amw (amw) wrote,

manitoba s-bend picture post

Manitoba was an interesting province for me to travel through, because it started with me trying to get to a town with a bike shop as quickly as possible to get my wheel replaced, and ended with me trying to get to a city with an airport so i could fly south as soon as the Biden administration inevitably announced that they still wouldn't open the land border on September 21. That meant i was rushing it a little bit, although to be honest - unlike BC, Alberta and Saskatchewan - there was actually nothing i was interested in seeing in Manitoba in the first place, so every nice spot i encountered was a pleasant surprise.

In the spirit of my Manitoba experience, the opening photo is from the Trans Canada Highway. This is a rare quiet section, and obviously not the 25km i rode through that was under construction. It has a really nice, wide shoulder and even a frontage road along some of it. The traffic moves very quickly, but i wanted to move quickly too, so i just put my head down and rode like the wind for 3-4 hours.

Here is one of my favorite things in Brandon. The symbol of Manitoba is the buffalo, or (more correctly) the plains bison. It appears on lots of stuff in Manitoba, even though i don't think there are any wild buffalo left in the province. These lamp posts all have little bison the top, which made me smile.

Also in Brandon, i found this abandoned Chinese garden. It took me right back to living in China and thinking about all the older folks who would normally be sitting along those seats, with their shoes off, smoking cigarettes, listening to music, or drinking tea. "I miss u mom" too!

One more shot of Brandon, at my motel.

Taking a break on the road to Turtle Mountain.

I had lots and lots of photos of Turtle Mountain and the International Peace Garden which all looked very similar - autumn trees, blue lakes, big sky. I like this one the best, from a picnic area along the Peace Garden nature trail.

America on the left, Canada on the right.

Not all roads that i encountered in Manitoba looked like this, but a lot of Manitoba smelled like this.

I'm not sure why i'm including this one, i just like it. It's just a picture of a marshy depression/coulee/creek in between the fields.

It's still the prairies, so i have to give you one more road that disappears off into the distance.

I encountered a lot of stupid "road closed" signs in Manitoba. This one is at Portage la Prairie, blocking people from crossing a very short dam that does flood control for the Assiniboine River. The road around the other way is a several kilometer detour, so i just lifted my bike across the barrier and walked across. I am sure that locals do that too.

Here is an epic bit of marshland around Delta Beach. If you look very closely in the top left, you can see some water - that's Lake Manitoba.

I am smiling and happy and being bitten to death by mosquitoes and black flies. Where do you think i am?

Yes, it's Lake Manitoba, home to the best sunset i have seen on my trip so far. Check out all the birds paddling in the shallows! I'm not sure my phone camera captured just how turquoise that distant water was, reflecting the sky. It was magical.

These last two pictures should be viewed side-by-side. It's a mural in Selkirk about the Indian residential school program, where for over a century indigenous children were taken from their homes and families into church-run boarding schools where the kids were not allowed to speak their own language or practice their cultural traditions. Many were abused, and many died. I think the story here is about survival and rebirth and rediscovering pride in their heritage.

So there's a bunch of Manitoba for ya. It turned out to be a pretty nice place. I will make a special picture post with the short Selkirk to Winnipeg run and my subsequent ramble around the city. Perhaps i will do it from the airport tomorrow.

My bike is packed. My COVID test came back negative. I bought a cheap sports bag to stuff all my camping gear in, since i obviously can't strap it to the bike. I have an airport hotel booked in Minneapolis, and a bike store lined up to reassemble my bike in St Paul. My tofu bao burger and kim chi poutine just arrived, so it's time to eat. Leaving Winnipeg tomorrow at 7:30am.
Tags: canada fuck yeah, travel

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