Friday, August 21, 2015

day 4 - mint

Gas!! We are going through a lot of gas. Our trip across Canada might be better titled, 'An Epic Tour of Canadian Gas Stations'.  Our budget for gas is a very modest $5000 for the entire trip, but I'm a little concerned we will even go over that.  Let's hope we never have to drive more than 300 km between gas stations or these blog posts will become a lot more colorful :)

On day 4 we woke up outside Brandon, Manitoba in Bry-Mar RV Campground and went on a fun 30 min run with a big posse this time: all three adults and a handful of little boys.  As we were running off past the office, a guy jumped out and pointed out this great trail he had set up around the campground.  It was a good 4km loop through the fields and bush that was kept nicely mowed.  He must have been excited that someone was actually going to use it and  Dana and I felt like we were real trail runners after we that adventure.. mud and all.

Speaking of Dana, she is doing such an amazing job of camping and driving every day without her husband. I don't think I would ever attempt what she is doing. He had to work all week and so he is flying in to meet us after we get around Lake Superior.  She can navigate, drive, cook, set up camp and even deal with the dreaded black tank all on  her own -- never mind entertaining the kids.  Way to go Dana!!  It's been so much fun to have a friend along on the trip, and the kids are loving spending so much time with their buddies.   We will definitely miss them when we part ways after Quebec.

After dealing with more evil sewer problems (ugh!) we headed towards Winnipeg.  None of us have ever been there before so it was definitely uncharted territory.  The roads all looked the same on the way there but we were a little dismayed by the ring road that was more like a crazy-long-detour around the city road - took much longer than we wanted to. By the time we made it to the Mint we were all ready to collapse out of the van and camp right in the parking lot. 

The Mint was a lot of fun though.  We had booked a tour, which is definitely the way to go, and we all learned something.  I had no idea that our Mint actually makes coins for dozens of other countries and it was really interesting to see real coins being poured out of the machines.  The kids had visions of swimming in money after that tour :)  

The gift shop was a big draw afterwards - there was a security guard with a bar of gold (SO heavy) that we could take turns lifting (half a million dollars worth!), and then the girls all bough cute little stuffies, Sammy bought a Moose dressed up like a Mountie and the boys happily exchanged some of their own coins for brand new ones that haven't even left the building yet.  Zach even bought himself a $20 silver coin with an image of Superman on the front.

Because it took so long to get to the Mint, we changed our camping plans for the night and found a really close campground in the city called Town & Country  that was a snapshot right out of the 50s. It was like good old fashioned camping and we had a nice quiet night with the kids playing an epic game of soccer at the park, and the parents relaxing with a bottle of well-deserved wine at the campfire.  Another great day in our great country.

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