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I'm coming for a visit
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DavidMac
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PostPosted: Sep 27, 2006 3:41 pm    Post subject: I'm coming for a visit Reply with quote

Wanting to get away from work in Mississippi for fall break, I've decided to spend a few days exploring Winnipeg and the surrounding area. I'll be arriving Friday and spending 3 nights, and was thinking of driving over to Riding Mountain NP over Saturday night. My brother may be coming along, but is still figuring out his schedule.



What I'm wondering is this: it looks like cooler weather has arrived (at least in MB; where I'm from it's still hot - nearly 35 C last week), and I'm guessing the leaves are turning (or are past peak). Will I have to worry about hotels being crowded because of fall (as they are in places like New York this time of year), or will we be able to find a place to stay if we drive up to Dauphin? Are there even any decent hotels there?



My other question may be a little silly, but... do I have to worry about bears in the park? I'm always careful about hiking alone farther west in places like Montana, but wasn't sure if their range extended this far south/east.



Looking forward to the visit and some caching.

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lizardo



Joined: 02 Sep 2005
Posts: 497
Location: Winnipeg

PostPosted: Sep 27, 2006 8:46 pm    Post subject: RE: I'm coming for a visit Reply with quote

Hello DavidMac!



It will be great to have you caching through our Province.  With respect to your queries regarding the Riding Mountain area, I will be asking the Dragonfreys team to address them.  They are the unofficial Riding Mountain geocaching ambassadors.  They will be able to suggest a hotel to stay at in the area, I'm sure.  Make sure to put on your thinking cap if you are planning to do any of their puzzles!  They are excellent caches!



The weather has been somewhat cooler than 35C lately.  Highs have been in the high teens and is has been flirting with 0C at night once or twice.  The leaves are turning quite rapidly now and I would say we are at about the peak of the season.  You should have a beautiful weekend.  Bears are always a concern, so bring a bear bell or similar.  It has always worked for me.



If you are planning to be in Winnipeg for some caching, I can think of a few people who would be more than willing to act as tour guides if you wish, myself included.  Let us know when you get your schedule worked out if you would like some company.  Or even to get together for a coffee or dinner.



Lizardo (Scott)



lizardo@shaw.ca



 



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TurdleEggs



Joined: 31 Jul 2005
Posts: 687
Location: Ste Genevieve

PostPosted: Sep 27, 2006 9:41 pm    Post subject: RE: I'm coming for a visit Reply with quote

Hi DavidMac,

The black bears aren’t a problem this year. They had a good summer and are pretty well fed. The two or three we had wander through our yard this fall weren’t even interested in the Hummingbird feeder and sunflower seeds (usually bear-candy). They only stopped long enough to eat our ripening corn :) Conversation is usually enough to keep the bears away on the trail. They want to see you even less than you want to see them.

You’ve picked a great time of year to visit RMNP. The leaves should be gorgeous. It looks like the weather is shaping up to be nice this weekend as well.

There are lots of great caches on the southern edge of RMNP near Onanole. Like Lizardo says, Dragonfreys like their puzzles so you’d better start solving now!

I doubt you’ll have any troubles finding a hotel room, but check first because some of the resorts in Wasagaming may already be closed for the season, Dauphin has several decent hotels.

TurdleEggs (Tim)



-- Edited by TurdleEggs at 16:43, 2006-09-27

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DavidMac
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PostPosted: Sep 27, 2006 9:55 pm    Post subject: RE: I'm coming for a visit Reply with quote

Lizardo wrote:

If you are planning to be in Winnipeg for some caching, I can think of a few people who would be more than willing to act as tour guides if you wish, myself included.  Let us know when you get your schedule worked out if you would like some company.  Or even to get together for a coffee or dinner.


Lizardo (Scott)


lizardo@shaw.ca


 





Thanks for the offer; I'll keep you posted. I'm landing at either 10:30 or 12:45 Friday morning (I'm flying standby, so it depends on flight loads), then I'll need a little time to get through customs and pick up the car, but I'll be staying within the vicinity of the airport Friday and Sunday nights. This means I have nothing planned for the remainder of Friday except caching. My flight home departs early Monday morning, so unfortunately there's no time for caching then.

