Tag Archives: riding mountain national park

Black Bear in Riding Mountain National Park

Reid Dickie

“When one thinks like a mountain, one thinks also like the black bear so that honey dribbles down your fur as you catch the bus to work.” – R. A. Roshi

Driving through the park today I saw a small black bear foraging by the side of the highway. I drive through RMNP every two weeks or so (I’m so lucky!) and have seen this bear on three trips this summer. Click the pic to spend two minutes with a bear.

Snapshot 1 (22-07-2013 7-31 PM)

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Filed under Critters, Natural Places, Parks

Mother Moose and Two Calves

Snapshot 1 (21-05-2013 8-54 PM)

Reid Dickie

I caught this video while driving through Riding Mountain National Park on May 21/13. By the road a mother and two very young moose paused. They entered a stream leading into the bush. The little ones made chirping noises as they swam in the deep water. At the end one calf has trouble climbing out of the water. Click the pic to watch 30 seconds of moosey cuteness!

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What is an alluvial fan?

Reid Dickie

I was never quite sure what an alluvial fan was until I visited one. The last remaining alluvial fan around Riding Mountain National Park is located off Hwy #5. The site is well signed right from the highway. Specific directions to alluvial fan: it is off Hwy #5 between Ochre River and junction of Hwys #5 & 10, turn south on Road 104W (there is a sign in the ditch along Hwy #5 that says Alluvial fan with an arrow, also watch for small signs at mile roads for their numbers), drive 4.8 km (3 miles) to Road 137N, turn east for 1.6 km (1 mile), turn south on Road 103W for 1.6 km (1 mile), east on Road 136N for .8 km. Watch for large sign at Crawford Creek. Follow the boardwalk to viewing deck. Now I know what an alluvial fan is and you can too. I made a short video about my visit.

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Giant Manitoba Sinkhole 2012 Update

Reid Dickie

It was almost exactly a year ago that several acres of a timothy field turned into a huge sinkhole on the north boundary of Riding Mountain National Park as you can see in the picture. My reports and video footage of it remain some of the most-frequented posts on this blog and my YouTube channel. I returned to the site this week and shot a short video update about the sinkhole.


Filed under Blog Life, Day Tripping, Earth Phenomena, Flood

Sts. Peter and Paul Ukrainian Greek Orthodox Church, Kosiw, MB

Reid Dickie

Located in the Kosiw district south-southwest of Dauphin, MB, near the northern boundary of Riding Mountain National Park, the Ukrainian Greek Orthodox Church of Sts. Peter and Paul is a fine interpretation of a type of traditional church architecture found in Western Ukraine. Overlooking pastoral rolling farmland, the cruciform wooden church with its five, eight-sided, metal-covered banyas (onion domes), including the large two-tiered central dome that opens into the church below, has served area pioneers and their descendents since 1921. The figure of the arched sash windows is doubly replicated in the attractive entrance to the place. On the same sheltered grounds is a well constructed wooden belltower, typically separate from the church proper, housing two bells. Watch my one-minute video of the church.

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Filed under Churches, Ghost Towns, Heritage Buildings, Manitoba Heritage, Spirit, Uncategorized

Edwards Creek

Reid Dickie

I grew up in a small town but every summer of my youth I spent at least two weeks on the farm of my Aunt Ina and Uncle Derk. Located about four miles from the northern face of Riding Mountain, their farm had a magnificent view of the mountain and surrounding plains.

Edwards Creek ran along the edge of their property. Aunt Ina and I spent endless summer afternoons sitting next to the little stream, watching the birds and critters that came to drink, marvelling at the darting minnows and feeling right at home. Ina and Derk are long dead, their farmhouse, though now abandoned, stands white stucco with a red roof against its overgrown willow windbreak and Edwards Creek still bubbles along. I spent some time wading in Edwards Creek this summer and brought back a short video report. Join me in the cool refreshing water.


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Filed under Family, Life and Life Only, Natural Places

Old Red Barn

Reid Dickie

About 300 yards from the north boundary of Riding Mountain National Park, in a long-abandoned farm yard next to some tumbledown buildings, stands this beautiful old barn, striking a dominant pose against the backdrop of yellowed birch. Still retaining some of its red colouration – the traditional recipe for barn paint was cow’s blood, rust, lime, milk and linseed oil – and withstanding the northwesterlies with the help of a tall thick windbreak, the old place demonstrates classic massing and materials. The tiny and sparse windows meant a rather dark barn but they helped retain heat in winter. The barn tilts to the rear a little, the first sign of a future tumbledown.

