Leaving Saskatchewan behind we drove into Manitoba….looked pretty much the same! I just had to say that….
when we were crossing the border back into the United States from Canada a little while back, an American lady standing by the side of me looking over to the Canadian side remarked…”looks a lot like here to me”….I nearly died!!!
Our next stop was to photograph grain elevators at a small town called Inglis….I kid you not!
“The Inglis Grain Elevators National Historic Site is internationally recognized as a unique and enduring architectural symbol of the Prairies, representing one of the most important periods in the development of Canada’s grain industry from 1900 to 1930, and during the second world war.”
As we drove into Inglis there were some really dark clouds starting to form out to the west…prevailing winds from the west…and yep pretty much as soon as we finished our tour of the elevators we had a nice sprinkling of rain.
On tour inside one of the grain elevators
The tour, conducted by a local volunteer, was excellent. It filled in a great deal of the gaps in our knowledge of this area and its importance as the “grain basket” for not only Canada but for shipment via rail and then by ship to Europe before during and after the second world war. Now with new farming techniques and improved mechanization the old grain elevators are either derelict or have been demolished…this row of five in Inglis are perhaps the best maintained and preserved now in North America.
Leaving Inglis we continued our journey eastwards to Winnipeg. But shortly before we arrived there we decided to take a break at Portage la Prairie to view “Probably The Largest Coca Cola Can in the World” and also to bike the river track.
Big Henry posing by "The Largest Coca Cola Can in the World"
It was whilst we were getting our bikes prepared to set off we realized there was an event happening at the local sports stadium. The Blonde engaged with one of the locals heading towards the stadium….”..oh yeah…you are so lucky, it is the Royal Canadian Mounted Police Musical Ride performing here today…they only come round to do this once every 8 to 10 years”. Bikes back on Big Henry….grabbed our cameras and set off to the stadium…and for the next two hours we were wonderfully entertained, not only by the celebrated performance of The Mounties but also by some Hutterite ladies who The Blonde engaged with in the stadium and who were very happy to explain to us about their community and their away of life.
The Royal Canadian Mounted Police "Musical Ride Carousel"
The RCMP Musical Ride is performed by a full troop of 32 riders and their horses. Their performance consists of intricate figures and drills choreographed to music. These movements demand the utmost control, timing and coordination.The Musical Ride performs in up to 50 communities across Canada between the months of May and October. They help raise thousands of dollars for local charities and non-profit organizations.They had in fact just returned from performing at Windsor castle for the Queen....they were outstanding! Click on this YouTube link for a better viewing of their amazing performance....or copy and paste to your browser.
Surrounded by Hutterite Ladies who had made a special journey to see the show.
The Hutterites are a member of an Anabaptist Christian sect established in Moravia in the early 16th century, Hutterites and Mennonites (and thus the Amish who are of Mennonite descent) share common roots. Both of these groups are Anabaptists and both of these movements trace their beginnings to the same era, to the same movement, during the Reformation. The religion of the Hutterites is unique in that they believe in community of goods, in which all material goods are held in common. All members of the colony are provided for equally and no assets are to be kept for personal gain. Hutterites do not have personal bank accounts; rather all earnings are held communally and funding and necessities are distributed according to one’s needs. Hutterites believe that all their work is to benefit the community and is a form of service to God.
The campgrounds in Winnipeg and surrounds did not look all that appealing and so we did our usual last resort when not finding anything worth the money….head to a Walmart. From there the next morning we managed to find parking across from the center of town in a park and then bike into the center…in particular we were keen to go to the Winnipeg Museum to see their feature on the Hudson Bay Company….something I had studied “back in the day”, when at college for Social and Economic History ‘A’ Level.
The museum was undergoing some renovations but this did not detract from the excellent offer…in fact there was so much to see after three hours we were on information overload and needed to take a break.
Just two of the amazing collection of Inuvit Indian outfits in the museum.
The Blonde posing by one of the exhibits in Winnipeg Museum.
Back on our bikes we went in search of lunch….it was my birthday, and The Blonde had wanted to take me somewhere special. Now, with the greatest respect to any “Winnipegians”, born and bred or otherwise, you really need to get your city to get its act together in updating and investing in revitalizing the downtown area. There are some amazing old buildings in the commercial district but alas all is not well with the economy there it seems….we were quite shocked and very disappointed. Maybe to be fair we were in the wrong area….not according to what we had read we weren’t but the center was very dirty and down at heel….we decided to give up on finding anything special and headed back to Big H.
We headed south to the border….birthday dinner that night for me was a fantastic side ribs…beautifully cooked by my loved one…and a glass or three of Gin & Tonic...better than any restaurant offer!