On the road to Winnipeg, we discover vast cultivated lands. Huge conifer forests have left the place to big flat cereal fields. It is impressive ? Winnipeg is really a nice city and we arrive during a special night where all museums are open at night so we take the chance for a little nocturnal ride which finally leads us to the plantarium to visit the neighbouring installations, we also cross paths with a funny nocturnal cycling costumed race, the city is alive with lots of nice little places. We go to the farmers’ market and it is huge and with a lot of producers and organic too as well as really nice locally transformed produces, it is really cool ! Our favourite is the Human Rights Museum, a truly moving museum which tells about all topics that are related to this theme. The museum architecture itself is amazing and does enhance the whole experience !
We leave Winnipeg and drive across our first snow. We hope it is not going to last as we are not really equipped for this kind of weather. The snow hurricane has been stronger than expected and a lot of cars crashed. The next day we wake up in Wolseley and everything is frozen, the landscapres are all covered in white, it is so magnificent but we are cold. We stop at Moose Jaw for a little spa, the hot water invigorates us, so nice to be in a hot water pool when it is so cold outside !
We also cross the city of Regina looking for its brewery which we don’t find and come across in the a deer and her baby in the middle of the city, in someone’s backyard under an apple tree. The apple tree is filled with red apples, the scene is like a biblical drawing.
We then pay a visit to the Dinosaur Provincial Park, there is only a few people there and it is great park, relatively quick to visit. We see fossils found there and we imagine the giant reptiles that used to run over the surface of the globe such a long time before us and then we get to admire the mule deers, deers with huge ears and black extremities, so cute and not very afraid of us. The encounter with very old trees is also very moving, it makes you want to seat down at their feet and listen to their stories and stay there snug and safe.
We cross infinite fields filled with enormous strawbales whitened by snow, as a Van Gogh picture in winter.
We sleep at the « Walmart Hotel », the supermarket parking, which is known for not caring about people parking there overnight. We are not the only ones and there are a lot of cars and vans staying there overnight. Dinner is eaten in the cold on a camping table found a little earlier.
We see a lot of cars in the middle of the road, stuck after getting off course, probably due to the snow. We are surprised because we thought Canadians experts in driving cars in the snow ! We don't stay much in Alberta but it is quite impressive !
We go through some canyons and discover our first hoodoos, those strange rock formations.
In the meantime, we have cross to BC. We arrived at the Banff National Park, it is a huge park coupled with other parks and an impressive reputation. We started by Jonston Canyon, it is pretty but so paved and full of people that the natural aspect is definitely weaken. We had some nice good corn at the camping and have a quiet night. We continue onwards our road to Jasper and Lake Maligne. On a morning little walk without anyone, we admire beautiful landscapes. We pass by beautiful elk herds and mountain goats on the side of the road, it is so great !
We continue to Miette to go bathe in the natural hot spring waters. We sleep outside of the park in a parking lot and return the next day to go to Lake Maligne where we get to see huge and superb mooses. The Chinese tourists are quite numerous in the park and don’t seem to be warned or seem totally unaware because they approach these enormous animals closeby and take pictures turning their back on them, are they that disconnected from Wild Nature that they think of these animals as enormous and nice teddy bears ?
We also see a huge white head eagle ! We are super happy of our animal picture harvest in this park even if we still haven’t seen black bears ! Ah yes we stop also in the meantime at the Columbia icefield to admire a huge glacier, Athabasca, more impressive than others we’ve seen in New Zealand because much closer. When we see to which point it has withdrawn, and that we know that part of it is linked to human activities, we get a little depressed. On the road to Clearwater, I turn on my computer and connect to the car audio and we listen a bit to Coluche, a famous French one man comic show, we still laugh listening to him and his topics are still so true nowadays ! That is it, we are nearly done with crossing Canada as we are arriving in British Columbia after near to 4300km of driving !