Along the TransCanada Hwy, east of Winnipeg, there is a place called Geppetto’s (as in Pinocchio’s Geppetto).
Originally, Geppetto’s was all about Wood products for Home & Garden. It’s s place to get lawn and garden furniture that John (aka: Geppetto) was making out of this workshop.
Over the years, along with his wife Sandy, they added a small snack shop and miniature golf course.
It’s been almost 25 years, but unfortunately for their customer’s, Geppetto and his wife are selling the business with hopes that someone will continue with Geppetto’s, as they head into a new chapter of their life…. retirement.
The park’s town – Wasagaming, had a few events scheduled to celebrate Canada’s 150th.
Two of which had caught my attention…
The first, 89 New Canadians took the oath of citizenship. It was a ceremony that brought tears of joy to many of these new Canadians. It was a neat experience to witness and I wish them all happiness, success, and helping all Canadians to make our country a prosperous one.
The second, a roaming magician by the name of Marlowe Cochrane. When I saw his name, I had to snicker because a week prior to this we had chatted. We were going to get together for a coffee when I was in Winnipeg and catch up on old times. Neither of us knew each other would be in the park today. It was good see an old friend performing for the crowds.
Moon Lake – Riding Mountain National Park located in Manitoba
When I first arrived, it was beautiful outside and the lake was as calm as can be…
I met a few interesting people, including…
A family from Minot USA had been coming to Riding Mountain for approx 30+ years and its been family tradition that’s being passed onto the grandkids.
Then there was a traveler from Quebec who was definitely living in the moments. A free-spirited, dread-locks and all, young lady who had worked on a Manitoba ranch for a couple months but was now making her way back to home to Quebec.
As the clouds rolled it and it started to rain, it was time to take shelter. However, not for this young lady….
…she decided it was time to go swimming. Although it was raining, it was still quite warm out.
As for me and a couple others, keeping dry and out the rain was preferred and we were sharing the shelter with seven nests filled with baby barn swallows and their parents.
Bunnock or “Game of Bones” has been compared to bowling and curling, and is believed to have been created by Russian Soldiers to pass the time while stationed in Serbia during the 19th Century.
Two teams stand on opposite ends of the field and take turns trying to knock down each other’s row of bones. This is done by throwing more bones at the standing bones, and must be done in a specific order.
During the 20th Century, Russian & German immigrants who settled in Saskatchewan had introduced Bunnock to the community, where it became very popular in Macklin SK. This is where the annual World Bunnock Championships are held.
One of the first things I noticed when I crossed over from the mountains and into the rolling hills and flat lands of the prairie provinces was the vastness of the Big Sky.
Big Sky is the reference used to describe your eyes perspective of the miles and miles of sky that surrounds you in all directions. It was something I hadn’t realized I missed until I stood there. It was amazing and beautiful.
As I continued driving, all of a sudden it hit me… “Oooh there it is! Yup, didn’t miss that.”. The pure nose cringing smell of dead skunk that glues itself to your nose hairs for a few minutes.
At one point, you know that big white “X” on the road way, just before a set of railway tracks? Dead (no pun intended) center was a roadkill skunk. This was pure coincidence (or someone was playing a sick joke.) … Just sharing with you some of the things I have come across.
I happen to really like Camrose, so it was unfortunate that I couldn’t stay longer. However, I did go for a walk, captured a few images, and later visited with a good friend.
Why do I like Camrose? It has to do with the people.
See, I had lived near Camrose a few years ago and when I left, it was the people I missed the most. The people I met in Camrose were super friendly as well as having a strong sense of community and work ethic that I really appreciated.
Edson AB – Visitor Centre – Galloway Station Museum
Shari, the manager, gave me a tour of their museum, which was filled with a lot interesting history. However, the part I really enjoyed was the back-stories of the historical items.
If you ever get the opportunity to get an actual tour (one on one) of any museum, the tour guides are a wealth of information that goes beyond what you read about on their information signs throughout the museum.
In this particular case, Shari shared with me some of the actual funny & interesting stories about the items in their museum, which included who the previous owners of the relics belong to, giving the items much more depth.
There were 4 particular items that caught my attention (there were more, but here are my top 4)…
#1 – 138 year old Printing Press that weighs well over 800lbs. Build in 1878, this Peerless Printing Press is… get a load of this, its still in operation! The museum prints coasters and other in-house materials, as well as giving demo’s to schools. Very cool!
The printing press was used to make these coasters, which tell a story of Edson’s “Jack the Frog” (1870 – 1956).
#2 – Old Movie Projector – One of the locals (back in the days) was a “director, actor, and film producer” who brought a little entertainment to this Coal & Lumber community.
#3 – Telegraph Key – You’d have to be quite proficient in Morse Code to use this.
#4 – “Speeder” – A one person, human powered railway vehicle. (This thing got me thinking…. Wouldn’t it be cool to travel and see Canada like no one else has on this thing!? Cool! If anyone has a few contacts, I’d consider doing it!)
There was some other really neat relics but you’ll have to make a point of stopping in during your Canadian Travels and check them out for yourself. It’s worth it.
Shari and the Edson Rotory Club invited me stay for their BBQ lunch and share a few of my travel stories, including and explaining a Manitoba Social.
They were a great group of people and I hope I get the opportunity to meet with them again.
What is a Manitoba Social?
For those outside of Manitoba, a Social has been around for decades! Its a Party that’s put on by the best friends and family members of the Bride and Groom. Essentially, a large hall of a community centre (or similar) is rented out for a dance. People buy tickets to come out, drink, socialize, door prizes, and dance the night away.
At the end of the night, the profits from the Social are given to the Bride & Groom, which is a gift to help them get started in their life’s journey. Socials are hugely popular throughout the winter season and everyone is welcome to come out and enjoy!