Riding Mountain National Park

September 18-21, 2017

I have to start dating these posts since the stops were so long ago!  We’re all tucked in listening to Christmas music, but I’m determined to finish off the Epic Journey posts before the new year.  We still have some great places to share in Canada as well as the lower 48.  Our last spot in Canada was Pat’s pick, but satisfied my request to camp in one more Canadian province – Manitoba.  So, off to Riding Mountain National Park we go.

On The Way to Riding Mountain

The journey is so often the “thing”.  This travel day was no different.  We stopped for lunch in Melville for the best onion rings at the local A&W and drinks in frosty mugs.  As you know, we love a good fast food stop and Pat likes root beer.  I hates it, I do, but I’ll take my diet coke in a frosty mug instead.  We bid adieu to Sask and enter Canadian province # 4.

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We were warned that the roads in Manitoba were a little rough.  Another “paved with good intentions” kind of drive.  The bumps don’t help our clunking noises under the coach, but we’re trying to ignore them.  We pass fun named places like Waywayseecappo and dub it Way Way for short.  This way is Way Way bumpy!

Riding Mountain National Park

It was a long travel day to get here, but well worth it.  This place has >600 campsites and we’re here in the off season.  Practically deserted!  Our kind of peace and quiet and no crowds at all.  After scarfing down the best nachos we’ve ever had at a little restaurant outside the park, we settle in for a rain day.  What is this wet stuff from the sky?!  It’s been a long time since we had rain and the area really needs it.  Pat reads all day, Jackson sleeps and I write a blog post and make cards.  Nice and restful.

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And the next day?  Simply beautiful on Clear Lake near the campground.  A little bit of fall color and expansive blue sky.  We strolled on the dock and discovered a dinner cruise opportunity on the Martese tour boat.  I originally wanted to take the sunset cruise, but those were done for the season.  Good news!  The dinner cruise comes back just in time for a waterfront sunset.

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DSC00133Sunset on Clear Lake after our superb dinner complete with cream puffs for dessert.

Floating Trail

Since we got rained out on the first day, we decided to extend our stay.  Next up, hiking on the Ominik Marsh trail.

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This was Jackson’s outing, and I think he was confused by the floating dock-like trail and kept thinking we’d get to the end at some point.

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“Quit holding me back!” Jackson says.

More scenes from the marsh

Bald Hill Trail

Riding Mountain National Park is interesting because it seems to rise out of nowhere in Manitoba.  The park sits atop the Manitoba Escarpment surrounded by acres and acres of farmland.  I’m sure I’m not the only one unfamiliar with the term escarpment.  According to the National Geographic Society, it is “an area of the earth where elevation changes suddenly”.  Essentially it’s a ridge that rises 500 feet above the surrounding area.

We hiked over 4 miles one day trying to get to Bald Hill, an area of exposed rock atop the escarpment.  The Bald Hill Trail was disappointing, but a drive farther down the road finally brought us to the view we were seeking.

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On top of the escarpment looking at the patchwork of farmland down below.  The clouds are getting ready to roll in.

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Take two with a better shot of the Fall color

 

Scenes from the Bald Hill Trail

And a few more from Clear Lake

This was our last stop to use our Canada 150 pass.  What a great time to be in Canada and enjoy their National parks for free.  Ah, but we’re longing to be back in the good ‘ole US of A.  Next up – North Dakota and the International Peace Garden.  See you on the way!

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