May 23rd. Leaving Nipawin I had decided to show Charlotte Flin Flon in the Canadian Shield northern Manitoba. We had several choices, backtrack to Smeaton on Hwy. 55 and take 106 to Flin Flon or head south and go through Hudson Bay on Hwy. 3 to 10 in Manitoba. We were not in a hurry so time was not that important but the extra miles and fuel would add up on our poverty budget. I noticed Hwy. 55 continued from Nipawin to The Pas, Manitoba but was mainly gravel for approximately 100 kms. Not sure about the condition of the road to travel with an RV I decided to ask one of the locals regarding the condition. That’s when we found out the highway also went by the alias “The Towed Road”. After several local people acknowledged the road’s existence none had actually used it. Red flags were going up….wait a travelling salesman at our service station stop for fuel, he will know for sure. Not! Again he knew about the road but had never used it. Getting a little frustrated by this time I spotted a person I assumed was a farmer from the area, persistence pays off! He looked at our rig noticing it was 4 wheel drive and said being as it had been a very dry spring he felt the road would be good. “You should be okay with your rig; it gets pretty soft in wet conditions and the bridges can washout in the spring or in heavy rains. The water coming out of those hills, referring to the area known as the Wildcat Hills Provincial Wilderness Park, can be brutal”, he said adding, because it was dry the bridges would be in and we should be alright.
Okay, decision made, this would cut off miles in our trek to Flin Flon. Shortly after Carrot River we hit gravel. The road was fairly good but had some soft spots, not being in a hurry we decided to take it slow. Slow is good as we really enjoyed the wild rocky country. The only vehicles we met were highway crews working on, replacing or working on the many bridges we crossed. I could see where this would be a tough drive early in the spring as we could see the many deep washouts from flood waters out of the hills. Hwy. 55 turned into 36 and then to 40 after we entered Manitoba and was paved but narrow to The Pas. Amazing we went from wild rocky wilderness into farming land and made it to The Pas where we almost lost our camper on one of the city streets. Go figure we traveled the “Towed Road” with no problem and then almost lost it…The Pas lost its charm for us. It was getting on in the day so we headed to Clearwater Lake Provincial Park just 20 or 30 Kms north of The Pas.
We were glad we traveled the “Towed Road” for the natural beauty but see how it could have gotten its name, caution advised if wet. That’s it for today next Clearwater; hope to see you “Down the Road”….Charlotte and Gerry the RV Cowboy