I included this barn in a short video piece called Portals to the Past

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Filed under Heritage Buildings, Manitoba Heritage, Pioneers

Manitoba Sky



Photographs by Reid Dickie

JUNE 16, 2011

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Filed under Earth Phenomena, Local History, Natural Places, PRAIRIES, Spirit

Signs Along the Road

Reid Dickie

Three signs from my two-day flood tour.

The first can be found just as you are leaving Gladstone heading west on Hwy #16. There is a group of Old Order Mennonites west of town that use horses and buggies necessitating this caution to the motorized.

The next sign is part of a heritage site on Hwy #5 just south of McCreary along the east side of Riding Mountain. The Satterthwaite homestead sat right on the Burrows Trail which followed the open beach ridges left by old glacial Lake Agassiz. More information on the Satterthwaite family and homestead can be found on my Day Tripper page.

Mark’s words are broadcast across the prairie from this old red barn next to Hwy #10 coming out of Riding Mountain National Park south of Onanole.


Filed under Day Tripping, Images, Prairie People

My Weekend

         This is a very bloggy thing for me to do but I’m reporting on what I did this weekend. I rented a Ford Fusion from Enterprise (a company I recommend) and drove 800 kms in rural Manitoba since Friday morning, visiting two cousins, making new friends and seeing old friends. Friday I drove to Dauphin, MB, north of Riding Mountain National Park on the edge of which lives my cousin Vonda. We share the family spirit connection.

        I spent two weeks of every youthful summer at Aunt Ina and Uncle Derk’s farm just north of Riding Mountain near Vonda’s farm. The shape of the mountain, basically a bit of end moraine left by the receding Ice Age now furred with rich green forest, loomed on the horizon and left an indelible impression. It felt warm and generous being next to that familiar shape again. Here’s a wide view of Riding Mountain bulging along the horizon.      This is Friday’s sunset outside my hotel room door.

          Vonda’s farm sits at the mouth of a deep and wide valley that opens out of Riding Mountain Park about two miles away. On Saturday afternoon, armed with bear spray and her dogs Rebel and Hawkeye, we took a long walk along the top of the valley through stands of oak and poplar. A creek swollen with melting mountain snow burbled down the valley.

        At one spot above the dugout and a small slough we heard an amazing sound coming up the valley wall. It sounded like ducks maybe or crows reading James Joyce or grouse at a lek dancing and singing. It was very horny, urgent, unrelenting. It turned out to be frogs mating as this vid I found demonstrates the sound and its source. Image it loud and incessant arising from an unknown place 200 feet below on a warm, still afternoon. 

      This is a shot across the valley with creek on left, slough in centre and pasture above. The frog song echoed up and across the valley.   


        After a hearty home cooked meal and bottle of wine, I spent another night at the Canway Inn, which I don’t recommend. Dauphin has better lodgings. Sunday morning I drove through Riding Mountain National Park on Hwy #10. The speed limit is a leisurely 80 km through the 60 km park. There was little traffic, saw a couple of deer and enjoyed the pace away from the hive. 

         Highway #10 eventually got me to Brandon where I visited my cousin Duncan and his lovely companion Christine. Brandon is rambunctious with housing development in every direction, as a tour from Duncan proved. Many of the new streets don’t have streetlights, some the streets aren’t even complete before the houses are ready. The place is “growing” so quickly that the city of my birth has become a tawdry example of unremitting urban sprawl and big box stores dumbly built on a floodplain in a valley, many now threatened with flooding by the mischievous Assiniboine River. Ha!

      Luckily Brandon has rich and living heritage and I always find a new example of it every time I visit. We were driving down 2nd Street near Princess and a row of old two-storeys caught my eye. Three of them had the same elaborate Eastlake Stick style bargeboard under their front gables. Brandon has other fine examples of the style. I jumped out and snapped all three.

