The Endless Prairies

My journey from the Rockies forwards the east began with a quick stop as crescent falls and canyon in Nordegg. Destination for the day was Dinosaur provincial park, where I arrived close to sunset. It is quite an unexpected sight as the park is kind of sunken into the plains. The sheer endless fields just suddenly drop and a hidden maze of orange red rock appears beneath. It is ment to be one of the best places in Canada for fossils and of course, as the name said, for Dinosaurs. Especially in the red glowing evening light it looked really nice and was a welcome change to the endless fields. 

The night I slept at a little town campsite close to Medicine Hat. In contrast to the last few days, when my dishwashing liquid still froze over night, at that night the temperatures didn't drop below 28° - to be honest, I even prefer the cold for sleeping. By the way, regardless of the temperatures outside, I love the truck to camp! Its so comfortable, so convenient, simply so great - just love it! Anyway, even though the temperatures didn't really drop, the wind picked quite a bit up over night and just wouldn't die down again the next to days. So I continued my way through the windy prairies and took a few detours north and south to explore, even though there wasn't mach to see at all. With every hour of driving I started to dislike the prairies more and more. The sceneries just stayed the same, field after field after field all the way to the horizon and even further. Especially in Saskatchewan there was no tree and no bush to be seen anywhere. The only thing fine found every other hour was a little ghost town, always with an old, rotten grain elevator and if you were lucky maybe a gas station - but better don't rely on that. Accordingly the breeze I felt in the campground this morning became quite a strong wind raging over the country with nothing to stop it and nowhere to hide. In good moments I only feared to loose my side mirror, most of the time I feared I might get blown of the road completely. I started to hate it, I just wanted to get out. The vastness and the lack of shelter just made me feel so vunrable and uncomfortable. It was totally different to what I had expected. I missed my mountains and trees already. 

When crossing into Manitoba at least a few of the trees came back. Especially in central Manitoba I felt like I am back in Brandenburg, Germany. I was just waiting for the city of Nairn to pop up behind the next corner. It was a strange feeling, to think you are home but actually Bering on the other side of the world. 

The next change of scenery happens fairly close to the Ontario border. I stead of endless fields, now endless forests dominated the landscape; and lakes, everywhere. Its got to be quite an impressive sight from above, flying over the area with all those hidden lakes between the trees. By far the biggest one of the. Is the Lake of the woods which reaches all the way down south to the states. Looking at it from the beautiful little town of Kenora it only looked fairly small though. Beautiful nevertheless. Its got to be a paradise for kayaking as it just goes on forever, winding its way through the woods with hundreds of islands and sandy beaches. Kenora it self, which is going to be one of the closest towns for me during the next few weeks is unexpectedly pretty and cute. Quite different to all the other towns I've seen in Western Canada so far.

From there it took me another hour to Vermilion Bay and than just a little bit further along Red Lake road to Foxfire Ranch - my overall destination for now. To be honest,I don't know what I've expected or if I've even expected anything at all, but sure enough I got surprised. It's basic, which doesn't mean it can't be nice. So I'm living in a little shack, having the only 'shower' at the property. The water for it I have to haul from the outside tap though, so better don't waste any of it. The only toilet is an outhouse, the only place to get running water is in the 'main house' or in the barn. Laundry is by hand, or in the next laundry shop (1h drive away) or simply not at all. The diet is everything, but nothing with flour or grain and breakfast doesn't really exist. Other than me there is the farm owners, a dog, two cats, chickens, rabbits, a bottle pigglet, two horses and about 60 cows. I'm not quite sure yet what my main duties will be but probably some work with the horses and what ever else might come up. So far so good, I'll give it a try, it will definitely be a bit of an adventure. 

Even though this area seems to be classified as part of northern Canada (probably only by people from southern Ontario) the weather is quite hot so far with temperatures well above 28° all the time. So I am glad we have a very nice swimming lake with sandy beach just a few km down to road. Another thing I am quite happy about is that there are not too many mosquitoes and flies around yet. I hope it stayes that way, as this area is known for its many bugs during summer and freezing cold weather during winter...