Day 9: Winnipeg to ???

Today was a day that proved that sometimes not planning is the best plan. I woke up to cold temps (around 45 degrees) and rain. I didn’t want to get out of bed, but it was 6 and I wanted to get an early start on the drive today so that I could spend time touring around Regina, which is roughly where I planned to stop for the night. I packed up the bus, dumped the gray water tank, and filled up on Diesel (the campground offered a discount of 1c per liter).

The drive to Regina was wet and stormy and I discovered that my windshield leaks a bit around the seal. No big deal, but something to watch. The route took me northwest through more farmland, but the towns and gas stations seemed to be more frequent than in North Dakota. That was a relief since I’m still feeling out how far I can go on one tank before I get nervous. I also crossed into Saskatchewan and back into the mountain time zone.

As we pulled into Regina the rain cleared, which made touring around a lot more pleasant. My first stop was the Royal Canadian Mounted Police Heritage Centre. It featured the history of the RCMP, including their inception in an attempt to not repeat the mistakes made in the United States in dealing with the native population as new settlers moved in. Unfortunately, that only worked for a short time. But the rich history of the RCMP was fascinating as well as learning about their mission today, especially when faced with melting arctic ice in much of the northern territories. After touring the Heritage Centre, we took a tour of the RCMP training facility. Given that it was a Saturday, it was pretty quiet on campus.

After the RCMP Heritage Centre, I headed out to see the Legislative Assembly Saskatchewan, also located in Regina. It’s their provincial equivalent to a state capitol building. And it’s stunning architecture. Pepper and I walked around for a while and then as we were right in front of the building entrance steps she decided to poo. Yup. Couldn’t have done it any of the other places. She had to drop RIGHT in front of the main entry. Awesome. But like a good dog owner I picked it up and scurried off.

Back in the bus I decided to press on. None of the campground options around Regina were resonating with me and it was clouding over again anyway, so I figured I’d rather be driving in the rain than trying to set up camp. I’m soooo glad I did. I came around a turn in the road and spotted a huge, calm, sunny, lake. I quickly looked up the campground I saw on the far bank and decided that was going to be my home for the night. I’m so glad I did. Blackstrap Provincial Park charges $30CAD for a site with electricity and nearby water. And lake access for standup paddleboarding in the morning. Done and done.

Tomorrow is an easy 3-3.5 hour drive to another lakeside campsite in Waskesiu Lake, Saskatchewan.