Thursday, July 05, 2012

Trip to the Near South (Days 1 & 2)

An uneventful drive through Saskatchewan. The highlight was the discovery of a park in Weyburn that had basic parkour training stations scattered about.
At the border, there was a heart stopping moment as the guard inspecting our vehicle threatened me with a $300 fine for the single orange I neglected to eat before getting there. Of course, it was a Florida orange, but who knows what pathogen it may have picked up in disease ridden Canada. As the orange flew into their garbage receptacle, I felt that the world was just a little safer. Job well done.

Most of the day was spent driving. I was entertained by alternately listening to music and having Anwyn read to me from my favourite book of childhood, The Hobbit.


We arrived in Velva, ND near supper time. The owner of the campground was run off her feet and said if we didn't need electrical hook ups, we could pitch our tent anywhere we liked for free. I made sure to choose a great location.
We set up our tent, ate and then drove back into Minot to watch some fireworks. I was concerned we might not be able to find where the city was having a show, but turns out I had nothing to worry about. Apparently, every individual in the USA has enough fireworks that if the President should call on him, he could host the fireworks festival himself.

It was a pretty great evening. There was a terrific sunset...

An airshow...

A colourful moon-rise...

And some exploding things...

Today was day 2. We drove most of the day in 37 degree heat. The terrain was quite boring today, although the parks continue to be far above par compared with Saskatchewan. One highlight was that we managed to find 4 four-leaf clovers at one of the rest stops.

By the time we checked into our hotel in Minneapolis, we were all tired, but Anwyn had her heart set on going to a restaurant: "This is a vacation, Dad!" So, armed with her iPad and complimentary hotel wifi, my 12 year old set about finding us a place to eat. She found a pizza joint that looked near enough on the map, not realizing that Minneapolis is not the same size as Saskatoon.


View Larger Map
In this case, "near enough" turned out to be about 10 miles (16km). That is just a little more than driving from my house all the way across Saskatoon to the Credit Union Centre. I didn't have the heart to say she couldn't go to this cool vegetarian pizza nook, so off we went to Galactic Pizza.


It's an over-the-top concept. Leora hated the decor, though Anwyn and I quite enjoyed it. The chef was wearing a superhero outfit complete with cape. We found the pizza to be competent, but it was on the bland side. The kids thought they could have used a cheese with more punch.


Very tired...

I will keep a running gallery of the trip pictures here...