Posts Tagged With: kayak

Big News! – August 3, 2006

(For those reading this for the first time, you might want to look at “About” before continuing)

Well, I have some little things to tell you and then some BIG NEWS that I’ll leave to later in this note!

Hungarian Puli

Hungarian Puli

We are still scuttling across the country at a pretty fast rate and are now in Saskatchewan! I almost didn’t make it out of Ontario because the Lady needed to stop at a rest stop (and not to rest) and while she was busy the Man befriended a most incredible dog (he thought) called a Hungarian Puli. It was about 3 feet (.9 metre) high and covered with thick black/brown dreadlocks that covered his whole body and hung right to the ground. The Man had arranged a trade for ME and actually had the dog in the car when the Lady came, rescued me and dumped the dog! Whew! It was a chilly hour or two after that but sweet sheep that I am, I forgave him, after all he is only a human being.

The continuation of our return trip can be pretty well summed up in a paragraph.

007-Storm Clouds (03)_watermarked

Storm Clouds

From the remnants of the Canadian Shield with granite and limestone outcroppings, spruce and birch forests down into the flat, flat prairie terrain of Manitoba. Skirting around the northeast corner of Winnipeg to head north through more flat grasslands with fields of golden wheat, electric yellow canola, armies of sunflowers, green alfalfa, combines, balers, swathers and harrowers. Running up the east side of Lake Manitoba, squeezing through The Narrows near Reykjavik (Manitoba, not Iceland) and landing in Ste. Rose du Lac for the night with it’s replica of the Shrine of Lourdes and it’s claim to fame of being the Beef Capital of Manitoba. The next day rolling westward through more farmland but now with hills and groves of birch, poplar and spruce thrown in. Crossing into Saskatchewan near Roblin and on through Yorkton, Foam Lake, Kandahar (Saskatchewan, not Afghanistan), Melfort, Prince Albert, Spiritwood and finally . . . my birthplace Chitek Lake and home of Herman, the Maker of Socks and his Lady of Chitek Lake, Ruth.

Cows

Cows

It was good we finally arrived somewhere because that Man was getting quite nauseating about his new passion – cows. He kept going on and on about how contented and happy they looked. I can’t see what he sees in them myself. We kept having to slow down and gawk at groups of cud chewing beasts huddling around in small groups in the sweltering, muggy heat. The Man stopped to take ANOTHER picture of a cow and while he was doing that I went over to a group to give them some wise blessèd sheep advice. I told them that in hot weather they should stand at least one metre apart, not almost on top of each other, because it would be a lot cooler that way. They just continued standing there, chewing and burping and chewing with blank looks – I don’t think they’re contented, I think they’re oblivious. A bunch of sweaty, fly covered, prickly, over-heated walking leather suitcases.

Chitek Lake Barn

Chitek Lake Barn

We made a very hasty drive to Chitek Lake because the Man made the mistake of letting me hear we were heading that way. Even with a sock in my mouth and being stuffed in the trunk he could hear my baaing with excitement. We arrived yesterday afternoon and THEN IT HAPPENED . . .

The Lady of Chitek Lake knew I was coming so thought it might be nice if I had someone of my own ilk to spend time with while I was here. So . . . she invited Jake to dinner on the night of our arrival.

Jake and Miss Ewe

Jake and Miss Ewe

It was LOVE AT FIRST SIGHT for the both of us (I’m sure he feels the same way). Jake is a fine looking sheep who has just finished his apprenticeship at Shepherd School. You will notice that he is wearing a sheep sheath that kinda looks like a dress (BUT IT’S NOT!). This is because he has just been sheared and he is feeling a little self-conscious. I must say it makes ME feel a little under dressed but it hasn’t interfered with our relationship and I do still have all of my woollies. We have spent the day together and things are developing quickly. Jake feels he would like to see the West Coast so it has been decided that he will come with us. Naturally, I will stay in the back seat and he will stay in the front seat. We don’t know what the future holds but I did tell him the story of the Man’s grandmother who met her future husband at a party, three days later got engaged, one month later got married and immediately sailed to Costa Rica to live. Jake started twitching a bit when he heard that story so I changed the subject and mentioned how I always wanted a hamster farm but needed someone who could shepherd them – that perked him up.

Tomorrow we’re back on the road though we’re not too sure of our route. The Lady and the Lady of Chitek Lake are out playing bingo tonight so we may be penniless by tomorrow and not going anywhere.

Chitek Lake

Chitek Lake

While Jake and I spent time together today the Man and the Lady went kayaking on the lake. It is a very beautiful spot here – lots of forests and small lakes. The community of Chitek Lake is quite small most of the year but the population swells during the summer with lots of cottages and a large campground.

