Wednesday, August 12, 2009


Before saying good-bye to Ontario we had one more pit stop; the Terry Fox Memorial on the highway just east of Thunder Bay.  As part of our exercise regime we ran 20 kms. near Agawa Bay on the Trans Canada, the same route Terry would have followed. The site proved to be an emotional experience when considering what a 20 year old set out to accomplish and the pains he endured before finally relinquishing his dream.

Finally Manitoba Mosquito Capital of Canada! Our first stop was Lower Fort Garry where we visited the former Hudson Bay Company site.  The interpretive tour was most informative and staff were well educated on all topics. The contrast between lifestyles of the senior HBC managers and common workers was very evident. Furs of all types of animals were viewed in the fur lofts and I could only think what value was contained in the three storey building.

Time to push on to Winnipeg Beach and Gimli for a few days of exploring. Biking was relaxing in this sleepy town. As for Gimli, we searched for the site of the Gimli Glider; the famous Air Canada plane that ran out of gas due to technical measurements from imperial to metric. The experienced pilot managed to successfully land his aircraft with no fatalities. We thought of our friend, Susan J., who was an AC attendant on that flight and what her memories of Gimli must be like. The little town of Gimli also offered a visit to the Icelandic Museum which demonstrated clearly the strength of the early Icelandic settlers to Canada. Hardships for those that survived but 1/3 of those that left their homeland did not survive the first winter due to small pox.

Time for more pampering...and a visit with family. Cousin Terry and Laurel opened their home in Winnipeg to us and provided great hospitality. It was good to rekindle memories and meet new members of their family; Joshua and Kristian. There was also a bonus in that Aunt Viola was visiting from Ottawa and we got hugs as well as samples of her yummy cooking. Then time to explore a little of Winnipeg. We walked around the Forks which is at the confluence of the Assiniboine and Red River and wandered into the French Quarter to view the grave of Louis Riel and statues of early Selkirk settlers. One could not travel through Winnipeg without paying a visit to the Canadian Mint. It was one thing to hold a bar of gold valued over $450,000. but it was quite interesting to learn that Canada makes currency for approximately 80 countries. As one can imagine security was tight but even tighter for employees.

The wheels were ready to turn again. We said our good-byes with promises of reunions in future.

Our next stop was Spirit Sands - sand dunes in Spruce Hills Provincial Park. We had just enough time to hike the dunes before pushing on to the International Peace Gardens for a few days. 

This Park was one of the most magical places we have visited. Situated on the border between Boissevain, Manitoba and Dunseith, North Dakota it was Henry Moore's 

dream to create a place that represented the peaceful coexistece of two nations; the United States of America and Canada. Visit their site to get a better idea of the layout and the many memorials as well as the tranquility this place offers.

I'm thinking this trip is about rekindling old relationships? Don managed to contact an old friend from elementary school in Mt. Pearl who he also shared high school, university and medical school with. Barry and Janet were delightful and we laughed over stories past and present. They have been in Brandon for over 20 years and like most it was supposed to be a career move for a few years. Life becomes comfortable and time slips by.

Again it was time to move on.

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