Thursday, August 18, 2011

Edmonton to Winnipeg

We are now settled in Traveler’s RV Resort in Winnipeg, Manitoba.  After four long days on the road, you can imagine how happy I was to get parked with full hook-ups.  We stayed at four Wal-Marts (Lloydminster, Saskatoon, Yorkton, and Portage la Prairie) as we made our way from Elk Island National Park near Edmonton along Highway 16, Yellowhead Highway.   We had a short day today of only 70 miles, but the other four days were at or near 200 miles each day.  Too many days and too many miles.

The largest city we passed through was Saskatoon with a population of about 200,000.  Saskatoon is the largest city in Saskatchewan, even larger than the provincial capital of Regina.  Saskatoon has some First Nations and Pioneer Heritage stuff, but we’ve had about all that for one trip we can stand.  So we pulled into the Wal-Mart for the night and went on our merry way the next morning.

We did have a short discussion about turning south in Saskatoon and going down to Regina.  It is a provincial capitol after all, but we’re about burnt out on capitol buildings for this trip too.  Can you tell we’re tired?  In the end, we decided to continue on Hwy 16 until it intersected with Trans Canada 1 at Portage La Prairie.

Speaking of the Yellowhead Highway, it started out pretty good.  We got on 16 in Edmonton where it is undergoing some construction in town.  As we got out of town and away from the construction zone, it was a very fine 4-lane, limited access, divided highway.  The farther we got from Edmonton, the worse the road got.  Past Saskatoon, it is a 2-lane road all the way to Winnipeg.  Part of the reason we talked about going to Regina was to get on Trans Canada 1, hoping it would be a better road.

For the past 1,000 miles from Grand Prairie to Winnipeg, we have been driving through Canada’s breadbasket.  I feel like I’ve made about eight trips across Kansas.  It was pretty the first 300 miles or so, but I get it now.  I have never seen so much wheat in all my life.  I really liked seeing the yellow canola and the two fields of sunflower yesterday were a real treat after all that wheat.  We even saw corn today.

What I really wanted to see was lentils.  Canada is the largest producer of lentils in the world and Saskatchewan grows about 99% of Canada’s lentils.  You would think we would have seen lentils and perhaps we did, but you can’t prove it by me.  We were parked at a Wal-Mart next to a field of what I had decided was lentils, but when I walked out into the field to investigate, I don’t think I found lentils.  The plant was covered in pods which I expected, but inside the pod was a tiny, round, black thing about the size and shape of a poppy seed.  I don’t think even the Beluga Black lentils are that small and I don’t think they’re round.  However, the plant looks like the picture I found on the internet of a lentil plant.  I am so confused.

After four nights of dry camping in Wal-Mart parking lots, we are very happy to be in a campground tonight.  We arrived about noon today and have spent the afternoon doing much needed house keeping chores with long rest periods in between.

Traveler’s RV Resort is large with over 200 sites.  We have a pull-thru site with water, electric, and sewer for a weekly rate of $26/night. There is no cable, but we get several channels over the air.  They’re all Canadian channels, though, so no NBC news.  They do not have campground-wide WiFi.  There is a hotspot at the office where they provide a table for those wanting to use the internet.  They also have a table on the porch with an electrical plug for those wanting to sit outside.  They even have a public computer in the office for travelers without computers who want to use the internet.  I give them an “A” for trying to make it as convenient as possible.

There are several things on our list to do in Winnipeg.  All I want to do now is piddle around the house.  The last thing I want is to be in a moving vehicle, so we’ll get to the sightseeing tomorrow or the next day.

GAS REPORT:  All across Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba the gas prices have been pretty consistent ranging between $4.40-4.60 per gallon.  Edmonton and Lloydminster were about twenty cents cheaper.  Diesel has been a few cents cheaper per gallon than gasoline.  We’re real happy that our gas milage has been a littler better this week, probably due to the flat terrain.  Tuesday we had a tail wind all day which pushed the mpg all the way up to 9.5.  Gene has been very happy with the Co-Op gas stations.  They’re huge with lots of room to maneuver a motor home and their prices are about the cheapest around.

That’s it for now. Thanks for tagging along.

1 comment:

  1. What an interesting blog, introduced by a thought-provoking photo. The unusual wall painting of the dwellings is also a strangely modern interpretation. Something like this hieroglyphic view of a park by Swiss painter Paul Klee,
    The image can be seen at who can supply you with a canvas print of it.