Give me home, where the buffalo roam, and the deer and the antelope play;)
Ok, so no buffalo, a few bison, and an occasional far away herd of Pronghorn antelope. The Trans Canada 1 and the via rail train tracks follow each other across the country, the two never seem far apart, the sound of train horns is ever present. After leaving Dinosaur Provincial Park we headed East, out of Alberta eventually into Saskatchewan. That is always a mouthful. We couldn’t find many RV parks per se, but all the small towns have these wonderful little municipal campgrounds. Small, usually pull through, some with 15amp power, water and sewer. We decided 400 km was enough and stopped in the small town of Morse.
What a lovely little town and municipal campground. Possibly the friendliest spot we have encountered in a very long time. From the man cleaning up the campground with the mower, who told us to head down to a very good butchery with locally smoked sausages, who sent us to the small general store where the owner shook our hands and introduced himself enthusiastically in his fairly good English to the local hotel and restaurant where we sat next to a round table of old farmers laughing about their aches and pains and discussing what an ass Trump was…fabulous! Here, you pump your gasoline before paying, such a nice change from the rest of a cynical world. There is no Banff scenery here, no fancy hotels or casinos but what a nice feeling to camp somewhere, though quite loud, cats nearly jumped out of their fur at the first train horn, where you feel leaving your door unlocked is a normal thing to do. This town looks like it has been brought back to life by new immigrants, what a wonderful thing!
Across the trans Canada and train tracks a Willet foraged on the shore, I came thousands of kilometers to see my little Baja friend. The lakes here are home and resting areas for thousands, if not millions of migratory birds. The temperatures forecast for the next few days were blistering so we left early as the 15amp service at Morse would not run the AC. We headed to Oak Lake, Manitoba, 493 kilometers to the East. Past rolling fields of yellow blooms and hundreds of small lakes. Oak Lake Resort is about 10 km South of the Trans Canada on a small island, little did we know it would be a long stopover. We passed the RV park entrance and had to make an awkward turn to get turned around to head back, love it when the GPS does that, but a delightful young lady said to go back to the office and she would show us what sites were available for the night. We picked one out, the furthest away with the most room around us, backed into a beautiful oak shaded spot and started to unhook when the hydraulic pump for the jacks started to make some very disturbing noises and then, nothing. Luckily we were off and 98% level but this elicited a groan from us…we were in BFE and well, at least we had water, power and sewer:)
The young lady, Andrea, at the front was amazing, pay her more management(!) she called the local RV Store, actually the biggest in Manitoba in the small town of Verdin, 25 kilometers back on the Trans Canada and handed the phone over to us to arrange to have a mobile tech come out and look. This resort is a huge seasonal RV park with over 700 sites, lots of business for Four Seasons RV…and we were stuck, tech came out, pump was burned out. They asked we order it ( it would arrive faster) have it sent to them and they would come out when it arrived. So we waited-three day UPS to Canada turned into 8 days but it was not a horrible spot to be stuck. The lovely manager juggled spots so we could stay where we were, not much choice there and we enjoyed the oak forest’s shade in the heat:)
Did I tell you there were hummingbirds?;)
“It could have been Morse” I kept telling Mike-15 amp and trains;) and there was a lovely Mexican family that ran the Park Store and small grill. They even had tacos but the ice cream was the best in the heat and we had wonderful conversations in Spanish with Alma and Carlos from Queretaro, to the surprise of many passers-by;)…yeah, we’re Mexican…sort of;)
The Oak Forest at first seemed so homogenus, but the wildlfie was abundant. Groot and Gamora got to watch deer on their walks, a ton of ticks…ick, but we picked them off the cats and ourselves..0_0. Birds galore on the walk out to the lake and road in.
The best were the squirrels. Ground squirrels everywhere that Groot and Gamora darted after but never caught, and a brand new one for me-Thirteen Lined Ground Squirrel, quite the impressive name, they got short-changed on ears but are they ever beautiful!
We got to go into Verdin a few times for diesel and food, another wonderful small friendly town with everything you might need, including the $18.99 watermelon, now that was a shock. I know these come from Mexico but really?
Are these golden melons;) I had to do a double take at the grocery store…$18.99 a melon, at least it wasn’t per pound…ha! Manitoba Co-op grocery, you are just plain crazy! Remember folks, eat local, in season, support your local farmers, unlike this grocery store in Verdin, maybe the Trumps shop here;) So we went to the Farmers Market, I realize it is a bit early but nothing from farms, not even eggs, just a few tables of Mennonite ladies in smocks with baked goods and religious whackadoodles selling the latest God of the day, we bought butter tarts…is that what the locals live on;) ha! Mike was happy:)
As we were approaching Canada Day. The lovely manager kept juggling sites to keep us where we were, we kept track of our very slow UPS package and it did finally arrive, perhaps by horse and cart from Indiana. Lippert did refund me some of the shipping as I’d paid for express (Max. three-day) not 7;) and all in all our Good Sam Warranty covered the labour and horrendous price ($852.00 US) for a small electrical motor, as it is used in the RV industry the price quadrupled, just like writing”horse” on something and not “cow”, funny how cow halters are so cheap;) We’ve kept the old one to be rebuilt, as our warranty has only 2 years left. The tech that installed it was a nice man, the first time before he left he handed us a small”Christian” phamphlet, saying this was not from the RV store (thank goodness) but from him, and as Mike was desperatley trying to get us to go, we carried on a rather interesting conversation with this educated German immigrant who all but thought the Earth was flat, not that, but he believed the Bible was the literal truth, fascinating, yet somewhat alarming as I don’t believe any of this except taken as metaphors, written 60 years after it happened and rewritten, by the winners to suit their purpose, and damn, that Yahweh God was not very nice.
But it absolved him of all responsibility, funny that, it was all God’s will. All the bad, was for a reason, God even had Trump elected in…for a reason, or so he said. I agreed to disagree and he asked me what it would take to believe in God, and I said nothing, “but what happens when you meet him in heaven?” he asked, “Well, I’ll apologize and say my bad, don’t think the majority of my friends are going to be up there, I’ll take that warmer place”. So, I respect his beliefs, but he did not respect mine. We are creatures made of energy and stardust, and to that we will return, perhaps there is an alien race who have set themselves up as God, if they have, that man is in for quite a shock:)
Mike was giving me withering looks…”Let’s get the hell out of here!” at least he and Mike could converse in German:) All in all an interesting conversation with someone who thinks so totally different from us that it is astounding human beings get along as well as they do;)..come to think of that, I guess they don’t;)
I was ready to leave as well. We were lucky to have been so close to 4 Seasons RV, the lady we dealt with was a gem, thank you Lana, and tech as well, however odd his beliefs are to us:) We were ready to get into Ontario!!! Which Mike did remind me was as long as all the praire crossing we had already done, but that much closer to Perth!
Stay tuned for Ontario West to East, unless I am struck down by an almighty force unhappy with my beliefs;) Saludos amigos!