a fast looking boat. He proceeded to the south shore while we drove around to the north. After turning off on a dirt road, we got back to pavement at the lake and followed it through the little lakeside community to Jan's house. On the way, we passed Pamela Wallin's place.

Old school

A few sweeping curves


The dirt road

Back on pavement at North Shore Fishing Lake

Jan's family have a history here. Years ago, she and her first husband bought a 3rd Class Canadian National Railway Station (a 3rd class station is the kind that a “typical” small rural town would have) that they were selling and moved it to a lot here. A few years ago, someone down the road was going to demolish a house so she bought it and had it moved down to this end as well. This was where we would be staying for the weekend. When Sandy's mother's house was being prepped for sale two years ago, some of the old furniture they had brought over from England in 1948 was too good to be discarded, so Mal had it packed up and shipped to Fishing Lake. Most of it made it (one relatively new box spring got lost in transit). The unique kitchen furniture graces the yellow house and I am typing on the table now.

The train station

The gazebo next to the house

The house

Sandy's parents old kitchen furniture

After a light supper, Jan and I tried to teach Sandy how to play cribbage. Sandy won but does not like card games as a rule, so we stopped there despite the fact that Jan and I almost got skunked. Then we played a game called A Question of Scruples which not only let one player ask another player ethical questions printed on a series of cards, but also required that the player asking the question predict the answer. I seemed to be good at that. Finally, with some of our internal clocks still on Eastern Time, we turned in early.

During the day, the term acreage came up as "I bought an acreage" or "the house was on an acreage". Our friend Roxy, west of here, uses it and I saw it on a For Sale sign today. I don't recall it being used much back in Northern Ontario. Looking it up..... Acreage seems in use in the west. In Ontario, they refer to rural property and country living.

Today's Route (351 Equinox miles):

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