Chitek Lake Sunset

Chitek Lake Sunset

We have been having thunderstorms for the last three or four days, spreading from Saskatchewan through into Manitoba and Ontario. The weather is a little cooler here (apparently there was actually frost a little south of us last night) and we’re glad we missed the sweltering heat that they have been having in Ontario.

Oops . . . Jake seems to be dozing off so I’ll get back to you soon.

Til later,

Miss Ewe

Advertisements
Categories: Cross Canada Road Trip, Saskatchewan | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Yakking Ewfie – July 11, 2006

(For those reading this for the first time, you might want to look at “About” before continuing)

057-Harbour_watermarked

Hi there,

Well, we did a first today – we had our first stay over since visiting with the Man and Lady’s friends in Bragg Creek. We entered Gros Morne Park yesterday afternoon and had a wonderful time exploring. Met a Newfoundland man with his family at a viewpoint and he HAD to tell the Man his moose story. He drives about 37,000 miles (60,000 kilometres) a year with his business and felt he was very moose aware. Two weeks ago he and his wife hit a moose that leaped onto the road. Their SUV was totalled, the engine pushed right into the passenger compartment and the front part of the roof ripped right off. They were bruised, shaken and suffered facial injuries. The Man was impressed and is being a little more cautious in his moose hunt.

About 10 minutes later the Man and Lady saw a wonderful moose specimen on the side of the road. Unfortunately, the moose chose a spot where the Man couldn’t stop which they seem to do on purpose unless they’re flashing their butts. Not long after we pulled into the trailhead for the Western Brook Pond boat tour and met two hikers who told us there were TWO moose just around the curve of the trail.

The Man went tearing down the path and, lo and behold, there WERE two moose about 40 feet (10 metres) away chomping on reeds. The Man managed to get three pretty good photos of apparently girl mooses. He says as soon as he gets a good photo of a boy moose he will take moose off his ‘hunt’ list. He thinks porcupines will be the next goal. We saw lots of dead porcupines in Nova Scotia as they seem to be the bête du jour for road kill there.

We were too late to do the boat trip up Western Brook Pond which is an incredible land-locked fjord but we will do it on our return trip. The Man and Lady have decided to take the ‘Viking Trail’ up the western coast of Newfoundland to see a site the Man has always wanted to see. On the northern tip of Newfoundland is L’Anse aux Meadows. This is where the Vikings landed in the new world 1000 years ago. The settlement has been restored and we hear there is a lot to see and learn. It will mean a 500 mile (800 kilometre) diversion but from what we have seen of Newfoundland so far, it will be well worth it. As our friend Lauri said, Newfoundland is like one great big national park. It is beautiful!

049-Gros Morne (17)_watermarked

047-Gros Morne (15)_watermarked

043-Gros Morne (11)_watermarked

We found a great motel in Cow Head which looks like they just kept adding buildings onto one end as they expanded. You walk down one long corridor through about four doors. We were right near the end on a room about 50 feet (15 metres) from the high tide line. Last night we watched an amazing sunset that lasted more than an hour. The room is very quiet, all we can hear are seagulls and terns on the nearby islands.

We had such a good sleep and because we wanted to do some kayaking, we booked another night. This morning we headed up the coast 13 miles (20 kilometres) to explore the possibility of kayaking in an area called The Arches. The Arches are huge limestone arches sitting on the shoreline that are slowly being eroded by the ocean.

It wasn’t really a good area for kayaking so we headed back to Cow Head where there was a park area called Shallow Bay. It is large with 3 miles (5 kilometres) of sand beaches and sand dunes. Very pretty with a chain of small islands extending across the mouth of the bay creating a huge sheltered lagoon. While tempting, it was too far to portage the kayak so we headed to the actual Cow Head. Cow Head is a high, once upon a time island at the south end of Shallow Bay. It is now connected by a thin corridor and the town harbour and fisheries is located on it.

It was a good spot to put the kayak in and with a 10 minute paddle we were able to reach the small islands. We had a great time with beautiful clear, glassy calm but shallow water to putter in. The islands, which we thought from a distance to be sand turned out to be limestone covered with wildflowers and a coarse green vegetation. There were hundreds of gulls and terns who, by their reaction to us, were protecting their nests and chicks. We were probably a 1/2 mile (kilometre) offshore and had a great view of the mountains running up and down the coastline. Very dramatic and beautiful.

Cow Head

Cow Head

Cow Head used to be the summer camp of Inuit and early settlers where they would hunt seal and fish. As winter moved in they would move onto the ‘mainland’ to winter over there. The two sites are known as Summerside and Winterside. Lots of old, old history here.

So . . . that’s it for tonight – tired legs so I’m going to hit the hay – baaa, baaa, baaa. Heading north tomorrow.

