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Nov 11

A visit to the nation’s middle – Brandon Manitoba

I spent a few days in Brandon Manitoba this week for the Canadian Outstanding Young Farmers conference 2011. It was outstanding, and there were indeed farmers. In fact it was one of the only places I’ve been in… well, a long time, where people were wearing John Deere hats without a hint of irony.

It was rather remarkably cold. I’m writing this from the fancy new terminal of the Winnipeg airport, the newest terminal in Canada (though it’s still not exactly big, don’t get too excited). This morning, as I left the disappointing but cheapish Marlborough hotel in the heart of downtown it was -21 degrees. It’s November!

I didn’t take many photos of my trip, but here’s what I thought to snap photos of.

As you can see, Manitoba is flat. I sort of forgot just how flat it is. People think of all the Praries as flat and as a former Saskatoon-dweller I can tell you that this is incorrect. Saskatoon has some rolling hills, particularly in the south. Manitoba, at least central Manitoba and, if I recall correctly, right up to the Ontario border, is just about dead flat. And the roads are very straight. It makes for a boring drive.

Occasionally you do see other vehicles on the road, though not many. I don’t make it a habit to take photos while driving, but really, there’s not a lot to hit here. If these photos get out I suppose it could be a black mark on my future political aspirations though, so keep these to yourself.

I eventually made it to Brandon. I think they call it the wheat capital of Canada, but I could be wrong. I overheard something about that though. It’s not a great city, really. It used to have a cute downtown but now it’s mostly big box stores and chain restaurants. I don’t recommend being vegetarian in Brandon. And if you don’t like pizza or Chinese food it’s entirely possible that you’ll starve.

I can’t say much more, they’re calling my flight. This is the new terminal. Sort of fancy, no? But, much to Alison’s disappointment, not a single store here sells commemorative spoons. This is the only airport I’ve ever been to that doesn’t have spoons.