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Our last visit to this heartland city was a long, long time ago. While I'm sure it has changed immensely since then, I still have vivid memories of Winnipeg.
Fore one thing there was the snow! Lots of it but that's a good thing because part of the reason we were visiting Winnipeg was for the annual St. Paul to Winnipeg Snowmobile Race. I was supposed to be covering it for my radio station in the Twin Cities. This particular year, however, the racers wound up grounded mid-way to the finish line due to a lack of snow on that particular part of the course. We followed the racers for a while and then bolted ahead to get a hotel room in Winnipeg only to find out that the race had been called off due to the lack of snow. Oh well.
Passing through the city of Brandon as we neared Winnipeg there were tons of interesting snow plows affixed to rail cars to help keep the tracks cleared.
Winnipeg was a little bit smaller than I had expected and it was a lot colder than we anticipated. The people were very friendly and the city was the most truly and pure "Canadian" city we had ever visited.
We had our St. Bernard dog--Barabas--with us on this little jaunt and it was a little bit tough finding a hotel that would take a 200 pound plus but still adorable long haired dog. We finally wound up, of all places, staying at a hotel that is long gone now. You know K-Tel products hawked on tv? Well they actually had a K-Tel hotel in Winnipeg back then that accepted dogs so that's where we stayed.
We were too poor to engage in fine dining so we just hit the fast food joints and enjoyed a driving tour of the city before heading back to Minneapolis
We are beer can collectors and stocked up on some cans that we could not get back in Minnesota. Back then, however, you could only buy beer in cases in Manitoba. So instead of just being able to bring back a six pack of the cans we wanted to collect, we had to bring back several cases.
When we stopped at the U.S. border heading from Manitoba back into North Dakota we were honest when the customs guy asked us if we had anything to declare. We told him we had several cases of beer. He had never been asked to figure the duty on several cases of beer and had to call his supervisor and wake him or her up to get the answer. This was in the middle of the night and after more than 30 minutes of trying to figure it out, we finally were given our figure. We wound up paying something like 38 cents duty! After all that wasted time you would have thought the guy would have just waived us on. But we had to pay!