My plan is to drive out to Riding Mountain Saturday morning, and spend the night in either Brandon or Dauphin (Brandon, of course, being a larger town with more lodging options, but it's farther away). Puzzles are great (may print out a few to solve on the plane), and I'm looking for caches involving scenic areas or short to moderate hikes (about 1 hour). If I have time, I may hop over into Saskatchewan to grab a cache there, since my long-term goal is to find a cache in every province over the next few years.

Glad to hear it's only black bears, not grizzlies. Black bears I can handle.

-- Edited by DavidMac at 16:57, 2006-09-27

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bevro



Joined: 18 Jan 2006
Posts: 90
Location: Winnipeg

PostPosted: Sep 27, 2006 10:26 pm    Post subject: RE: I'm coming for a visit Reply with quote

Unless you want to spend 5 hours in a car driving in and out of Saskatchewan, caching in SK probably isn't going to happen if you only have a weekend (I've been told that sleep isn't really all its made out to be).  Probably the closest Sask cache to Riding Mtn is 1Q&4J's Border Guard on hwy 16 just across the MB border. 



Happy trails, bevro



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FoodNinja



Joined: 28 Jun 2006
Posts: 109
Location: Winnipeg

PostPosted: Sep 27, 2006 10:43 pm    Post subject: RE: I'm coming for a visit Reply with quote

There is lots of hotels in all the small towns accross that part of Manitoba, B&B's are aways a nice stay. I wouldnt worry too much about finding a place to stay. We dont get much of tourism in the way of people comming here to see the leaves change, like what happens in the southern states. there are super 8's in brandon neepawa and dauphin. In one of the towns inbetween there is a chicken chef that is also a hotel, St Rose du Lac (I lived there for 6 months several years ago)



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slippery_1



Joined: 23 Apr 2006
Posts: 228
Location: Manitoba

PostPosted: Sep 28, 2006 1:15 am    Post subject: RE: I'm coming for a visit Reply with quote

I bow to the first hand knowledge of the Dragonfry's, but I believe there a couple of lodges that will be open inside the park...Wassagamming...Elkorn Lodge is the nicest but pricey.



Then there are Two motels in Onanole that stay open all year round...including Xmas.



Dauphin...aka the honeymoon capital of Manitoba has a real nice hotel just on the south end of the City...Roadway reasonable priced and a pool.



Brandon which is an hour an a half drive from RMNP has a lot of motels/ hotels, but this time of year there are usualy a lot of things going on there.



 



An if you want to sit in a car for 6 hours, then come on up to The Pas...if there's nothing available you can bunk out here...



 



But regardless...welcome to Friendly Manitoba....Have a Ball and watch the Turdle dude he'll steer ya into trouble...lol



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DavidMac
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PostPosted: Sep 28, 2006 1:47 am    Post subject: RE: I'm coming for a visit Reply with quote

Thanks everybody for the replies and advice. With just 24 hours until I leave home, things are coming together... not bad for a last-minute trip. If anyone wants to meet up with me sometime Friday to cache, eat, or just swap TBs (I have a green jeep TB I'll be bringing along), please send me a message through my geocaching profile and I'll swap contact info.

slippery_1 wrote:

An if you want to sit in a car for 6 hours, then come on up to The Pas...




Believe it or not, that was my original plan. Then I remembered that Manitoba is as wide as North Dakota, and thinking back on memories of long drives across the Dakotas, I realized just how much time in the car this itinerary would involve and scaled it back a bit.

-- Edited by DavidMac at 20:47, 2006-09-27

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dani_carriere



Joined: 04 Feb 2005
Posts: 503
Location: Winnipeg

PostPosted: Sep 28, 2006 3:28 am    Post subject: RE: I'm coming for a visit Reply with quote

To drive to The Pas from Winnipeg in 6 hours means that you'd have to bypass RMNP and take the less than scenic Interlake Route.  It would be closer to 9 hours, not including caching time if you take highway #10.



I'm from the parkland area (Dauphin/Swan River) and recommend the Super 8 in either town.  Downtown accommodations in either town is questionable.  Go with brands that you're familiar with.



If you do make it as far as the Swan River Valley, there are a handful of caches just over the MB/Sask border.  However, Swan River is 2 hours NW of Dauphin, which may be further than you want to go.



