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Canada

Cypress Hills Interprovincial Parks


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After leaving Cedar Creek we filled up our pantry again in Regina and I have checked that we can nicely park on 7 normal parking spots if needed. The next 370 km was flat and wide. Views of the prairy made us feel like standing still on the highway.

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As we got closer and closer the landscape started to change, hills and forests appeared out of nowhere. We arrived around 6pm to the entrance of the park and were greeted by a cheerful lady. Cypress Hills Interprovincial Parks (CHIP) is located on the border of Saskachewan and Alberta and it was the first interprovincial park in Canada founded in 1951. The Cypress Hills Forest Reserve comprising 18 sections (18 square miles) was established in 1906. History includes a bloody battle which took place when a group of American wolf hunters lost some horses and attacked a nearby camp of Assiniboine in 1873. Afterwards, from 1876 to 1882 Sitting Bull and 3,000-5,000 Lakota Sioux took refuge at Wood Mountain after defeating the U.S Army led by Colonel George Custer in the battle of the Little Big Horn. War was prevented and good relations established by James Walsh of the North West Mounted Police (NWMP).

These days the huge park is much more peaceful and offers something to everyone. Wetlands and lakes for fishing and canoeing, forest trails for biking and hiking and plains for horseraiding or just staring into the distance. We booked one of the newly buildt areas and the facilities are very nice. Sites are fairly large with a fire pit (what we did not use due to the fire ban at the moment). There is quite a big distance between sites so it does not feel crowded at all. It is more crowded in the central area where you can play minigolf, grab a pizza for 35-40 dollars or even buy gas and basic supplies at a small shop or enjoy the pool (indoor as well).

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We enjoyed hiking in the shady forest as temperature rose quickly to real hot summer ranges (28-30 in celsius).
We have spotted many squirrels.

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The best and bravest 3 of our family went for a horseriding tour on trails while I was babysitting and petsitting.

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After the horseriding the pool was the perfect place to be at and we enjoyed the late evening view of the park.

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The next morning we first visited the lookout point at 1240m. I was thinking that we are at about 4-500 meters above sea level but we were actually higher than the highest peak of Hungary! The view of the endless prairy was breathtaking and the poor photos made by my phone can not tell the full story of 100km visibility.

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Later the morning we hiked on the Lynx trail and we have seen several half chrewed deer legs hung on trees as clear evidence of the carnivores in the area.

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On a more peaceful note we also picked and ate a lot of wild blueberrries. Yummie!
Then we played minigolf with the two larger kid. After we have stopped at a golf club they fell in love with the game and my son even hit the "free game" jackpot hole at the last attempt. My girl played very well too, hitting her first birdie!

Posted by divatmotoros 04:00 Archived in Canada Comments (0)

Cedar Creek Gardens


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After another longer distance driving on the flat lands of middle Canada we arrived to another "Boondockers Welcome" location near Regina, Saskatchewan. Regina is the capital city of the Canadian province of Saskatchewan. The city is the second-largest in the province, after Saskatoon, and is a commercial centre for southern Saskatchewan. Regina had a city population of about 215,000.

We have stopped at Cedar Creek Gardens just outside of the city. The kids favourite was the petting zoo of goats, pigs and ponies.

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I was thinking to change our trailer to one these vintage models but finally I decided to keep the slideout version.

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There is a lot of development going on at Cedar Creek Garden, the owners are adding new features including minigolf and the two dinosaurs promise a Jurassic themed maze in the near future.

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It fits well with the barred tiger salamander who frightened me in the evening when I was about to feed Echo. When I moved his water bowl this thing moved next to it. I did not notice it just when it started to run. Then several other came on the wet ground so I took a photo of it. We keep learning new species by using the "Seek" app which tells the species based on a photo.

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Good place to stop on your way East-West. We are now going on, already excited to spend the next 3 days at Cypress Hills Interprovincial Park.

Posted by divatmotoros 01:00 Archived in Canada Comments (0)

Goodwill Farm and Souris


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The long, straight roads of Manitoba are almost endless and the horizon is really stretched out. Quite an unique experience. I really like the messages of the gps in the morning: "After 330 km turn left." Long driving days and we have to be careful with fuel as there are long stretches without filling stations. To reach our stopover for tonight we had to drive on an unpaved road for several miles. Locals do 60-70 km/hour without a blink of their eye and the dry dust after the fast cars looks like the movie Mad Max.

After arriving to Goodwill Farm

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we visited the nearby small town of Souris. There is the longest (walk) suspension bridge of Canada (remember, USA and Canada likes the BIGGEST, LONGEST, LARGEST...) The bridge was rebuilt several times and the remains of the old bridge was preserved. Even the wider, new bridge was swinging a lot, I imagine the old one, must have been a frightening walk across the river.

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We also found out that the Souris-Glenwood Outdoor Pool & Waterpark is open for public swimming from 19:00-21:00 so we closed the day with some wet sliding fun.

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The next morning we had a good chat with the owner, Mr Joe Goodwill about the farm. Very kind couple with Lynn, good meeting them and learning about their farm. He kindly showed the technicals of raising cattle. Abel, our son was vere much interested in the locking systems to keep cows in place why helping them with their calves. He also let to feed the horses by the kids. Great memories for sure.

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Posted by divatmotoros 04:00 Archived in Canada Comments (0)

Winnipeg


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After our rest at Aaron Provincial Park we stayed for another resting day at a KOA West of Winnipeg. By now we already left Ontario, the home of thousand lakes (including the Great Lakes) and reached Manitoba which is flat and provides corn, potatoe, grain and livestock to feed Canada.
We also stopped at a landmark at the Center of Canada which is at 96° 48' 36" longitude west.

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In the afternoon I took the two larger kid into the Children's Museum and they had a blast there. It is more like a big indoor playground including a real train, an excavator kids can operate and some other fun activities including a wet corner with miniature dams and whirlpools. Their favourite was another corner teaching them how milk is produced and it was fun with an air blowed pipe system and many small balls. They can turn switches to change the course of the balls in the pipes, they can fly either to the huge milk bottle or just fall out of the ceiling. It was a fun afternoon for sure.

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Posted by divatmotoros 03:42 Archived in Canada Comments (0)

Aaron Provincial Park


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Provincial Parks are our favourite campsites. They have the basic utilities (electricity and water, sometimes even sewer) and they still almost feel like boondocking alone in a forest. Large, shaded spots further away from each othen than spots in a KOA or private camping. So we were looking forward to get into a park again after long days on the road. So we booked two nights i n Aaron Provincial Park to have a relaxing day after our arrival.

Enroute to the park we were still in Ontario but crossed a time zone and entered the Central Standard Time zone. We have also seen an old airplane at a fuek stop just a bit before the timezone change.

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The Aaron park is next to the TransCanadian Highway still feels like in a forest. There is a nice lake in it and some hike paths as well, and a dam. At the registration we were warned that there are bears in the area so we should lock all food away and be careful in general.

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We went for a short walk in the evening and the next day we explored the hiking paths in the morning. I have seen an otter swimming under the bridge where we stopped for a morning snack.

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Posted by divatmotoros 02:58 Archived in Canada Comments (0)

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