Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Parks and recreation: Manitoba.

But first, a digression: Dear Canada, we love you dearly but please do something about your tick situation.  They are mentally draining to two certain PNW folks who met someone recovering from Lyme's disease our first day in Canada...

Anyway.  A well-traveled BC backpacker at Grasslands had said that Riding Mountain National Park was the most rugged wilderness he had seen, so we were excited about our visit.

The guy at the welcome center told us that Wasagaming campsite was the most popular... "but judging from the looks of you guys, you want Lake Audy." 

good call, sir

We enjoyed a few thunderstorms in addition to nice sunsets and rainbows, and we got in some good hikes... er, "hikes".  Plains "hiking"  is a bit different than prairie "hiking" and neither are like actual "hiking".  Sunday we walked 11km along a flat fire road to a former POW camp, stood on a picnic table for lunch (to avoid ticks as much as possible), turned around and walked 11km back to camp.  Five and a half hours on our feet and the only wildlife sighting was a "forest chicken".  

"forest chicken"

plains "hiking"

there's a lake over there somewhere
if you want to bushwhack with ticks
(we didn't)

Monday's hike fared a bit better in terms of wildlife - three bears, a deer, and a faun on the trail, and 73 jackrabbits and another bear along the drive to/from the trailhead.  

But still totally flat with no real views and no typical reward at the end of the trail.  

our boggy, soggy  Breezy Hill hike "reward"

It was then that we reminded ourselves that it was about the journey, not the destination...  We are definitely spoiled with the beauty of the PNW but the rest of the world has lots to offer, you just have to know where (and how) to look for it.  So we breathed deep and enjoyed the lush green, the clean air, the birds and the frogs - in other words, the present.

A good lesson that bears repeating now and then.

he agrees

so does he

And so we will keep open minds and enjoy every experience, even if we are being carried off in bits and pieces by mossies now, or we are being ripped off by a taxi driver in five months, or we are trying to sleep in a noisy dorm full of drunken frat boys in eight months.  Or paying almost $100 for a much needed zero night in a hotel in Winnipeg, like tonight.

Because all of that beats Monday in a cube.  We know that much is true.

and actually, this was a nice reward along the Breezy Hill hike

Next stop: Minaki, Ontario to see some of Jen's Antarctica trek friends!


  1. eat a diet high in onions and garlic, and take Thiamin supplements

  2. We've been eating garlic and onion with every meal (except breakfast) - will look into Thiamin. I hear antibiotics help too but I'd rather Deet up than do that for an extended period of time. Not sure anything will really help with these guys... reminds me of Alaska.