July 06, 2009

199: Daytrippers

Top row (left to right): adding machine of the beast in Ponemah; Sarah the roadside camel in Glenboro. Middle row (left to right): Kerry styles at the Souris agate pit; explosive words in the Souris caboose. Bottom row (left to right): daisies, yo; Kerry, on the bridge.


Kerry and I celebrated an odd Canada Day Wednesday off by seeing a bit of the countryside and jet-setting off to Souris, Manitoba. For those outside certain local circles, the town of Souris (population 1,683) is home to the country's longest cable-stayed footbridge, which spans the Souris River at a length of 177 metres (584 feet). Souris is less-known as the hometown of a former coworker of mine, who claims to have punched fomer Philadelphia Flyers' goalie Ron Hextall – who hailed from up the road – in the nose during a childhood hockey game. But I digress.

With local scribe Bartley Kives' tome A Daytripper's Guide to Manitoba, we hit the highway west to see this village first-hand, for the first time. The book came in handy, guiding us through some backwoods directions to find a farm-based reptile exhibit in nearby Shilo. That was cool in its own right; certainly not something one would expect to see on the bald prairie. If you can find it, I'd say it's worth the $5 admission.

In Souris proper, we ate lunch, strolled through the town park and chased the town peacocks. We explored a caboose-turned-museum. Walked the planks of the famous bridge (Kerry noted the shake makes it feel as if you're walking "like a Sweathog"). Rockhounded our heat-stricken butts off at the local agate pit. And then headed home – via Glenboro and its giant roadside camel – to a 9:00 dinner at Headingley's traveler haven Nick's Inn (bacon cheeseburger and fries for this hombre, but sadly out of milkshake). Following, we were so pooped we couldn't stay up for fireworks; instead, we heard them boom as we fell asleep in our bed.

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