Til later,

Miss Ewe

Categories: Cross Canada Road Trip, Newfoundland | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

New Brunswick/Nova Scotia – June 28, 2006

(For those reading this for the first time, you might want to look at “About” before continuing)

Hi there,

Well, we made it to Nova Scotia after an interesting day yesterday though not quite what we expected.

We left Moncton and headed to Hopewell Cape to the south of Moncton. Hopewell Cape is known for its massive rock formations that are carved out of the coastal cliffs by the strong Fundy Tides and strong storm waves. We were hoping to either hike or kayak around them but arrived at the wrong time for both due to the tides. Unfortunately the fog also drifted in at the same time so we decided to explore elsewhere. We headed further down the coast to Cape Enrage which has a large bay and above it high cliffs and a lighthouse.

Cape Enrage

The bay is sandwiched by high shale cliffs at either end. The shale is layered like sheaves of paper, all very loose and slowly eroding into the bay. As a consequence, years of strong tidal action and waves have polished the beach stone into flat round rocks. Wave action has created a very steep beach at about 30º. On the high side of the beach the rocks are about the size of basketballs though flat. As you progress towards the water the stones get progressively smaller until they are about the size of peas, still flat and round. I had to convince the Lady not to load up her pockets and the car with stones. She thought that they would look great on her path at home!

111-Alma NB (02)_watermarked

Waiting for the Tide

From there we went to an attractive seaside town of Alma and watched the fishermen waiting for the tide to come in so that they could get their boats out of the harbour. Throughout this area the harbours go dry when the tide is out so the boats have to be tied up securely so they won’t tip. The tides will rise and fall 14 metres (45 feet) here, the equivalent of a five storey building, twice a day. It takes 6 hours and 13 minutes for the tide to go out and the same time coming in so a complete cycle takes 12 hours and 25 minutes.

Harvey Bank Park

Harvey Bank Park

After leaving Alma we backtracked a bit to a place called Harvey Bank. Harvey Bank is at the mouth of a one-time river that used to be wide enough to allow wooden ships to go upriver to the town of Riverside-Albert (2 kilometres). In the early 1800’s at the site of Harvey Bank, a Mr. Harvey started a wooden ship building business and built many of Canada’s wooden trading ships. His shipyard was very successful until the advent of steel ships. Acadian farmers were living in the area and they had slowly been building dikes and reclaiming the land from the sea and tide. When the shipyard eventually closed the river was dammed and that dramatically changed the flow of the river, turning it almost creek-like.

127-Donkey_watermarked

Again, throughout this area you can see acres and acres of land that had been reclaimed by the Acadians. The land that still remains as farmland seems marginal and mostly used for grazing. Over the many years, the dikes have deteriorated and the farmlands have reverted back to marshland. Conservation groups like Ducks Unlimited have been working to get these marshlands back to their healthy state in order to become wetland homes for waterfowl.

Nova Scotia House

Nova Scotia House

Old House

Old House

We then made our way back to Sackville, New Brunswick (after a brief period of the Man getting lost in Moncton) and stayed on the edge of the 15 hectare Tantramar/Sackville Marshlands. The town of Sackville was first laid out in 1762-63 and once again the Man and Lady were drooling over the beautiful old buildings. I can tell you, it is NOT pleasant riding in a hot muggy car with 2 drooling humans. They keep trying to use me as a wipe up rag!

Joggins, Nova Scotia

Today we made our way into Nova Scotia. The Man & Lady are planning to stay on the coast as much as possible no matter how small the road. Again the weather wasn’t too cooperative this morning with showers and some fog. The first stop was Joggins. The claim to fame for Joggins is the discovery in 1851 of a very rich fossil bed. The discovery was made by Sir Charles Lyell (a friend of Darwin) and Sir William Dawson, a famous Canadian geologist.

We parked on top of a small bank and walked down about 30 steps to the beach. All along the beach eroded sedimentary cliffs line the shoreline. The strong tides are constantly breaking the rock apart revealing coal seams and fossilized plants and animals. The beach is littered with broken rock which the Man and Lady picked through while I tried eating the seaweed – YUCK. It seems that seaweed, in particular dulse, is a favourite of the locals. You can buy bags of dulse in most stores right along side the potato chips. The Lady tried some and said that although quite salty, she liked it.

The hunt for fossils wasn’t too successful though the Lady may have found a little plant fossil. The two of them seemed to have fun pretending they were archaeologists while I decided that I will definitely stay away from seafood. From there we drove west along Chignecto Bay to Apple River then south to Advocate Harbour for lunch. Advocate is one of the oldest villages in Atlantic Canada being settled by the Acadians who again reclaimed many hectares surrounding the town using dykes.

