Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Day 17 - Touring Lower Fort Garry and Manitoba Museum

Our plans today were dependent on the weather.  One spot we really wanted to see was Lower Fort Garry National Historic Site but a lot of it is outside so we did not want to go in the rain.  When we woke the forecast called for rain but not till the afternoon so we headed out to the site.

We arrive around 10 am and end up buying an annual Family pass that allows us to visit all Canadian Historical sites in the next twelve months free. A great deal considering we plan on visiting many more just on this trip alone.

Here is what is said about Lower Fort Garry. 

Lower Fort Garry was built in 1830 by the Hudson's Bay Company on the western bank of the Red River, 32 km north of the original Fort Garry (now Winnipeg). Treaty 1 was signed there.

Goernor Simpson's home

Governor Simpson chose the site of Lower Fort Garry because of its high ground and location below the St. Andrew's Rapids, eliminating a time-consuming portage of heavy fur packs and York boats

check out these huge rolling pins

hmmm Smuts and Separating Machine

The first buildings built at the fort in 1830 were the "fur loft", which housed the company store, small warehouse and trader's office, and the "Big House" (residence for the governor of the HBC or other high-ranking officials). Later additions included a warehouse and a men's house. The fort's signature walls were completed in the 1840s, adding an icehouse, powder magazine, bakehouse, and warehouse bastions. These walls were non-military, intended only to make the fort appear more important and impressive to both local traders and visiting HBC officers. Many of the buildings were constructed with limestone, which was easily obtained from nearby.

Bea sneaks into the boat

Although the Lower Fort did trade a small amount of furs, its main purpose was as a supply depot for the Red River settlement and the surrounding CreeAnishinaabeMétis, and European (mostly Orkney Scot) populations. Many furs at the fort were brought from other districts, repackaged at the fort and sent to England via York Factory. The post traded essential manufactured goods to the farmers and hunters for produce that was in turn used for provisioning company treks into the north. 

We must of spent at least three hours there.

While there there was a ceremony for the Royal Canadian Mounted Police in recognition for service.  You see this site was used by the Mounted Police for training in 1873.  So today there are about 80 RCMP and family here for the ceremony.  

You can see that Bea Damn is a little nervous when we enter the fur loft and they point out the beaver pelt.

I was quite impressed with the York boats that were built and used by the Hudson Bay to travel north to the Red River Settlement which was a 1,100 km journey which included dozens of grueling portages.  From here they would load onto shipping vessels in Hudson's Bay and travel to Europe.
York Boats

We ended up having lunch there and as we were having lunch the skies opened and it down poured!  

So we decide the afternoon will be spent at the Manitoba Museum and Planetarium. 

We arrive at 2:20 and we attend the 2:30 show at the Planetarium.  It was very interesting and it has been years since I was at a planetarium.

a vehicle that travels over ice 

After the show we do a quick tour of the museum.  The museum closes at 5 so we only have an hour.  But we quickly check it out and really enjoyed some sites and learned a lot.
love this
But by 4:45 we are beat.  You know this touring around is exhausting!

When we get in the car the rain is coming down so hard and it is slow going as roads are having trouble draining all this water. It is also rush hour traffic.  What should of been a 15 minute trip ended up being a half hour.

When we arrive at condo we run across the street and dodge HUGE puddles.

Later (about 2 hours) I wonder, where is my fitbit? I have the small one that goes in your pocket. Have had it a long time.  Of course when we go back to the car later I find the fitbit in the parking lot and it has been run over and flooded and totally useless.  One casualty of the trip.  But I am a firm believer things happen when they should happen so I can let it go.

Around 7 pm we head out for dinner and thankfully the rain has stopped and the traffic is minimal.

We enjoy a lovely Italian meal and we are back at the apartment just before 9 pm.

We spend the evening relaxing, making plans for the next few days and we hope to be in bed early.

Here is our scavenger hunt list today:

Note from suggestions I have added RCMP officer and Hop on Hop off Bus - thanks Corinne
  • Moose
  • Deer
  • Hitchhiker
  • Eagle/Hawk
  • Licence plates from every Province in Canada - but you can not count the province you are in.  So if we see an Alberta plate in BC then it counts, but not if we are in AlbertaBritish Columbia  SaskatchewanManitobaOntarioQuebecNew Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia, Newfoundland, Yukon, and North West Territory
  • Skunk - saw a dead one
  • Sheep
  • Beaver
  • Goslings
  • Buffalo
  • Goat
  • Owl
  • Bear
  • Loon
  • Crane
  • Prairie Dog
  • Fisherman fishing
  • Canoe
  • Hummingbird
  • Antique car on the road
  • Old VW Bug
  • Car broken down on the side of the road
  • Helicopter on the ground
  • Airplane on the ground
  • Speeding ticket- hopefully not our own
  • Ambulance with sirens on
  • Dump truck
  • Line painting crew at work
  • Mail delivery person walking their route
  • Cruise Ship (from Janice and Jim)
  • Coyote 
  • RCMP officer
  • Hop on Hop off Bus
  • Sea Glass
  • Lobster

If you have any items you think we should add to our scavenger hunt list, let us know.

So Today's Stats 
Driving distance today 100 km  
Total distance 4670 km

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