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June 24, 25, 26 - Turtle Mountain, Peace Garden

turtles, dragonflies, rain and wind, hiking in Turtle Mountain Prov. Park, International Peace Garden

sunny 25 °C

A photo, with the giant car, in Steinbach, to start this blog:


June 24:

We awoke to a cold, wet morning, after a decent night's stay in the Walmart parking lot in Steinbach, Manitoba. The store is OK with people staying there, but the manager did say that Steinbach has a city ordinance against this practice. There were no signs posted anywhere we could see so we just went for it. In the morning there was a second trailer in the lot as well. Very quiet.

At some point the previous day, Jenny had misplaced her keys to the trailer and we were going to have to backtrack our stops from the previous day to see if she had left them. We went to Coffee Culture, in down town Steinbach for coffee and internet time while we waited for businesses to open so we could check to see if she had left her keys there...Staples, Walmart, the Library, the Liquor Store. They all opened between 8 and 10 am, and as they did, we checked, and nope, no keys. We searched the car, and the trailer to no avail.

While at the coffee shop, we plugged our old GPS into the computer and hooked it up with Tom-Tom. Sure enough, it came back to life. So, now we have another quandry. Do we return the Garmin we just purchased, or do we keep two GPS. As for me, I am pretty fed up with our Tom-Tom. It can be clunky and awkward for route planning, and has tended to drop routes from time to time when we stop for a break and turn it off. When we turn it back on it might not have the route we originally planned, or it may just be so dim that we cannot see the display and have to unplug and re-plug to get it to come back on.

Our call is to keep the Garmin and give it a try and turn the Tom-Tom into a backup.

The Garmin we purchased at Staples in Steinbach; we have to pick up down the road in Winkler. It is after 10 am when we depart Steinbach, into a 50 kph west wind and persistent drizzle. The strong wind buffets us the whole way to Winkler. It is good to have anti-sway on the trailer today. We get the Garmin in Winkler, fire it up and on we head to our destination for the day, Turtle Mountain Provincial Park, down in the far south west corner of Manitoba. We plan to camp there for 3 days before heading on to Saskatchewan. Hiking, as well as the International Peace Garden, on the border between Canada and the US as on the agenda here.

We stop for food supplies in Morden, and gas in Killarney. Near Killarney we saw our first batch of white pelicans on the final leg of today's journey. The come up to the lakes in this area to nest each year. We will have pelican photos eventually, but not from this encounter. They are pretty close in size to swans and love to ride the wind above the lakes, wings spread to catch the breeze as they coast along in large groups.

It rains and the wind blows right up to our arrival at the Adam Lake Campground. The weather begins to improve as we set up camp and the skies clear in the evening.



The strong wind played havoc with our gas mileage. We averaged 21 L/100 k on this leg, a dismal 11 miles per gallon. We used a full tank of gas in just 325 kilometers.

We bought 8 different beers at the Liquor Store in Steinbach, and they provide folding cardboard cases in which to load them when you pick them off the shelves. As we load them into the fridge, we find Jenny's keys in one of the compartments of the case. Yay!!

June 25:

Another cold morning. It is hard to believe it is summer in Canada. This morning it was just 7 degrees Celcius (about 46 F), but at least sunny. We spent the morning getting things organized for a three day stay. We need to get laundry done again. It seems 5 or 6 days is about how long we can go without having to wash some clothes. The camp ground does not have laundry, so we plan on finding a laundromat in the closest town, Boissevain, later in the day.

But first, we plan to visit the International Peace Garden on the 49th parallel. Founded in 1932 this botantical garden is a symbol of Canada and the US commitment to peace. The park straddles the border and the park is split between the two countries, and we stroll back and forth across the border. We imagine this must cause some difficulties with security in these modern times. We spent a lovely 3 hours walking through the park. On the way out we had to go through Canadian Customs, even though we had not passed through US Customs on the way into the park. Strange.

The garden has a 9/11 display, with pieces of the twin towers.


This saying from the chapel, which was built in 1970, when taken in context with the times we live in, indicates we have not come very far in fulfilling any sort of commitment to peace in the world.



There is a huge display of cactus in the visitor centre:


The gardens are just coming into full bloom.


This is a lovely peaceful place to visit, with Americans and Canadians strolling about the 2400 acres of shared garden. A must-see if you are in this region.



Boissevain is a cute little prairie town, with three grain elevators, and Tommy the Turtle. The laundromat was just fine, and we got back to our camp site around 6 pm, after a long day of walking and doing laundry.


June 26:

Another cold morning, down to just 4 C (40 F). The weather report promises sunny and warm today, so hiking around Adam Lake is on our agenda. Today will also be a car free day, only our second day we have not driven anywhere since we started on this journey.

Well, we hiked, and hiked. We did the full loop around Adam Lake, about 12 kilometers (7 miles) in 3 1/2 hours. Lovely trail, a bit wet in places, but plenty to see. Turtles, frogs, toads, garter snakes, and lots of evidence of moose, deer and elk, but no actual sightings. A full sunny day, with afternoon temperatures in the mid 20's and we feel like summer has arrived for us.


This was our most ambitious hike since leaving home 26 days ago and it sure felt good to get in a long one.

We saw absolutely no mosquitoes on this hike, but did get three ticks on our clothes during the hike. When we got back to our camp site, we did a thorough tick check, cause these little guys can hang on like crazy. None found, so we are pleased to have dodged that bullet. The tick chances lessen as we head into Saskatchewan.


The reason there are no mosquitoes is because of the dragon flies. There must be millions of them here, devouring any mosquito that dares to reveal itself. Three complete nights where we have not needed to use Deet bug spray at all.




We were sitting around relaxing, after our long hike, having a beer, when Jenny noticed she had tick on her. We scrambled to get it off and it fell somewhere. We could not find the damn thing, swept the entire trailer, took all our loose clothing back outside and checked them again. Argh, where is the damn thing. Finally Jenny found it back on her arm. We ceremoniously took it out to the Coleman stove where it fried on the burner. Ticks are hard to kill, they must be crushed or burned.

A lovely camp fire ended our day and our stay at Turtle Mountain. This is a great place to visit. Lastly, a photo of TaJ, with Tommy the Turtle, from the town of Boissevain:


We'll post this blog entry on our departure, at the library in Boissevain. On to Saskatchewan tomorrow, in the Big Muddy valley.

Posted by Rooseboom-Scott 07:35 Archived in Canada Tagged gardens turtles

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Or drowned, with a beagle that keeps escaping into the woods with her ears hanging down, I have a jar full

by Pauline

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