Friday, 5 August 2011

July 29 - 31

Next we toured over to Moose Jaw and enjoyed an awesome tour of the tunnels under the streets of old MJ - in two parts - first of which was the "Passage to Fortune" tour about the Chinese Immigrants who lived and toiled in an underground laundry business.  An awesome tour but very heart wrenching.  Up to 9000 men were suddenly unemployed in the late 1800's when the CPR was completed - and there were no support systems in place for them - so to survive some of them filtered into small prairie towns like MJ to find work where and when they could.  Discrimination was rampant in those days so the underground life was a means of survival in a hostile world!  The second tour was through a series of tunnels used by Al Capone and his cronies - to support their rum running during the era of Prohibition in the USA.  This tour was pretty much hokey pokey but entertaining all the same.  There was a direct rail line from Chicago to MJ - called the Sioux Line - that was the main transportation link for his booze smuggling business. 

After MJ we stopped for a couple of nights in Regina for a wee bit of visiting and a tour of the RCMP Heritage Museum - an awesome tour and a must see for anyone passing through Regina.  We were lucky to get in on a Sergeant Majors parade followed by a guided tour of the Depot - lots of information and history.  Then we did our actual self guided tour of the Museum.  We enjoyed refreshing our knowledge and understanding of the settlement of the West in the late 1800's to early 1900's and the very pivotal role played by the RCMP.

Golden Lab - 3 yrs old, a gift to the RCMP from the Queen.  Note the logo on the collar!

Mounted riders at the Sergeant Major's Parade

Beautiful stained glass behind the alter in the chapel

Oldest building in Regina (1873) now serving as the Chapel at Depot

For Barry - tractors mired in the mud in a SK field - a reminder for Barry!

Prairie Giants - many of these along our route!
We finished off our first week with a jaunt over into MB - camping at a campground on the edge of Brandon - the only one open as the other two had been washed out by the floods.  We had to alter our route due to a washed out highway.  Our next destination was just North of Winnipeg.

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