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A tour of Manitoba’s town mascots

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Sara the Camel stands out on the skyline of Glenboro, Man.

PHOTO BY RICK SPARLING Enlarge Image

Sara the Camel stands out on the skyline of Glenboro, Man. Photo Store

My granddaughter, Genoa, turned 16 recently and managed to get her temporary, student driver’s licence.

In order to drive, she must have a licensed adult with her and, to qualify for a permanent licence, she has to have some experience and pass the driver’s test and the parallel parking test.

Genoa has had some city driving experience but not so much highway driving.

I thought I could kill two birds with one stone and not only spend some time with her but also let her get in some highway driving.

It turned out I was able to kill three birds. We started out heading north, but stopped at the town mascot in Selkirk (Chuck the channel catfish) and took her picture with it. We decided to start a scrapbook and get as many pictures within the province as possible.

We headed north to Petersfield and took a picture with The Mallard and, after stopping at a couple of roadside yard, sales, we found our way to Kamarno. Knowing that kamarno was "mosquito" in Ukrainian, we took a photo of the town’s giant mosquito.

Very close by was Inwood where I knew there was a statue of Sam and Sara, snakes representing the thousands of snakes found at the Narcisse snake dens. Another great photo for the scrapbook.

After a couple of more yard sales, we arrived in Gimli and took a picture of Genoa with The Viking. Coming back to the city we drove through Transcona and got one more picture with "Good Neighbour Sam"

Not a bad trip as we travelled over 250 kilometres, got a great start on the scrapbook, got some yard sale goodies and spent the day together.

A couple of weeks later we took off to my brother’s place in Brandon for an overnighter.

This allowed us to visit the White Horse in St. Francois Xavier, The Giant Coke can in Portage la Prairie, Happy Rock in Gladstone, the purple martin condos of Neepawa, and to visit with my brother and sister-in-law.

The next day we headed out to Glenboro where Sara the Camel stands, Holland, where the Windmill made a good prop, Elm Creek for the giant fire hydrant and finally back home after amassing another 500 kilometres.

The most recent leg of our trip was a swing into Southern Manitoba where we went to St. Malo and took a photo of the buck and a doe statue then on to Grunthal where the buffalo roam.

We then drove on to Automobile City, Steinbach, and snapped a picture of Genoa with the giant Rolls Royce.

I’m sure we will do some more travelling to other parts of the province but so far we’ve got almost 1,000 kilometres of highway experience and a great scrapbook/keepsake featuring Genoa with all the mascots.

We’ve also seen the countryside, many Manitoba small towns and have had the opportunity to spend some quality time together.

It’s worth the trip!

Rick Sparling is a community correspondent for North Kildonan. Email him at ricksparling@shaw.ca
This article is dedicated to the late Barb Sparling.

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