Day 17: Moose Jaw and Regina

It was -4C (25F) when we awoke and not much warmer in our hotel room, as it seems they turned the heat off.  Again.  However, the roads were clear so we were able to press on.

We decided to stick to the Trans-Canada #1 (TC1) east instead of taking our beloved secondary roads because we were unsure of road conditions.  The landscape was rolling cattle grazing land as far as the eye could see, and it was covered in snow.

Mac-n-Jim

Mac-n-Jim

Because we stuck to the TC1 it afforded us the unexpected opportunity to stop in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan, and yes, that is the same Moose Jaw that is home to the World’s Largest Moose.  But before we got to him, we drove through town to check it out and saw the Moose Jaw Casino.  I remembered from research that the travel forums always mentioned the casino specifically when mentioning Moose Jaw’s highlights, so who were we to disregard it?  We found the casino parking garage and went in – just for a quick flutter.  While we were only inside the very small casino for 15 minutes and came out $5 ahead, on the way out we discovered this is the only casino in the entire world we’ve been in (and, um, it’s been quite a few) that charges for parking.  Our 15 minutes cost $3, which only left us up $2.  But, hey, a win is still not a loss.

Back in the car we then stopped to see Mac, the 32 foot tall Moose, before continuing east.  Our next stop was to Regina, the legislative capitol of Saskatchewan.  As we arrived in town we drove past the regal capitol building and found street parking downtown.  The guidebook had a few notes about Regina, including the fact there was a glockenspiel in Victoria Park nearby.  We found the park but not the glockenspiel, so moved on.

Historical Building

Historical Building

Regina appears to have a fairly compact and clean downtown and we roved here and there before finding ourselves at Casino Regina.  Now, our plan for the day hadn’t necessarily involved casino hopping, but since this one is located in the restored Union Station building, the former hub of rail travel from days of yore, we had to go inside in the name of historical site sightseeing.  It was beautiful and grand inside, and must’ve been the place to be back in the day.

Regina had some beautiful sculptures

Regina had some beautiful sculptures

After leaving the historically important site with an extra $22 in our pocket (wait, how’d that happen?), we wandered the streets some more, as it felt good to stretch our legs.  Because we were feeling like we had a bit of unfinished business with Regina, we found ourselves once again in Victoria Park for Round 2 of Spot the Glockenspiel.  We looked for a few minutes, finding something that may have been it, before I confessed a deep, dark secret to Jim: I wasn’t entirely certain what a glockenspiel is or what one looks like.  It turns out Jim really didn’t, either, but we both figured we’d know it when we saw it.  We never saw it, we don’t think.

(As an aside, this glockenspiel has begun to consume me, so I Googled it later.  It turns out even the City of Regina doesn’t know where it is, as it was removed years ago during park reconstruction and never put back.  And now some hardball questions are being asked about its whereabouts, but there seems to be a lot of shoulder shrugging going on.  This glockenspiel has sure been a thorn in a lot of sides.)

This is Not a Glockenspiel

This is Not a Glockenspiel

Leaving Regina we hit construction traffic getting on the TC1 east but a few kilometers out of town it was just us on the road again, heading across the flat plains.  We had no lodging for the night but knew we needed to keep moving, as we were a ways from home and the trip was winding down.  At this point we are a bit like horses back to the barn.  It’s been a great couple weeks and we’ve made a lot of memories, but we’re ready for our own bed.  And temperature controls.

We found ourselves in Brandon, Manitoba, at 9pm and since it was the first big town we’d come across since Regina we pulled off the highway to find a place for the night.  First we had a light bite to eat at Montana’s Cookhouse, as you should never make a lodging decision on an empty stomach.  After dinner we wound up at the Motel 6 and called it a night.  Tomorrow it looks like we’ll be officially leaving Canada, and it’s a solemn thought.  Canada’s a great place to be.

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