From there we headed up a very rough, steep dirt road to the top of Cape d’Or which was supposed to have a spectacular view but once again the fog moved in and so the Man took pictures of white fluffy clouds which I liked a lot cause they looked like me. Unfortunately he didn’t keep any of the pictures.

Late this afternoon we arrived in a very picturesque town of Parrsboro which is considered one of the hottest fossil spots in North America. In 1984, Eldon George was seeking shelter under a rock outcropping when he noticed a shallow pool of water. In the bottom he found 28 perfect footprints of the world’s smallest dinosaur. In 1986, a biologist and a geologist discovered more than 100,000 pieces of fossilized bones from various species.

Tonight we had dinner at a restaurant overlooking the harbour. Inside the very large breakwater was all dry with the tide still going out so we may take a look tomorrow afternoon to see how it looks at high tide.

We’re also hoping to go to a provincial park called Five Island Park which is supposed to have some dramatic scenery. Hopefully the fog won’t be a problem!

Til later,

Miss Ewe

Categories: Cross Canada Road Trip, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Yakking in the Fundy – June 25, 2006

(For those reading this for the first time, you might want to look at “About” before continuing)

Moose!?

Moose!?

Well, the Man has been grinning all afternoon like a berserk pumpkin. He finally got a picture of a moose! He’s feeling pretty proud of himself but I must say it wasn’t much of a moose – skinny looking and it didn’t even have any of those antler things but still, it was a moose. Hopefully he’ll be content with it and we won’t have to slow down at every swamp we see.

Today turned out to be great weather. Rain was forecasted but the sun broke through the fog and everything was looking bright. We headed a bit east to the town of St. Martin. As we approached the ocean the fog rolled in and kayaking looked a little iffy. We arrived at a bay where the tides and waves have eroded the red sandstone into sculpted caves. The tide was in so you could only see them from the distance. The Man managed to convince the Lady that the fog wasn’t a problem so we pulled out the kayak, got it blown up (attracting a bit of a crowd) and jumped in. The water was like glass and the caves and the rock formations were incredible. Everything was going well until the Man jokingly mentioned the tidal surge to the Lady. It took some fast talking to convince her that the tide was already up and in its slack time so we weren’t going to be sucked out to sea.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Click on the slide show to see individual photos

The sun soon burned off the fog and the day turned out bright and clear. The Man was all excited to phone his sisters while bobbing around in the Bay of Fundy until I reminded him that we are four hours ahead of BC and they probably wouldn’t appreciate a call at 7:30 on Sunday morning so the Lady phoned her sister and got her out of bed.

 After our paddle we went and had a wonderful bowl of fish chowder (haddock, lobster and scallops) at a small restaurant on the beach. We have been eating lots of fresh seafood lately – well, actually the Man and Lady have, I’ve been eating the garnishes.

Flowerpot Rock

Flowerpot Rock

Melvin Beach

Melvin Beach

After lunch we went on a long hike in the Fundy Trail Parkway. The roadway and trails run 11 kilometres up the coastline with lots of beautiful viewpoints. It was a great day but my hooves are ready to drop off after all that exercise.

109-Sussex Corner (02)_watermarked

Sussex Corner Farm

108-Sussex Corner (01)_watermarked

Near Sussex Corner

We are in Moncton tonight and we are either going to head into Nova Scotia tomorrow or head into another park that we didn’t have time to see today. I’ll let you know what we did.

Til later,

Miss Ewe

Categories: Cross Canada Road Trip, New Brunswick | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Salt Water Daffy – June 24, 2006

(For those reading this for the first time, you might want to look at “About” before continuing)

038-Chance Harbour (03)_watermarked

Near Chance Harbour, NB

Hello everyone –

Another interesting day with one disappointment but lots of good times.

The Man read the Ganong Factory tour times WRONG and we couldn’t take the tour because they aren’t open on Saturdays! Part of the problem is that the Man and Lady are having a lot of trouble actually remembering what day it is which is good for them because it means they are turning more sheep-like but bad for me who WANTED to see the chocolate factory. Oh well, the rest of the day made up for it.

048-Lupines (02)_watermarked

Roadside Lupines

We spent a lot of time exploring and didn’t cover much ground as the crow fly’s but we DID cover a lot of miles/kilometres driving down just about every possible road before us. It was soooo good to smell salt air again, see the tides and hear real seagulls, not those imitation lake gulls.

069-St. Stephen's NB (02)_watermarked

St. Stephen, NB

The day was very rainy but warm so it wasn’t too bad wandering around. We didn’t spend too much time in St. Stephen after the heartbreak of the Ganong factory but headed east instead. The first stop was St. Andrew’s which, like St. Stephen dates back to the Loyalists (the guys who decided they didn’t want to be part of America after the American Revolution and headed for Canada – about 1780). The town has over one hundred buildings close to 200 years old – some very beautiful, others quite plain and unassuming. We spent quite a lot of time there walking the streets and snacking on a wonderful oatmeal biscotti-like biscuit. The Man found an old cannon on display on the waterfront and stuffed me into it. Fortunately it was raining so hard he couldn’t light the fuse. WHEWWW!

