Instead of walking the busy highways, I have ventured onto those one-and-a-half lane gravelled back roads; however, I quickly realized that one must ensure these roads are packed and gravelled, since the minor dirt roads criss-crossing the prairies are truly impossible to walk after any amount of rain has fallen, especially after the epic multi-day tsunami of rain that had fallen in the previous day and a half.
I quickly realized how impassible these minor roads become after crossing the line which separates a walkable gravel road from that gluey veneer atop these minor dirt roads out here. Not surprisingly, the magnetic properties of these saturated soil was soon realized after only a few meters of walking, where I quickly halted by such an amazing conglomerate of mud; each stride resulted in the complete encasing of both the tires of my car, shoes, and tips of my hiking poles: it was a muddy, confounding, gluey mess.
If any passerby saw how much mud was caked on my cart’s tires and the soles of my shoes, they would have been in stiches — sorry no pictures.
I should know better, but I never really gave it a thought at the time, duh.
Well, what now?
After scrapping the mud off my tires, shoes, and hiking poles — while smiling and shaking my head in disbelief — I walked the grassy ditch beside the road with a new found content.
After more than an hour of walking the green highway and cursing that adjacent glue strip of dirt (a so called roadway), I intersected with the well tamped and walkable Provincial Road 247, which ushered me into the first small town of My Walk this season, La Salle, MB.
Nothing special occurred here, but someone did gift me foldable map of Manitoba after fielding some questions about my walking thus far.
In all, the stroll along Provincial Road 247 West was marked by the fording of a river, La Salle River, into Sanford, MB (pictured); cool, quiet, and uninterrupted sleeps within the tiny woodlots lining this checkered landscape and, again, my transition to a life of walking towards a distant goal.