DAY 26 MINNEDOSA TO PORTAGE LA PRAIRIE
DISTANCE TRAVELLED 140.1 km RUNNING TIME 4 hrs 58 mins
AVERAGE SPEED 28.1 km/hr
DISTANCE PLANNED 138 KMS TOTAL TIME 5 hrs 45 mins
another sunny day
Favonius, Roman God of the West Wind was with us today .
Side trips in Neepawa & Portage still averaged 28
An other nice day - morning (6am ) temperatures about 16-18 . Daytime high about 27.
We stayed on hwy 16 most of the day - Very little traffic - some tail wind - so we made good time . The last 16 kms into Portage was on Hwy 1 after lunch . We caught a good tail wind & were cruising at 48-50 kph..
Farmers wheat fields was the predominant scenery.
First major stop was Neepawa
the Great Lily Capital of Canada & home of the great Canadian Lily Festival . Thousands of beautiful lilies throughout the town - Many different varieties and everyone seems to have some Many public gardens
. Neepawa is also the birthplace of Margaret Laurence
- famous Canadian author who wrote romance histories - one of her series is based on early life in Neepawa - one of the most famous was the "Stone Angel" - again based on a gravestone in the local cemetery
. This was an incredibility well designed & maintained town owed cemetery - lots of well manicured trees and beds of petunias on EVERY grave - great colour and smells as you go through the area .
Further done hwy 16 I passed a town direction sign that has special meaning to the family , & especially one of the Three Amigos
Made good time into Portage La Prairie
. We camped at the fairgrounds which was beside the lake in downtown Portage - beautiful setting with fountain in the lake and a CAF Jet monument as a tribute to the CAF that are located in nearby Canadian Forces Base Portage La Prairie which is the home of air force pilot training
. The fairgrounds is more of a park and also is open space for horse back riding for lessons for young dressage riders. Amazing to have this type of facility within the town limits - fantastic small prairie towns...
Supper in camps are usually the same set up - gallery crews prepare and serve & we all sit around wherever - picnic benches , camp chairs ( most everyone has a camp chair that was picked up for under $10 along the route & will be donate in St John's at the end of the trip - too much luggage to take home. )
We try to celebrate a special occasion every day ( dessert) today John presented Tom with a birthday cake ( We think it is 64?) -the characters on the cake were Pirates of the Caribbean - no significance other than this was the freshest cake and the plastic figures go on the dashboard of the truck . One interesting observations - no mosquitoes - not sure whether that was because we were in the center of city or the program for spraying for mosquitoes in Manitoba.