Day 80 – August 25 – Brandon, MB

It has been quite some time since I filled a blog with images and placards from a museum, so today is the day.

We headed north and then east to go to Spruce Woods Provincial Park which is a large protected area of sand dunes. Also on our list of things to do while in Brandon, time permitting, was a visit to the Royal Canadian Artillery Museum at CFB Shilo and the Plains Museum in Carberry; both of which were more or less on our way to Spruce Woods.

We had to turn south on a road between Brandon and the one to Carberry and Spruce Woods and drive about 13 km to CFB Shilo and decided to do it as we were going by rather than on the way back to Brandon.

We spent quite awhile outside before entering the building. Both sides of a long driveway and a back parking lot had various artillery on display.

This huge gun was at the property entrance. They had really good rightups with statistics about every piece of artillery.

I took 109 photos at the museum and have tried really hard to pare them down, but there are still a lot of photos of guns.

Note the wooden wheels.

Loved the camo paint job on this one.

The Howitzer is such an oft mentioned gun in novels and WWI information. It is such a fearsome-looking weapon. I was surprised at how big the barrel was. Some of the guns we saw had a target range of 10 miles – this one’s range was 6.4 miles.

Look at the stockpile of shells awaiting firing.

The wheels on this gun folded in so it could sit flat on the ground when being fired.

The rocket launcher pointing to the sky could send nuclear warheads.

150 rounds per minute from each of the four barrels.

Women gunners in this North Korea photo.

After we looked at all the guns outside we went into the huge building and spent another hour or so, and only walked past many of the items and displays. Way too much to read and look at thoroughly.

Colonial musket loaders to modern day handheld rocket launchers.

A display case with more information on Lt. Col. E.W.B. Morrison told more about his connection to Lt. Col. John McCrae and the famous poem “In Flanders Fields. John McCrae wrote the poem after the funeral service of his good friend that had joined up with him and then, we were told in Belgium where he wrote it, threw it away. Morrison picked it up and told McCrae he should publish it.

This is a copy of Morrison’s drawing where, according to most accounts McCrae wrote the poem.

One of Morrison’s illustrations of the poem.

Notice though that no credit was given for the author.

There was a book binding factory in Winnipeg in 1915. This ‘woman’ is stitching pages together.

We drove back to the highway and headed east again before turning south to the community of Carberry. As we were driving around the town we saw the Plains Museum so decided to go take a look.

The museum building was originally a sash and door factory owned by a prominent Carberry citizen. He owned most of the city block and had a General Store and a few other business throughout town. His house was next door and is owned by the city and is part of the museum. We toured it later.

Items of interest to me in the Carberry Plains Museum.

My mom just wrapped a few pennies and a couple of nickels and dimes and one quarter in wax paper to put in our birthday cakes. I did not know there were actual sets of tokens for that.

We had a double-scoop ice cream lunch between touring the museum and the Gingerbread House and then headed down the road to find Spruce Woods Park and go see the sand dunes. The park is very large and we could see the sandy soil under the vegetation on both sides of the road. We pulled into the place that had the trail to the dunes and the Park Policeman was there checking vehicles to be sure they displayed a permit. We asked where we could get one and he directed us to a campground a few kilometers down the road. After wandering around for awhile in search of the place to buy a permit John was told that it is a hour and a half hike round trip to see the dunes. And over 40 minutes of walking before you even see them in the distance. A day permit was $9.50. By this time it was 3 o’clock and the hottest part of the day so we decided we did not need to see sand dunes that bad so headed back to Brandon.

The Assiniboine River winds back and forth like a snake.

I spotted these colourful watercraft while we were trying to find where to buy a park permit.

There were patches of sand hills along the road so we did see dunes – sort of .

Tomorrow we leave Manibtoba and enter Saskatchewan. We will be spending the night in Weyburn about 3 hours drive from Brandon.

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