Gimli (MB) to Riverton (MB) / April 6 to 11, 2016
Wednesday, April 6 to Monday, April 11, 2016
Upon waking up the morning of April 6th we saw a thick carpet of fresh snow covering the ground. Tree branches were heavy. It was beautiful! The thermometer showed -2C. Around 13:00 we left Rob’s home. We wanted to take our time to ensure that the snow had melted enough on the road to walk without problems. We walked for 18 km. On the way, Mr. Anderson (whom we had met on our arrival at Rob’s a few days earlier) found us and talked with us for a moment. His visit was a great pleasure.
At Hnausa Recreational Park we decided to set up our camp, even though all their facilities were still closed for the winter season. While we were pitching our tent behind the welcome office (to seek protection from the wind), a man on a snowmobile came to visit us. He had seen us walking earlier on the road and wondered what two people, with a dog and a canoe on wheels, were doing here in this kind of weather. He said that, according to him, the ice would not soon give way to the water. The further we move toward Matheson Island, the fewer people we will meet. There are also two peat moss plants on the way, so we can expect to encounter several large trucks on the road.
While planning our supper the temperature began to plunge drastically. The cold set in for good with a 55 km/h wind. We quickly slipped into our sleeping bags, warmed up and found ourselves fast asleep.
The next morning it was -18C, and the wind remained strong. A fresh cover of snow had also accumulated overnight. We looked at the weather forecast again. We had to decide whether it was better for us to remain here or to leave and try to find a motel in Riverton (the next village). We decided to hit the road, despite the strong wind. We had to walk head first, leaning into the wind. On the road, we met a very nice plow driver. Then, a pack of dogs threatened us. Pierre had to repel the dogs with one of our long poling poles, while I continued to pull the canoe and hold onto Jasmine while moving forward. Jasmine reacted well to this incident. Later, the dog’s owner came to see us and made sure we were all ok. It was very nice of him.
In Riverton, we took a room for two nights at the Riverton Motor Inn. That evening, we even ate at the motel's restaurant. After a hot shower, we were grateful to be warm and to have a bed to sleep in away from the cold and the wind.
The next day, Rob texted us saying that the Riverton Early Middle School would like to have us make a presentation. Rob, thank you again for your help and for the link! :) At 2 p.m., we were in the school gymnasium with all of their students. What a beautiful time we had with the kids. The students and teachers were very interested and asked many questions. And of course... Jasmine stole the show!
It was also my birthday on Friday. We were pleased to receive two delicious cupcakes as a gift and a big "Happy Birthday". Everyone was so nice!
The weather forecast was no better for Sunday. The forecast, added to a problem with my left Achilles tendon, convinced us to stay put. On Monday, April 11, it was -18C and very windy and cold. It it supposed to remain the same until Tuesday. However, the temperature will increase dramatically on Tuesday, April 12. This will be perfect for us to start walking again toward Matheson Island.
Today, Pierre met the owner of Riverton Motor Inn. It was a good opportunity to thank Mr. Pierre Deniset and show him our appreciation. Mr. Deniset is a francophone. He is very knowledgeable of the history of the region, the voyageurs and Sieur de La Verendrye.