July 20 – Kenora: Trains, Float Planes and Skip Bo

Phone booth on the waterfront

Phone booth on the waterfront

Today I am leaving Kenora to go to a place near Steinbach, Manitoba. I will be changing provinces. Last year I moved from home to Vancouver in 5 days. This year it has taken me over a week to reach the border between Ontario and Manitoba. It has been a much more relaxing trip, my bottom is still speaking to me.

Little house on the rocks

Little house on the rocks

Kenora is a beautiful town, tucked onto the scenic shores of Lake of the Woods. I am staying with Gail, whose little house perched on a rocky shoulder of the rocks of the Canadian Shield. Her location has everything. It is across the street from the tracks where long trains race past often, it is on the float plane path back to the cove where they land, and yesterday, we saw big seagull like birds flying over. Later Gail identified them as pelicans. Pelicans? Really? I thought they were a Florida bird. Apparently not and today, before I leave, we are going for a Pelican stalking walk so I can get a good close up look.

Mural in Kenora

Mural in Kenora

Gail has a 9 year old neighbour who goes to Pow Wows and dances the Jingle Dance. She brought over her Jingle Dress to show to me. Beautiful, and it really does jingle. She showed me the steps to the dance and I could imagine 40 or 50 women dancing together wearing similar dresses. The sound, accompanied by the drums and the dancers would be beautiful. She and Gail convinced me to look for Pow Wows as I cross the prairies. That evening they taught me to play Skip Bo and then proceeded to beat me badly. I didn’t have a chance, but it is a good game. I think I will get it for my grandchildren when I go home. Lots of numbers, not too complicated and fun. I can’t believe I have never played it before.

Kenora Museum

Kenora Museum

Yesterday I went to the Kenora Museum and took a look at the map exhibition that just opened. I love maps and these ranged from the very first explorers renderings of the area to sophisticated satellite images. Two things really amazed me. One was the accuracy of the ones made for the explorers by  the first nations people.  They had never seen the satellite images or even flown above the land. Their knowledge of the land and the way they were able to  detail it, were amazing. And the second thing that surprised me was Lake of the Woods itself. It contains 14,500 islands and over 105,000 kms of shore line. Looking at the maps, I wondered how the early voyageurs could navigate their way through reliably, but they did, making Kenora a stop along the early water highway west.

Lake of the Woods

Lake of the Woods

Yesterday I walked along the waterfront, dodging rain showers and enjoyed the huge wall paintings, street art and of course, Husky the Musky. I think it would be wonderful to have a year round cottage here. There seems to be so much going on all the time. On the other hand it is a bit far from home, and Gail says I am welcome to stop by any time. Next time I am definitely bringing my kayak.

Float plane parking lot

Float plane parking lot

Talk the next time I have a connection.

Husky the Musky

Husky the Musky

3 Responses to July 20 – Kenora: Trains, Float Planes and Skip Bo

  • Faye Blondin says:

    There is a phone booth just like this red one on Whyte Avenue and 104 Street in Edmonton – check it out. Right beside the hotel my husband and I of 30 years first met – the Strathcona Hotel ….

    • Vicki says:

      I will look for that phone booth Faye. Where is your Mom…still in BC? or was it Alberta. If it is in Alberta, I might visit. 🙂

  • Faye Blondin says:

    P.S. I have my 82 year old mom signed up for your Quest and she is loving it. I introduced her to you last year when she visited me and she quite loved your writing and looked forward to me signing her up this year.

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