Regina, Saskachewan to International Peace Garden

Trip Start May 25, 2008
Trip End Aug 03, 2008

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International Peace Garden

Flag of United States  , North Dakota
Monday, July 28, 2008

Finally, we'll be back in the lower 48 today - sort-of. More on that later. As usual, we woke around 6:00 and left at 7:00 from Regina. Again, Regina is another place we could easily stay and find stuff to do for a few days. But this was our Alaska trip, not a Canada trip. That will come at another time. We drove for several hours on the Trans-Canada 1 through Saskatchewan. Mostly a straight 4 lane highway with little else but canola fields and small towns with huge grain towers - you can see these things for miles down the road since the land is flat. We only had to stop once at a small town to use our RV facilities - next to a nice little garden with flags representing all the countries the people from this town came from. On to Manitoba. We are not staying in Manitoba tonight - sort of. After 30 min. in Manitoba, we left the Trans-Canada to take some back roads to North Dakota. Long straight roads. The exciting part of the drive came from the worst road so far. Not as far as gravel - we wish we had gravel. Instead, it was 5 miles of pure black mud!!! I had to keep the RV up to speed around 30 miles per hour or we would be stuck since the mud was so thick. After the 5 miles, I looked back on the RV and it was BLACK!!! At least 3 to 4 inches of mud caked on it. From this fun, it was only 30 more min. to our campground for tonight at the International Peace Garden. This is one of the most unique places we have seen all trip - and that is saying a lot. The Peace Garden is around 2300 acres - half in Manitoba and half in North Dakota. The fun part is you do not have to go through US customs until you exit the peace park. The campground only cost $25 but it did cost $10 to enter the park, but it was more than worth it. The campground had secluded sites in the woods with a concrete pad (a must since the place had seen a lot of rain). Our site was a pull-in which made it easy. Right away, we had to clean all the mud off the RV or it might not open up. Now technically, you are not suppose to wash RV at you site, but this was an emergency. And we did not wash the truck (I want to see how long the mud will stay on - call it a Manitoba souvenir).  It took us a good hour to wash it and then we relaxed a bit before our tour of the gardens. As luck would have it, we had a huge Blueberry bush right on our site so we went to town on it. And they were so sweet!!! We even dipped the bush down so that Max could eat right off the bush. It was so funny we had to take a video of it. After feeding ourselves, we took the bikes down and biked around the gardens. The whole path was around 5 miles. First we went into the Game Warden Museum which had some info on what they do -  a great job if you like the outdoors. They had some stuffed animals there too. Then we biked to the US/Canada border marker. From this place you can see a clear-cut area where the border runs straight for miles and miles. Next to this was a beautiful small chapel. It could only hold around 30 people and they had peace quotes engraved along the wall from people all over the world - from Gandhi to JFK. Also inside was a series of front page newspapers from 9-11. Outside, the Gardens had their own twin towers which were 180 feet tall - one tower on each side of the border. Down from these towers were a few iron girders from the real Twin Towers in New York City. From here, we biked to the main flower garden area, which included a large flower clock about 6 feet in diameter. The gardens were some of the best I have ever seen - and I'm not so much into flowers. We took it easy for a few with a good ice cream from the snack stand. Then we biked the other half of the park on the twisty and hill road around many lakes. We did take a small 1.5 mile hike through some forest and more lakes. Finally, after several hours, we made it back to the RV for the night. As Pooh cleaned the bikes, I cooked some homemade French Bread Pizza which was so good. As for the bikes, that's another story. For safety sake, we'll need to keep the bikes in the RV for the rest of the trip since our new bike rakes on the truck are starting to break apart. I hope they were still under warranty.  After dinner, Pooh was tired (from biking, cleaning RV, & cleaning the bikes) so she went to bed. Lucky for me there was a large pile of wood next to the fire pit, so I decided to make my first campfire of the trip - yes, almost 70 days camping with no campfire. However, since there had been so much rain, it took forever to get the wood to light-up. And when I finally did, it started to thunderstorm - just my luck. The fire was so strong, than even after the storm, the fire kept going. It took several buckets of water to put it out.
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