Near St. Andrew is the island of St. Croix where Samuel de Champlain tried to set up the first winter settlement in 1604. It had mixed results with many of the men dying of scurvy and cold.

The rest of the day was spent driving down all the little roads following the coast. Some towns were definitely lacking in charm but the scenery was wonderful despite the weather conditions.

066-St. George Mill (02)_watermarked

St. George Mill

The Man and Lady are itching to take me kayaking but it was too rainy and foggy today. We’re hoping that perhaps we can go out tomorrow. One factor is that we are in the Bay of Fundy where in the easternmost point of the Bay the tide can rise and fall 50 feet (15 metres). More than one hundred billion tons of waterpower makes its way up and down the Bay twice a day. The Man and Lady said they will make sure it’s really safe before we set out.

Tonight we are in St. John, New Brunswick, not to be confused with St. John’s, Newfoundland. We probably won’t spend a lot of time here as there are some great sights ahead of us.

By the way, we are now four hours ahead of BC so our stomachs and sleep patterns are a little confused but we seem to be going at our own pace.

Well, that’s it for tonight!

Til later,

Miss Ewe

Categories: Cross Canada Road Trip, New Brunswick | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

A Story from Tobermory – June 16, 2006

Well, it’s been a while –

A lot of oats have been eaten (an Olde Sheepe adage) since I was last in touch. The Man has been up to par, leading us to the only places in the country where there isn’t Internet or cell phone coverage.

 

164-Manitoulin Farm (3)_watermarked

Manitoulin Farm

Despite that, we have been having a great time. We arrived on Manitoulin Island on Tuesday the 13th and ended up spending 2½ days there. The island is beautiful and if it was in BC we would move to it immediately. Manitoulin is the largest fresh water island in the world – 140 kilometres long and 42 kilometres wide. We managed to drive over 600 kilometres on it – exploring parks and old 1800’s lighthouses. The island was once connected to Bruce Peninsula to the south and is the end of the Niagara Escarpment. 800 kilometres southeast at the other end is Niagara Falls.

The island is very rugged, made up of limestone, white quartzite and granite. Around the coastline the limestone lies in sheets like an old parking lot. Wherever there are cracks, junipers and wildflowers are in profusion – wild iris, lady slipper orchids (and 19 other varieties of orchids), columbine, daisies, lupines, tiger lilies, wild grapes, Black-eyed Susan, wild rose, lilac, wild onion, trillium, Solomon’s Seal and on and on. It makes my mouth water just writing about it.

Because of the limestone and large field rock the farming on the coast is marginal, mainly cattle and blessèd sheep (obviously a civilized bunch of humans living here). In the interior of the island there is better and deeper soil and the farms are much larger producing mainly hay. By looking at the buildings and fencing you can easily tell that this is a much older settlement than BC.

 

111-Meldrum Bay Inn (2)_watermarked

Meldrum Bay Inn

The first day we drove to the end of the island to a town called Meldrum Bay (one inn, one closed store, one closed museum but the laundromat was open – whew). We stayed at the 103 year old inn there and were the only guests. Actually, the Man and the Lady stayed in the inn, I had to sleep in the car because they had a ‘No Sheep’ policy. It wasn’t too bad though because I looked right out into the North Channel of Lake Huron. During the night I managed to see a beaver, some river otters and some rabbits so there was lots of company. The hosts at the inn were an interesting couple and very friendly as are all the people we have met. It turns out the hostess has a young grandson in Sechelt and she used to live in Vancouver (though originally she was from South Africa).

The next morning we drove to an old lighthouse and had a tour of it. I got a bit of a scare as there is a large limestone quarry near the lighthouse and while we were staring at the view there was a HUGE explosion. Nearly scared me out of my woollies and my hair stood on end. The Lady had to give me a perm the next day to get me curly again.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.


After that we went on a LOOONG, hot hike into Misery Bay. As with most of the shoreline, the limestone goes right into the lake. Some is very rugged and carved by the waves, some flat and smooth. It causes the very clear, clean water to turn incredible shades of blues, greens, and browns – something the Man takes endless photos of. That night we stayed in Mindemoya.

 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.


Yesterday we did a bit more exploring – my perm almost failed me when another large, black bear ran across the road, too fast for the Man’s shutter finger. We drove to South Baymouth and caught the 3:30 ferry to Tobermory on the north end of Bruce Peninsula.

