Day 23 CCR: Changing Landscape

In the United States, the area west of the Mississippi River and east of the Rocky Mountains is known as The Great Plains. The same flatland in Canada is known as the Canadian Prairies. Manitoba constitutes the easternmost portion of the Canadian Prairies and today’s ride from Winnipeg (the longitudinal center of Canada) to Swan River, north of the capital, was markedly different from the land we’ve been riding through the past two weeks in Ontario, Quebec, and the Maritime provinces.

Vast grain and hayfields unbroken by forests or hills extended to the horizon almost as soon as we left Winnipeg and continued for much of the ride. When we weren’t riding between fields, we were riding through scrub pasture of mixed trees and grassland and dotted with hundreds of head of cattle and spring calves, one of the primary products of Manitoba’s extensive agricultural economy.

Many of the fields that should be awash in green by mid-June haven’t even been planted yet because this spring has been one of the wettest on record in southern Manitoba. Standing water still pockmarks many of the fields, and creeks and rivers continue to run high. Farmers can’t get into the fields with their giant tractors and planters, so many crops this year will be late or non-existent. At one point, we passed over a new (and unfinished) bridge that had been replaced in recent weeks after being destroyed by flood waters.

We were south of Alonsa and headed for Sainte Rose-du-Lac when I made this screen shot. Other cells like this popped up repeatedly during our ride.

I offer this weather report because once again we were forced to don rain suits in anticipation of strong storms. Fortunately, we dodged the worst of the rain. Turns in the road would send us into clearing skies only to be turned again at the next curve in the road into an approaching or passing storm. Had we ridden into some of the heavy rain we could see in the distance, we would have had to park the bikes because the downpour would have made riding dangerous and seeing next to impossible.

But today we were lucky. We saw lots of rain and some wet pavement but only had light sprinkles fall on us and the bikes. Fortuitous timing, because in several cases we missed heaving rain by no more than 15 or 20 minutes.

As we rode into Sainte Rose-du-Lac near lunchtime, I spotted a diner I was pretty sure would have pies of various flavors and hues. So I stopped. And I was right. And I had raisin pie and ice cream for lunch, for those who have been wondering where all the pie pictures have gone.

Lunch

Tomorrow we continue north to a stop I’ve been anticipating for six months. Flin Flon, on the border between Manitoba and Saskatchewan, has an interesting name and will be the northernmost point of the CCR. I hope to catch up over coffee with Susanne and Don, whom we met at Cape Spear at the start of the ride across Canada two weeks ago.

3 responses to “Day 23 CCR: Changing Landscape”

  1. nuke53 says :

    Sounds like another good riding day! Hope you can continue to dodge the worse of the weather. Ride safe.

  2. johnwest2343 says :

    The pie looks great. Found the town on google earth and Flin Flon looks like a pretty big town on the map. It might be snowing it is soooo far North. Glad The heavy rain stayed away from y’all.
    Ride Safe.

  3. sharonjoygerard says :

    Pie looks good! Finally…you’ve had pie on this trip!

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