Brandon’s finest example of the style is the former Paterson/Matheson House at 1039 Louise Ave. You can read more about this pile on my Houses page.

I’ve long admired the old stone fence next to my cousin’s house in Brandon. One of its sections needs a good stonemason to get it vertical again.

                I drove out Highway #10 south of Brandon to Riverside Park, a favourite stopping place next to the Souris River. The park is no longer beside the river but in the river. The Souris is flooding its banks frequently this year. It empties into the Assiniboine near Wawanesa. This is a picture of the flooded park.

And here the mighty Souris floods on

         As I was leaving the park in the ditch two wild turkeys were strutting around, feathers fanned and fierce. The weather was cooperative, it’s too early for serious highway construction to become obstruction, too early for wood ticks and there wasn’t much traffic for a holiday weekend.

     I enjoyed the driving but part of the weekend was to test the intensity of my wanderlust this year, at least giving it an initial airing to see how far its range needs to extend. Still pondering that. The familiar scenery, the memories associated with the region and the wonderful spirit of the people made the trip a double dose of spring tonic for me.

      To end here’s a shot of the mixed forest along the top of the valley next to Riding Mountain.

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Filed under Day Tripping, Family, Heritage Buildings, Images, PRAIRIES

The Babushka Trail



 A day trip, so far untaken

            Ever gone seeking the perfect perogie? How about exquisite Ukrainian folk art and crafts? Now, thanks to the Babushka Trail, your search just got easier.

            Ukrainians began arriving in Manitoba in 1892, many settling around Rossburn, Sandy Lake and Dauphin. Building on that history by researching and combining the ethnic and heritage resources available, Parkland Tourism has developed The Babushka Trail, a driving tour that focuses intensely on Ukrainian culture.

St. Nicholas Ukrainian Catholic Church, Rackham area, one of the stops on the Babushka Trail


       Stops on the tour include Ukrainian museums, churches, cemeteries, cairns, shrines, plaques, buddas, all mapped and described, restaurants serving Ukrainian food, gift shops featuring Ukrainian items and anything related to Ukrainian culture and heritage. 

            Spanning Rossburn to Sandy Lake along Highway #45, the trail turns north through Riding Mountain National Park into Dauphin and area.  Some of the most spectacular Catholic churches in Manitoba are included on the Babushka Trail.

            “Rossburn, Sandy Lake and Dauphin tourism representatives are enthusiastic,” says Kathy Swann, executive director of Parkland Tourism. “The Babushka Trail will be featured in the Parkland Tourism Guide and on our website.”

On the Babushka Trail there are dozens of incredible buildings like Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary Ukrainian Catholic Church near Ohla.


        To satisfy a growing craving for authentic heritage experiences, innovative tourism promoters like Swann are developing town walking tours, self-guided driving tours and heritage packages on a variety of themes. Manitoba’s rich diversity presents opportunities for ethnic, religious, architectural, agricultural and nature tourism development. Add in people interested in family roots, cemeteries, railways, museums, hiking, geocachers and the Internet and the potential is vast.

            “Shrinking populations and external changes are forcing people to work together. Towns need to realize that they shouldn’t be competing with each other, but rather working together in clusters or regions,” says Swann.

            Using the Babushka Trail as an example, Swann says it is now necessary to form regional heritage partnerships to compete with other provincial and national places, and the entire world due to the Internet. “The percentage of travelers using the Internet to plan their vacations is very high,” she says. “Tourists are looking for varied, authentic heritage experiences with some kind of packaging or theme.” Researchers have found that heritage tourists tend to be more affluent, educated, family-oriented and stay longer than other travelers.

This Byzantine marvel, built in 1937, is a stand-out on the Babushka Trail. Holy Ghost Ukrainian Catholic Church is in Sandy Lake, MB. You cant miss it!

            Swann says Parkland Tourism is marketing the Babushka Trail using old and new tools. “Probably a brochure but definitely on websites.  Signage, both directional and interpretive will be addressed, as will markers with GPS coordinates.”

            With Manitoba’s vast ethnic diversity and patterns of settlement, almost every area could develop a similar tour. Discover what’s in your own backyard then focus on your predominant heritage resources.

            For details about the Babushka Trail and all tourist activities in the Parkland, visit http://www.parklandtourism

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