Aaron is a big fan of The Lord of the Rings series, and I’m currently reading it, so of course we had to make a stop in Gimli, MB. A little beach town on the shores of Lake Winnipeg, Gimli is known for it’s annual Icelandic Festival and for the giant viking statue by the beach. Our day in Gimli was a cool and rainy one, and although beautiful in any kind of weather, we agreed that it would be an especially nice place in the summer. It’s on a long list of places to return!
This was the first driving day where we started to notice the landscape flattening into the prairies. I love the rugged beauty of the escarpment, but farmland reminds me of home.
Next we headed to Spruce Woods Provincial Park. By the time we made it to the park the weather had cleared, and we would enjoy warm sunny days for the rest of the week. After some cold camping in northern Ontario it was so nice to feel the sun on our faces again!
After speaking with a really helpful park ranger, we decided to hike the entire 12km trail through the Spirit Sands and into The Devil’s Punchbowl and finishing with the Assiniboine River. The Spirit Sands are one of the many sights on this trip that have made me marvel at Canada’s geographical diversity. Four square kilometers of sand dunes, the Spirit Sands are often mistakenly referred to as a dessert. The area receives too much annual rainfall to technically qualify as a dessert, but when you’re hiking through it, it can definitely feel like one. In the middle of all this sand lies “The Devil’s Punchbowl” a spring-fed body of water which, like the sand hills that surround it, is constantly shifting. The Assiniboine River was an especially exciting stop for me, because the Stoney (Assiniboine) and Blackfoot (Siksika) First Nations used to trade furs with the Hudson’s Bay Company here. Two tribes which I have a very special interest in.
Soon it was time to hit the road again. As always, there’s more to come soon!