Jim & Venie's Second Cross Canada Trip travel blog

Native dancer at Winnipeg

Native dancer at Red River Pow Wow

Jim holding $250,000 gold bar at Mint

Venie with Moose Mountie at Mint

Bison near New Liskeard

Lake Superior

Flying saucer????? near Marathon

Wawa goose

Pioneer woman of Wawa

Shania Twain Cebtre


On Sunday we headed for the Red River Exhibition across town. We were happy that we had a GPS as it took us right through the heart of Winnipeg and we found the exhibition grounds with no problem. .It was the last day of the fair and being a sunny day, it was fairly busy. There were a lot of carnival rides and commercial exhibits as well as a large netted area full of 30,000 butterflies you could enter and sit or walk among the beautiful butterflies. After a look around, we got our lunch of perogies, cabbage rolls and sausages and sat and watched a trio of musicians play good old tunes. It was National Aboriginal Day and there was a Pow Wow competition so we watched drummers and dancers in colourful costumes. It was really interesting especially the very little dancers, age 3 or 4, doing their different dances. Later we checked out the Phillip Station Casino that is in an old train station with the beautiful old marble bathrooms and flooring. We had some luck and headed home happy. Monday we went on a tour of the Royal Canadian Mint where all Canadian circulation coins are made, as well as those for over 60 governments around the world. It was a fascinating hour long tour overlooking the manufacturing facility showing everything from design to packaging. Jim got to hold a 99.99% pure gold bar worth $250.000 but it was chained to the stand and there was a guard so he couldn’t bring it home. Afterward we headed to Costco but found ourselves in a major traffic jam as there had been a fatality auto accident in the morning rush hour on one of the major highways and all the main roads were blocked off. After trying to find our way around with the help of the GPS for an hour we gave up and went to lunch at the Olive Garden. After lunch, the police barriers finally came down and we were able to find the Costco and do our shopping. We enjoyed our stay in Winnipeg this time as our campsite was easily accessible off Highway 1 and we had more luck finding our way around. It was another hot day 26C as we left Winnipeg on Tuesday morning and we ran into quite a bit of road construction on the way to the Ontario border. As we headed into Ontario, the landscape became rocky with lots of trees and lakes. We were surprised to see the size of the logging trucks with trailers although the logs weren’t very big. We arrived in Dryden around 3:00 PM and after setting up at the campsite we did the laundry at their laundermat. However after spending $2.00 trying to get 1 load of laundry dry we headed into town to find a local laundermat to finally get it all dry. Dryden is a small City of 8,000 but has a large Domtar plant and has as many amenities as Cranbrook even an indoor pool. On the way Wednesday to Thunder Bay we noticed a lot of transport trucks but this is the only road out of Ontario to the West. The campground in Thunder Bay was a City park on the Indian Reservation. It was on the very southwest corner of the city on the shore of Lake Superior and at the foot of Mount Mackay. It was a little out of the way but well set up and reasonable. We went into town for dinner but didn’t do any of the tourist sites as we had checked them out the last time we stayed there. We headed south on Thursday as we were told that there was a lot of construction on the northern route with lots of delays. It was nice traveling along Lake Superior after the rainstorm cleared and we saw many other lakes in the area as well. We stayed in Wawa for the night at a campsite that had a heated swimming pool so we got to have a swim and work out some of the kinks after a few days of travel. We stopped at the Visitors Information to take a picture of the Wawa Goose and saw all these painted doors standing along the pathways. On each side of the doors were painted statues with a picture for the head of woman pioneers of the area with their stories. They were short biographies of each woman and very interesting. The trip along Highway 101 was the same as the last few days, lots of trees, rocks and lakes and the only wildlife we saw was a coyote along the road. We arrived in Timmins around 3 PM., a rather depressing city surrounded by several mines, many of them that are closed down. There was only 1 campground in the city which only supplies electricity and we are parked in the middle of a field with no other amenities and for this we paid $32.00 a night. After getting set up we paid a visit to the Visitors Bureau and got a map of the city plus brochures on the tourist attractions. We picked up a local newspaper so I could map out the garage sales for the morning. We were up and away at 8:30 stopping for breakfast at Tim Hortons and then on to the garage sales. Although all the streets had names rather then numbers, with the help of the map, we were able to find around a dozen. We found a few treasures we felt we couldn’t live without including a new hat for Jim and a DVD for Venie. In the afternoon we toured the Shania Twain Centre which tells the story of her life along with all the awards she has won plus the dresses and costumes she has worn including her wedding dress. It was concluded with a 15 minute video about her life and music. We both enjoyed the tour and it brought back some good memories. Afterwards we headed to Don’s Pizza and had a delicious thin crust pizza plus a couple of beers. On Sunday we were on the road by 9:00 AM heading to Ottawa. The roads were quite rough and 80 KM an hour in places so it was a long day to travel the 400 miles. We stopped at New Liskeard to take the picture of the Bison that was made of welded steel 19’ high by 27’ long and weighed over 9 tons. It was commissioned by a local bison producer. We passed through many familiar places like North Bay, Pembroke and Petawawa and some beautiful lake areas. We arrived in Ottawa around 7 PM and booked in for a week so we can attend the July 1st celecbrations



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