 

South Baymouth

South Baymouth

Tobermory

Tobermory

The ferry is a little smaller than our BC ferries but quite a bit nicer. The trip takes one hour and 45 minutes through the beautiful blue waters of Lake Huron. Bruce Peninsula is an 80 kilometre long limestone outcrop that juts out into Lake Huron. On one side is Lake Huron and on the other is Georgian Bay. On the lake side are large, white sandy beaches with warm water and on the bay side are the high, rugged limestone cliffs with cold water.

This morning we went for another long hike in the Bruce Peninsula National Park which is an UNESCO world biosphere area. Lots of rare plants and protected animals like YIKES rattlesnakes – that and the poison ivy stopped me from romping through the bushes! The hike we went on was quite rugged in places, crawling over broken limestone on the top of high cliffs but the view and landscape was incredible! And the colours!

 


We have been jinxed as far as kayaking on the Great Lakes due to wind but we think we have scoped out a good place for tomorrow. We are staying another night in Tobermory and then we’ll head south tomorrow. Not too sure how far we’ll get cause the Man and the Lady keep finding great places they want to explore.

So . . . we’ll be it touch IF we can find an Internet connection.

Til later,

Miss Ewe

Categories: Cross Canada Road Trip, Ontario | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Marathon Sleeping – June 10, 2006

065-Seagull_watermarked

Hi all…

We’re in Marathon, Ontario tonight after a beautiful day of travelling. Actually we’re on the outskirts of Marathon as Marathon is a pulp mill town and downtown has a bit to be desired. We’re staying in a very nice motel just off Highway 17 (southern route of the Trans Canada).

The Man’s sister asked in an email how it is travelling on the Trans Canada. It has all been great except yesterday when the Man’s driving was very embarrassing to me – in fact I had to pull the wool over my eyes. Around Thunder Bay the traffic increased a lot. Many semis and fast driving cars. The Man has decided that he is definitely a tourist so drives like one. His theory is that he will drive the speed limit and he will pull over when either the cars behind him start honking OR he accumulates more than fifty cars–whichever comes first! I spend a lot of the time on the floor.

050-Highway_watermarked

Trans Canada Highway

Today was more typical of most days. I think we had perhaps fifteen cars come up behind us the whole day. The road is very quiet and a pleasure to drive. There are lots of areas to pull over and enjoy the view or just let other cars pass. The views have been incredible with Lake Superior glowing in all sorts of shades of blues looking almost tropical against the bright green of the deciduous forest and the dark green spruce.

We popped into the small town of Rossport which used to be a huge fishing port until the fish were all fished away. Lake Superior is the largest of the Great Lakes, in fact all the other Great Lakes could fit into it. It’s about 530 kilometres wide and 260 kilometres long. Waves over 9 metres (30 feet) high have been recorded on it. It looks like the ocean and there are places that you can look across to the horizon and see no land. Despite it’s size, there are winters when the entire lake will freeze. Towns along this route are about one hour apart with just forest and lakes and great rock (much of it very red).

053-Rossport (4)_watermarked

Rossport, Ontario

In Rossport, the Lady found a store she wanted to visit. Fortunately there was a sign on the door saying that there was a husband ‘waiting bench’ and a viewpoint behind the store so both the Man and Lady were happy.

057-Rainbow Falls (4)_watermarked

Rainbow Falls

We were also able to go on a beautiful hike up to Rainbow Falls just past Rossport. The rainbow wasn’t found in the actual waterfall but in the rocks and vegetation along the river. Lots of pink and gray granite, wildflowers and different colours of lichens.

We saw one squirrel, lots of mosquitoes, one live moose from a viewpoint about a mile away and one moose road kill.  It looked like that moose did a job on whatever hit him – lots of car parts on the road.

Tomorrow we continue south towards Sault Ste. Marie. We’re hoping to get a kayak in but today was apparently unusually windy so perhaps tomorrow.

 

Til the next time,

Miss Ewe

Categories: Cross Canada Road Trip, Ontario | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

More Easter Than Yesterday – June 6, 2006

Hi again,

Well . . . today started out badly with the Man moping about, feeling lower than a snake’s hip because there was no thunderstorm.  He grumbled through breakfast and then came up with the bright idea that we need an adventure to cheer us up.  Without any research he decided that we needed to ascend to the very top of Turtle Mountain to the south of us.

After telling us to unpack all our winter clothes and find some safety blankets, he ran off to the hardware store to find some mini oxygen canisters in case the going got rough.  The Lady and I were getting a little nervous about the whole project.  Finally everything was packed and we headed to the base of the mountain.  Twenty minutes later we had ascended 807 feet (245 meters) to the very summit and we were feeling really warm in the 23º C weather wearing our winter clothes.  Fortunately there was a lake on top but unfortunately it was a little too windy to go kayaking.  We decided to carry on east.  I found the 807 foot (245 meter) descent thrilling, sticking my head out the car window and allowing the wind to rush through my curls.

