Day 75 – August 20 – Winnipeg, MB to Winkler, MB

We checked out of our hotel about 10 and drove to the Forks to have a walk around before we left Winnipeg. The Forks is the historical name for the area of the confluence of the Assiniboine River and the Red River. The Red River was proclaimed a Canadian Heritage River in 2007 because of its significant role in the development of Canada.

There is a large ‘gathering place’ with lovely stonework and carvings around a central celestial marker.

The footbridge across the Assiniboine River where it joins the Red River has a mural painted on the counterweight used to open the bridge.

This metal sculpture on a post on the bridge shows the winding path of the Red River as it makes its way north.

The Assiniboine River.

The name Winnipeg is derived from two aboriginal words that mean ‘Where the river is muddy, or dirty.’ These two rivers are never clear and they can flood during every season of the year – and have done so – more than once. I have a photo of my grandfather using his neighbour’s rowboat to go down the street during one of the big flood years. This spring was a bad one too.

Often at the confluence of two rivers there is a difference in water colour so you can see them merge, here, however it is just muddy water flowing into muddy water.

Since Parks Canada manages The Forks they have set out their red chairs. That means a photo op.

The Canadian Museum of Human Rights opened in Winnipeg in September of 2014 and has quickly become an iconic symbol of the city.

This photo was on a sign board for the Manitoba Trails system, but it is a good image to show the meeting of the rivers.

The Esplanade Riel Footbridge crosses the Red River and The Forks restaurant juts out about halfway across. The footbridge parallels the vehicular Provencher Bridge.

I don’t know if the builders of the Provencher Bridge knew the footbridge was going to be built alongside or if they were just inclined to be artistic since much of it is visible from the lawn at the boundary of The Forks area.

Winnipeg is very much a railway town. My grandfather worked for the Canadain National Railway in Winnipeg before taking early retirement after a heart attack and moving to Victoria and my mother was raised here. The Union Station is a famous city landmark. We drove past it on our way out of town.

Winkler is an hour and a half drive southwest of Winnipeg. As usual we took our time and took a couple of ‘roads-less-traveled’ to get there.

This is indeed the prairies. Flat as far as you can see.

We drove past huge fields of many different crops. This is all dryland farming. No irrigation.

Harvest time is going to begin very soon.

One of the gravel roads we drove on. I thought it was interesting that they bale the hay along the roadside.

I have a large Canada/USA mapbook and in it I draw the routes of our various North American road trips. As I was filling in today’s route (the jigjag line going southwest) it struck me how all roads in Manitoba take you to Winnipeg.

Does anyone need to buy a grain silo? This business seems to have a good number in stock.

We arrived in Winkler and spent a few hours finding some geocaches and doing a couple of Adventure Labs in two of their small parks. The Bethel Heritage Park sat beside the Library and was beautifully maintained. There were plaques throughout the park that told the story of the faith of the people that settled here. There is a very large Mennonite population, but people of many faiths make up the community.

This adorable statue of a boy and girl reading a book sits on the lawn in front of the library and was donated by the artist.

The first hospital in Winkler (Bethel Mennonite Hospital) was on this site. It had 15 beds, a maternity ward and an operating room. It was built in 3 months for a cost of $8,000 in 1938.

The plaque below was on a large curved brick wall to the right of the fountain. I thought it was very interesting information.

We settled into our hotel room, found a restaurant for dinner and worked on making a list of geocaches to go find tomorrow. It is supposed to be 31°, so we will be warm out on the prairie.

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