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Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Ottawa To Saskatoon - Day 3

Day 3 was April 26 , Monday a beautiful sunny day for travelling.


We left Ironwood, Michigan travelling through the top part of Wisconsin, another time change, and then into North Dakota, heading for Minot. We now hit FLAT lands, grain elevators, wheat fields, general agricultural processing areas, with a lot of national wildlife refuges. One sees small marshy areas along a very wide 4 lane 112 km speed road way, where you'd see the odd duck pair (common loon for one), Canada geese nesting, red-winged black birds and the odd seagull. If there was anywhere we saw animals hit by cars, it was along this route and they were all seagulls. The other thing we found, it didn't matter which of the 2 lanes you drove in. The outside lane wasn't 'reserved' for passing only.On this long quiet traffic road, you'd come across wide areas of land where horizontal shale drilling was done. With little to do :) but watch the same thing over and over, we would pick a large object on the horizon and see how many kms it would take to get there. Most times it was around 10km.

Another 'duck' bobbing its head ....must be some rich people out here ..

Here and there you would see stands of trees, which you knew that there was some one's home.

The one place we stopped to take pictures was in Rugby, ND. It is the geographical center of the North American continent, and right off the main highway. Not much around either.

We stayed in Minot just off the highway at the Sleep-Inn Suites which was attached to the Dakota Square Shopping Mall. We arrived late day, finding mostly a paved parking lot! AHHHH, where to walk the dogs? We had to walk far across the parking lot to an open area, where beside it a building was being watch by firefighters as it was still smoldering. Well ... don't we find the area is sparse with grass and the so called soil, is well, like that on a beach, only soggier! is that a word?? Mike was sinking big time, like it's quick sand, with it coming up to the edges of his 'duck boots', and the more we walked on it the more it STUCK to them! and it got heavy. What a mess we had on our shoes. It was so funny, well not really ... but we got the giggles as we tried to scrap off this muck on the curbs. It was getting dark, windy & cool too. Finally, we had to remove our duck boots to walk through the hotel and then try and wash off this sand/gunk in the shower (no bath tubs in this place) or in the sink.


This hotel offered a few 'freebies', one which was buy a drink, get one free at their lounge. So we decided we needed a drink after all this mucking around and we'd have our dinner too. We got served and then viewed the menu on the table. Hummm ... the bartender isn't coming back??? I flagged him over ... only to be told, 'oh sorry we don't serve food after 9pm'! So why the menus ...'oh we leave them out all the time!' DAH?? So now where do we get food? You have to walk thru the mall to a restaurant called Grizzly's. We were able to get take-out and go back to our room. We were tired, hungry and just wanted to hit the bed. This day didn't end till almost midnight.

We've now learned that it one must fill up when you are starting to get low on gas, as the next stop could be for 100's of km away. There are no signs, like we have on our 401 that tells you it's X till the next gas station.

And still, we've not had a GOOD coffee!

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