 

 

We thought we were well on our way until we approached Killarney, Manitoba.  Wouldn’t you know the Man would somehow spot a sewage reclamation project – now wetlands sanctuary.  You should know that during the Man’s early teen years he used to have an unusual attraction to the West Vancouver sewer plant.  Many weekends were spent touring the fetid pools of scum.  To say the least, the Lady and I were not very excited about walking around the Killarney ponds.  The problem with hooves is you can’t hold onto car seats very well and all three of us started on our walk.  It turned out to be very impressive with three ponds interconnected with streams.  The water is clean and the shoreline is covered with terns, wading birds, swifts and red winged blackbirds.

There was evidence of beaver, deer and turtles.  We spent almost an hour walking around and the Lady and I were pleasantly surprised.  Perhaps the Man does know something we don’t know.

 

We continued east and stopped for lunch in La Riviere, situated in a lovely elm-filled valley beside the Pembina River.  The countryside did a gradual transition from rolling hills to what can only be described as FLAT.  The powers that be try to trick you into thinking it isn’t FLAT by giving the towns names like Pleasant Valley or Red Bluff.  I looked very hard but it still looked FLAT.  It is still beautiful though with the very blue sky and everything very green.

This area is wheat country and planting had been done sometime in May so the seedlings are at various stages of growth.  Those fields not planted have been plowed and harrowed so the whole effect is a patchwork of colour.

15-Cartwright Health

Cartwright Health Centre & Liquor Vendor

 

We’re feeling thankful that we came through at this time of year and that we came on this particular route.  Every mile seems to come up with a new surprise.  We are in Steinbach, Manitoba tonight and tomorrow we’ll be in Ontario!

Til later,

Miss Ewe

Categories: Cross Canada Road Trip, Manitoba | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Musing in Manitoba – June 5, 2006

Hi there – a new province and a new time zone – two hours ahead of BC!

Last night after I sent my email from Assiniboia the Lady got a phone call from their friend Glen who lives in Ladner, BC with his wife Shirlee.  Glen had just received my email and had to phone and tell the Lady that Shirlee had just arrived in Assiniboia to visit with her mother.  This morning the Lady and Man went to the care facility where Shirlee’s mom is living and there was Shirlee standing at the main desk.  Quite a surprise for her!

After a bit of a visit we headed southeast to the Big Muddy Badlands. The weather was a bit cloudy today but warm, 23º C.  The radio was giving out severe thunderstorm warnings for the afternoon and evening which made the Lady and I nervous but guess who was chomping at the bit to be in the middle of it all.  He is definitely wired differently!

43-Towards Big Muddy

44-Towards Big Muddy

The Badlands turned out to be a little smaller than the Man thought but still, while they lasted, worth the drive.  The surrounding landscape is a series of high, eroded sandstone mesas and buttes with lush, green rangeland (yum, yum) running between them.  The area has a strong history being the onetime hideout for the Butch Cassidy Gang and the refuge that Sitting Bull and his followers fled to after defeating Custer.  The Man did MISS ONE TURN-OFF which may be the reason the tour was less than expected.

 

 

 

45-Towards Big Muddy

 

49-Antelope

Antelope

We continued travelling east through a real mix of countryside, all of it beautiful.  After the Badlands there were rolling hills and again large ranches of grazing land.  Lots of green grasses, wild sage and wildflowers.  Later in the day the rolling hills continued but now covered with groves of elm and cottonwood trees.  We crossed the border into Manitoba and noticed quite a change in the appearance of the towns and ranches (and roads!) that we saw.  Seems like there is more concern for outward appearances here.  

 

51-Last Stand

Last Stand

 

We are now staying in the small town of Boissevain.  Tomorrow we may go explore Turtle Mountain to the south of us and perhaps go kayaking again!  I’ll let you know how it goes – guess I’ll need to find a large patch of grass to munch before jumping in the kayak.

Til later,

Miss Ewe

p.s.

Safety First

A Miss Ewe Safety Tip for the Kids:

I recently received an email from some of the Man and Lady’s grandkids expressing concern that though the Lady was wearing a life jacket in the kayaking photo, I wasn’t.  There is a reason for this.  As you may have noticed, I am kind of small and finding clothes and lifejackets can be a real problem for me (other than my socks and woollies).  So . . . we herbivores (eaters of grass and shrubs) have a little trick we use when boating.  If we eat lots and lots of grass quickly we fill up with gas and get what is called Bloat.  As I mentioned in my note, just before we went kayaking I had been sampling all the new grasses up in the Cypress Hills and I had worked up a good bloat.  The Man said I looked more inflated than the kayak and if I fell in the water I’d look like a fuzzy iceberg. I  knew I was unsinkable and in perfect condition for my kayak ride.  But remember, this trick only works for herbivores (and some vegetarians) so you humans ALWAYS need to wear a life jacket!

