Rewind Day 5: The bugs of Northern Ontario

We left Brandon bright and early.

We stopped in Portage-la-Prairie for a break and found a flock of pelicans.

We visited the Canadian Mint.

We stopped at the longitudinal centre of Canada.

We saw another house on the back of a truck on the TransCanada highway. Must be a prairie thing.

Then we crossed from the forests of Manitoba to rocky Northwestern Ontario.

We stopped at a quiet rest stop to celebrate kid No 2’s birthday with cake and a picnic dinner.

We got to our campsite late. Nothing like setting up your tent in Northern Ontario in the dark because turning on the car lights attracts swarms of bugs. Those bugs were vicious. Hitchcock and his birds have nothing on these bugs.

It was just in time for a campfire. No fire bans here. And we spotted a few shooting stars from the Perseid meteor shower before bed.

Some stats:

  • Crop duster: 1
  • Deer: 2
  • RV in a ditch: 1
  • Pelicans: 1 flock
  • Total distance: 9600 km

Day 5: On tornado watch

It isn’t a proper trip to Saskatchewan without a tornado warning, is it?

Plains of Saskatchewan

We stayed with friends in Brandon Manitoba and after an amazing waffle breakfast, set off for Saskatchewan.

Saskatchewan farmhouse

We drove all the way to Regina.

Canola fields

There we stopped at the RCMP museum. The older kids checked out the exhibits.

Regina’s oldest standing building

Kid #3 tried on the mini uniforms. Kid #4 crawled into the back of the simulation police car and announced: “I’m a villain!” That one’s going to be trouble.

At the RCMP museum

Our next stop was Saskatoon to stay with friends. But of course, there was a tornado watch in place.

Saskatchewan cattle

About an hour from Saskatoon we hit a storm. It was intense. In a big prairie sky, the storm was all lightning.

The cows huddled up next to the fences. Some of the cars pulled off the road.

In the two days we were in Saskatchewan, seven tornadoes touched down in the province.

Calm before the storm

But we made it, just a bit late for a homemade lasagna dinner and Saskatoon berry pie, in Saskatoon. It was perfect and delicious.

Some stats:

  • Near prairie dog collisions: 1
  • Herd of bison: 1
  • Deer: 3
  • Total distance: 3350km

Day 4: Wheat Kings and pretty things

It’s hard to make good time when you are driving behind a line painting truck.

But that’s the middle of the story.

We woke up at Sandbar Lake Provincial Park in Northwestern Ontario. It was beautiful and the bugs and frogs had mostly disappeared.

Sandbar Lake

We packed up our tent and went down to the beach where we hunted for seashells. There was a flock of American Black ducks in the middle of the lake.

Looking for seashells

Then we set off for Manitoba. After a while, the treeline switched from Boreal forest to Manitoba woodlands. When we passed the 7-11, we knew we were close. But then, we got stuck behind a line-painting truck on the single-lane highway.

We crossed the provincial border and stopped by Fort Whyte Alive! in Winnipeg to see their herd of bison. They also had an outdoor prairie dog coterie. And though not part of the official display, we also found a family of Canada geese.

Canadian geese in Winnipeg
The bison herd at Fort Whyte Alive!
Prairie broom

Outside of Winnipeg, a fawn ran out in front of our car, but luckily we missed it and it missed us. Phew!

A bit past Winnipeg

And we chased the sunset in under a big prairie sky.

Sunset in Manitoba

Some stats:

  • Eagle: 1
  • Raven: 1
  • Flock of black ducks: 1
  • Lakeside shells: a handful
  • Near-deer collision: 1
  • Herd of bison: 1
  • Prairie dogs: 1 coterie
  • Salamander: 1
  • Baby Canadian geese: 1 gaggle
  • Total distance: 2759
Prairie sunset