Winnipeg, Oh Winnipeg

Before I start, are there any Winnipegites (Winnipegians?) in the audience?

Well, the lighting isn’t that good in here, so I’m just going to go with it.

I’m convinced Winnipeg doesn’t really exist, or if it does it’s a bit like Brigadoon (doomed to appear only one day every hundred years) only Winnipeg exists when there’s a blindingly ferocious storm pounding it into the deep and ancient prairie dirt and at no other time on this mortal coil.

Storms like this …

A storm to cover the entire horizon

A storm to cover the entire horizon

***

But we’re getting ahead of ourselves. Before Winnipeg there was Good Spirit Lake Provincial Park in Saskatchewan, where we decided to hang out after two grueling 8-hours-behind-the-wheel days.

Mrs Widds has no great love for mammals of the order Rodentia. We had a bit of a rat problem here on Widder island last Autumn and she Was Not Pleased.

Unfortunately the many and varied families of Rodentia have taken a perverse liking to Mrs Widds and appeared to inform their prairie cousins of this fact prior to our arrival.

I was snoozing in the trailer, she was outside, reading, when who should come along but these cuties …

Just passing by unnoticed

Just passing by unnoticed

I had no idea you'd be camping here

Why, I had no idea you’d be camping here!

I'll be on my way then

I’ll be on my way then

***

Onward we drove through the Prairies along Highway 17

The Prairies aren’t flat. They also aren’t my preferred geological or geographical terrain to drive across, for hours, and hours, and hours.

They are beautiful, and I’m glad they’re there doing their Prairie thing. I think one of their main tasks is to stop the Rockies from sliding down.

Another task is to brew up gigantic storms whose torrential downpours reduce visibility on the afore mentioned construction-riddled roads down to a few meters, and speed to something below 40 kilometers an hour.

I thought we were alone on the drenched highway but when I glanced into the rearview mirrors, I saw a line of headlights following us. I guess they figured so long as they could see us they’d be fine. Silly little lemmings. I could’ve led them astray but I was too busy with my deathgrip on the steering wheel to give them anything other than a fleeting thought.

***

… which brings us back to Winnipeg. We drove Highway 100, the Winnipeg bypass, twice. Once heading east and then on our return journey heading west with Mrs Widds driving.

Both times this …

Canola fields in the sunshine

Canola fields in the sunshine

… turned into this …

No escape

No escape

I have no evidence that Winnipeg exists outside of narrow strips of road bordered by red construction pylons and blinding rain.

***

Next: On the Road to Niagara Falls

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