From Winnipeg, we traveled north to Polonia, Manitoba- a town nobody seemed to have heard of by most accounts, and I can understand the confusion...I went for a nice long walk, probably about 45 minutes, and I did not pass a single house, person, car or driveway. I did, however, get friendly with some Manitoba Mud! I'd been walking for a while when I started to hear a peculiar sound. Since there was virtually nothing around, I figured I must be the source of it, and when I looked down at my feet, I realized I had been carrying a good chunk of the road on my boots for lord knows how long! I then developed a new dance move for the rest of my walk, which I will call the Manitoba Muck Step. It includes a sideways kick/fling to get the mud off, followed by a very useless stomp on the ground. The intention was to rid my boots of the muck, but in effect, I just had to accept that my feet were now one with the earth! Despite the mudcaked-walk, it was nice to stretch my legs after our housebound day the day before. We had the day off in Polonia, and for 24 hours the fog was so thick that we couldn't see beyond the front door. Apparently fog like that is common in Polonia- so we were grateful to have had great hosts there who built us up a nice fire, and introduced us to the joys of fooseball!
From Polonia, we took the scenic route to Gilbert Plains through "Riding Mountain National Park". I'm not quite sure it qualified as a mountain...but there sure were lots and lots of birch trees and huge enormous lakes. We played to a great crowd in Gilbert Plains, in a beautiful log house, underneath a great big bear rug, and under the watchful eye of some taxidermied fowl! We learned that the bear had been causing trouble at the host's honey farm, and the birds had been found at the roadside by their house- the logs were old telephone poles that had been polished and sized to perfection. If that all wasn't fun enough, Dad and I later tried our hands at ping pong--or I should say, my dad rekindled his love and skill for it, and I struggled for about half an hour to stop laughing enough to hit the ball gently enough so as to not send it flying into the corners of the room! We lost one ball, and flattened another, but I will say, by the end, we were doing a-ok! (I think we'll stick to music though for our dayjobs...)
The snow started coming down on the way out to Binscarth, Manitoba. I didn't manage to get any photos because I was so busy trying not to get blown away in the wind, and stay warm!! But I must say, Manitobans showed me how it's done that night. Our host was worried we'd have a poor turn out on account of the storm, but lo and behold, we had 28 un-phased troopers out to hear us play!
Onwards we drove from there to Regina, Saskatchewan- and the prairies never cease to amaze. I snapped a few photos of Qu'Appelle Valley as we drove through. What a cool spot. As we drove towards the valley, the land dropped out, and we found ourselves down low in a valley, looking up at rolling slopes- high as mountains, but low down in the earth.
We emerged from the valley and played a great show here in Regina last night- on we go now for Part 2!