I have to warn you though, the drive from Winnipeg to Neepawa (just before RMNP) is somewhat flat ... it is interesting to see so much sky, but don't let that frighten you



If you'd like to meet for coffee or supper on Friday, let us know!  We're up for impromptu events all the time!



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Dragonfreys



Joined: 12 Feb 2006
Posts: 364
Location: Manitoba-Westman

PostPosted: Sep 28, 2006 3:59 am    Post subject: RE: I'm coming for a visit Reply with quote

Hi DavidMac,



We live on the doorstep of Riding Mountain in Onanole and you've picked the nicest time of year for a visit to our neck of the woods. The colours are in full splendor and should hold out for another week or so, barring the forecasted snow for tomorrow but note that the forecast for the weekend at this point is mid to high teens with mainly sunny skies. It's a pretty mixed bag for weather this time of year, and the last few days have been wet and cool, with a few frosty mornings already.



You shouldn't have any trouble with accomodation. The only competition for rooms in rural areas is the waterfowl hunters who are up in the area now. Slippery gave a good outline on the places to stay. The Elkhorn Resort in Wasagaming (south side of the park) is the top of the line with a spa and most of the trimmings, Smokey Hollow Resort is midline in price and quality, and there are several motels where you would look at around $65/night. There are also a number of B&Bs in the area.



Riding Mountain boasts some of the largest black bears in North America, but most people are just lucky if they see one. Moose and elk in rut are way scarier than any puny little black bears anyway . Actually all of our wildlife is pretty tolerant of visitors and as TurdleEggs points out they are usually trying hard not to be seen, especially during hunting seasons around the park. The last documented grizzly in the area was in the late 1800's and the park hasn't been sucessful in convincing any of the locals to bring them back.



Hope this helps, let us know if there is any other info or assistance we can provide to make your caching trip a success. There aren't a lot of caches right in the park yet, but a fair number in the area. Some of them can take a whole day to complete with a large multi tour like Riding Around Multicache or half a day like Around Clear Lake and there are several scenic traditionals and few puzzles sprinkled in for good measure.



Cheers, Dragonfreys



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DavidMac
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PostPosted: Sep 28, 2006 7:27 pm    Post subject: RE: I'm coming for a visit Reply with quote

Thanks again everybody for the advice. I'm leaving in about an hour for the long drive to the airport, when I'll be out of contact through email. I've shared my cell phone number with a few people, so feel free to call me any time today or tomorrow (or just leave a message if it's turned off) if you want to meet up in the Winnipeg area tomorrow night.

Looking forward to the trip and to some caching

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ertyu



Joined: 25 Apr 2005
Posts: 553
Location: Winnipeg

PostPosted: Sep 29, 2006 6:16 pm    Post subject: RE: I'm coming for a visit Reply with quote

I'm heading out to meet David, hopefully we can make some arrangements for dinner. If anyone is interested, please give me a call 2042290321.

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ertyu



Joined: 25 Apr 2005
Posts: 553
Location: Winnipeg

PostPosted: Sep 30, 2006 3:42 am    Post subject: RE: I'm coming for a visit Reply with quote

I had a nice afternoon out caching with David and lizardo joined us for a few caches and dinner. Always nice to meet other cachers. Thanks for the visit. (Might be another oppurtunity to meet sunday night if people are interested)

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lizardo



Joined: 02 Sep 2005
Posts: 497
Location: Winnipeg

PostPosted: Sep 30, 2006 6:54 am    Post subject: RE: I'm coming for a visit Reply with quote

Thank you DavidMac for a fun evening.  I even got to sign a logbook, which I'm pretty sure is something that ertyu couldn't say.



Good luck in your quest.  I'll be watching your progress!



Lizardo



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dani_carriere



Joined: 04 Feb 2005
Posts: 503
Location: Winnipeg

PostPosted: Sep 30, 2006 11:13 pm    Post subject: RE: I'm coming for a visit Reply with quote

Sorry I couldn't make it out on Friday night ... had a week from H-E-double-hockey-sticks at the office this week and I needed some R&R (aka bingo).



I am free on Sunday people are going out for dinner.



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