Manitoba Travels Travails

July 17th (cont’d) to 20th – Sask to Manitoba

July 17th – continued – Saskatoon
Unknown to me, the campground directory had a downtown office address for Gordon Howe Campground so that is where Wanda directed us. Also, the main downtown exit from the highway was closed so we wandered around a bit before figuring out where we were on a map and where we had to go.
Like I said in my brief entry, the campsite was full so we got an overflow site with no hookups – fine for one night. We then went downtown to “A Taste of Saskatoon” which was an event where many local restaurants set up tents and offer 3 food items for sale. We had eaten lunch so we both had dessert. There was also live music but it was not to our taste so we carried on. This took place in a park downtown that was right on the river (North Saskatchewan) that winds though the town so it was pretty.
We walked a bit downtown and then did some exploring in the truck before picking up some groceries and going back to the park. Updated the blog entries and got on the internet.
The county around here is pretty flat with lots of the bright yellow canola fields.

July 18th – Fri – to Prince Albert National Park
We headed north and slightly east to Prince Albert Ntl Park this morning. We saw an interesting row of empty rail cars (miles of them) that we assumed were waiting for crops to be harvested. There were breaks in the cars to allow vehicles to use access roads crossing the track.
I learned a lesson on the GPS system – you get what you ask for! I entered “Prince Albert Park” instead of the town of Waskasui so Wanda sent us to the nearest park border which meant we drove the rig on the scenic route for 30 miles inside the park instead of using the highway and entering through the northern entrance. Oh well, the road was only windy, nothing Terry couldn’t handle.
We had tried to find an RV site by phone and everything was full. But one park at Waskasui has 40 percent of the sites set as “first come, first served” so we gave it a shot. All those sites were full so they have a waiting list system and an overflow area. We filled up with water and headed to the big, grassy overflow site – quit nice and quiet in the trees. There was only one other rig there so we picked the most level spot , set up and had some lunch. A couple more rigs came in including one right beside us.
Then into town for sightseeing. Waskasui is on a large lake and has a nice, large, sandy beach which was being used by a lot of people. I took off my shoes to test the water and figured it was too cold for this pansy to go swimming.
There were more rigs set up when we got back. There were tons of black flies and mosquitoes but we could sit in the sun a bit before dinner without them bothering us. Our neighbors came back and invited us bring our drinks & chairs over. They (Larry & Lorraine) are from Kindersley, Sask – a town that we drove through on the way from Calgary. We moved to a nearby firepit and enjoyed a fire with wood supplied by the campground until the mosquitoes drove us in about 10.
We were planning on leaving tomorrow but Larry & Lorraine talked us into staying and playing golf.

July 19th – Sat – Waskesui
What a wonderful day!
It rained a lot last night so I wondered if we would be able to golf. It was totally cloudy when we got up but started clearing. Oops, when it was our tee time, the starter said the impending rain was due soon and sure enough, the guys teed off in a shower. But it immediately lessened to a sprinkle for Lorraine & I to tee off and it didn’t rain again. The golf course is set in trees and the cart paths wind around from one hole to the next – very picturesque. The greens were not in great shape but none of us could blame that for less than stellar games. But we all had a great time.
Larry & Lorraine had to show up at the RV park at 2:25 for the “waiting list system” so we had a drink at the clubhouse and we went back to our rig. Larry & Lorraine came back shortly and they did get a site so they invited us to dinner.
We taught Larry & Lorraine to play Sequence before dinner and then the “Golf” card game after dinner. Lorraine is a professional gospel singer and we were pleased to be able to hear a few songs from some CDs that she has recorded. Very talented! And Larry isn’t too bad a singer either. We do hope to meet up with them sometime down the road.
When we drove here, we saw some huge fields with a crop that was blooming purple-blue. Larry identified it for us as flax. It looks really great beside a yellow canola field. We have also seen fields that have various forms of small shelters scattered around and do not know what they are. Will let you know when I find out.

July 20th – Sun – to Swan Valley, Manitoba
Got an early start today as we slept well last night. The night before last, we ended up with a lot of mosquitoes in the rig. I got some sleep between 1 and 4 and very little after as just about the time I would get relaxed, another mosquito would show up. Last night, when we got back we turned on lights and went mosquito hunting with the fly swatter before going to bed. Much better.
Back through the town of Prince Albert and then east. Started out flat, then rolling treed areas, then back to flat. No traffic, good roads. Larry describes the flat parts of Saskatchewan as “so flat that you can watch your dog run away for 3 days”.
We stopped for a lunch break and got to Swan Valley about 2:30. The service station attendant directed us to a nice RV park so we got a spot, set up and relaxed after a bit of cleaning up & organizing.
Saskatchewan does not go on daylight savings time so even though Sask. & Manitoba are in the same time zone, we lost an hour today. So we are now 2 hours ahead of our Pacific time zone friends & relatives.

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