Monday, September 04, 2006

Day 8...Our Cross Canada Trip...East to West

Day 8

We crossed over into Manitoba about 2:30p.m. and our first stop was to a VIC to get directions to The Royal Canadian Mint. We were off.

Once inside we waited for our turn for a tour, but, in the mean time we discovered gold. There was a young RCMP Officer guarding this brick of solid gold, but he did allow Richard to hold it. This brick of gold weighed 28 pounds and is worth $340,000.00.

The young RCMP Officer said, “When you see those movies with the bandits running off with sacks of gold in each hand, don’t believe it.”

The tour was very informative, but unfortunate for us it was just the time between shifts and we did not see the assembly lines in motion.

We stopped for gas and right across the road was a new establishment called Countryside Fruit Vegetables and More, and it also was a private information center. The lady inside was so friendly and helpful. She directed our path to a campsite nearby called Welcomestop Campground just 13 km west of Winnipeg. The campground was built on the banks of the Assiniboine River, the second largest river in Manitoba.

We had a very enjoyable conversation. She told us that her husband was from Halifax, and that they go east to visit family and friends in Frederiction and Saint John. Another place she said was a must see was Riding Mountain National Park. Just then more customers came who overheard our conversation and showed us on the map the best route to get us in and out of the park.

She asked us if we had brought any fish? Of course she was only kidding and remarked about the wonderful fish from The Bay of Fundy.

We then stepped out onto her front deck while she looked after more customers. When they had left she came out with a bag in her hand. She hadn’t wanted to say anything while the other customers were in her store, she handed me a bag. She had gone to her personal freezer and gave us a bag of frozen fish called Pickering. She informed us that it was delicious. I had no ingredience to garnish the fish, so she went back in and came out with a bag of flour and corn meal mixed together, and also a fresh lemon.

While we were waiting on the front deck we noticed a sign posted on her screen door and inquired about it.
“Yes,” she said, “someone stole my flower planter.”
She went on to explain that she had wished to make her deck cozy for people to come out and enjoy a cup of tea. There she had placed a metal table and chairs, over at the other end were two handmade chairs and a planter made from branches. She then added,
“There’s the flowers that were in the planter, someone took them out, neatly put them on the chair and took the chair.

She then shared the reason for her sadness of loosing the planter.
“You see, it’s not that the planter had monetary value, rather priceless sentimental value. I made the two chairs, while my dying sister lovingly made the planter to match. It was one of the last things she and I had done together before she died.” As her sign read, PLEASE RETURN, NO QUESTIONS ASKED.

She wished us well, gave us a page of recipes, saying she wished she could go to the park with us. I thought to myself, ‘such a nice soul, I hope her planter is returned to her.’

We found the campsite, not one to write home about, and a good lesson learned, don’t get a campsite close to the highway.


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