 

Categories: Cross Canada Road Trip, Manitoba, Saskatchewan | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Cypress Hills – June 2, 2006

Well, the Man was thrilled to bits last night because he got to stay in an almost sleazy motel which is his idea of a fun time!  The supposed high speed Internet was no speed so I wasn’t able to tell you about another great day.

63-Cypress Hills (1)

We headed south from Fort McLeod into the Cypress Hills Interprovincial Park.  This is an incredibly beautiful place to visit.  The Cypress Hills are a flat topped 2,500 kilometre square plateau straddling the Alberta/Saskatchewan border.  It rises 4875 feet (1,486 meters) above the surrounding plains making it the highest piece of land from the Rockies to Labrador.  10,000 years ago, during the last Ice Age, the Cypress Hills was an island rising above the sheet of ice below covering all the surrounding landscape.  It is covered with lodge pole pines, cypress, wild flowers, marshes and beautiful lakes.  Wildlife includes the dreaded coyote, elk, antelope, cougar and pelican (we only saw one antelope, one pelican and two coyotes but plenty of cows).  Lots of evidence of glacial action with interesting rock formations and erratic rocks left behind when the glaciers melted. 

Cypress Hills is also the site of the Cypress Hills Massacre in 1873 that left 30 Lakota Indians and one white man dead as a result of tensions between the Indians and white traders who were illegally selling liquor to them.  The Canadian government felt a police presence was needed and the North West Mounted Police was formed.  A fort was built at Fort Walsh in the Cypress Hills and things eventually settled down.

 

The Man and Lady thought it would be a good place to kayak which concerned me a bit cause I had never done it before and I had a full stomach and no Gravol.  The Man pulled the inflatable kayak out of the car after rearranging EVERYTHING and actually had it set up in about fifteen minutes!  I jumped on the bow and thought I made quite a beautiful figurehead.

 

59-Miss Ewe Kayaking

The Figurehead

 

The lake we paddled is called Reesor Lake and did indeed have one pelican.  We spent two hours going from one end to the other and it was great.

After we packed up we continued on our way through the park on a road that turned to gravel.  We actually crossed into Saskatchewan on a dirt road that was barely two cars wide.

 

75-Grouse

As it was getting late we headed into Maple Creek, Saskatchewan and drove around the town thirty two times contemplating two dingy hotels and three dingier motels.  We finally settled on the Cypress Hills Lodge run by one of the Twisted sisters.  It didn’t look great on the outside but it wasn’t too bad on the inside.  Went to the Chinese restaurant for dinner which again looked not so nice outside but was spotless inside and a very good dinner.

Back to the motel and to sounds of one of our neighbours who sounded like she was in the last stages of consumption.  Fortunately she left her bathroom fan on all night so that we didn’t have to listen to her too much because we could barely hear each other over the noise.  Managed to get some sleep.  The Man and Lady kept pulling out great tufts of wool from my beautiful coat to stuff in their ears.

This morning we went to the other Twisted sister’s cafe for breakfast (a package deal) located in the Continental Hotel located beside the train tracks. Once again, exterior dinginess but the interior was incredible (a pattern here I think).  The hotel was very nicely restored to its 1880’s condition.  The Lady had spotted a Salvation Army Thrift Shop the night before (I think she can smell them in the air) so she went there while the Man and I sweltered in the car.  The temperature for the last three days has been close to 30 degrees Celsius (which is hot in Fahrenheit).  Not so glad about my woollies now. The Lady came back empty handed (whew) and we then went to the Heritage Centre which is in an old two storied brick schoolhouse with twelve classrooms made into twelve themed displays – parlour, train station, school room, etc.  It was there that the Man remembered that this was where his great-grandfather arrived in 1883 on his way to Calgary.  Maple Creek was the end of the line for the railroad and he had to take a wagon up to Calgary to start his medical practice.  He probably stayed at the Continental Hotel.

We drove around town three more times trying to find the way out and then headed northeast. We’re now in Swift Current and I’m very excited because we’re meeting up with the Man and Lady’s friends, Ruth and Herman, the Maker of Socks, who are driving down from up north.  It is Herman who I think made my yellow socks and I’m hoping for another pair!  We’ll spend some time together and then we are going to keep on a southerly route through some badlands and Grasslands National Park.

42-Jet & Sun Dog

 

Til later,

Miss Ewe

Categories: Alberta, Cross Canada Road Trip, Saskatchewan | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Blog at WordPress.com.