Day 10 ~ Day off ~ Checking Out The Tunnels of Moose Jaw and The Mineral Spa . . . . AHHHH, SO GOOD!

What a beautiful warm beezy morning! Moosegaw, a Cree word meaning “warm breezes”, certainly is living up to it’s name today! A perfect day to take a much needed break! It was 22c at 8 a.m., then up to 32c by the early afternoon.

We decided we would go to see the popular Tunnels of Moose Jaw. The are two sets of under ground tunnels under the main streets here. Supposedly, public enemy number one, Al Capone used to hide out here during the prohibition in the early 1920’s. Moose Jaw had a role in supplying illegal liquor to the United States via the Soo Line. We didn’t take the Chicago Connections’ tour.

We took the Passage to Fortune tour, that addressed how Chinese immigration workers were mistreated through laws and attitudes, forcing these people underground. The Canadian Government set a “head tax” at $50 initially to keep Chinese Immigrants out of the country. They increased it to $100, then to $500, realizing these workers would work so hard, very cheaply in order to pay and stay. Workers made 35 cents a day, half the pay of a caucasion worker. The immigrants would paid half their pay to their debt for coming here and sleeping, eating, working and living in the tunnels. It would take them 3 to 5 years to pay off their debt of head tax and another 5 years to pay for the “coolie broker” who the workers paid to leave China. They worked in the laundry facilities underground. The conditions were filthy, hot, mouldy and stagnant. Many workers left their families to begin a better life and want to send for them. Then they would never want to expose them to this life and wouldn’t see their families ever again. Unfortunately, we weren’t allowed to take photos.

Our next stop was Temple Gardens Mineral Spa, one of Canada’s largest roof top mineral pools. It is a geothermal mineral water pool where “healing waters are drawn from ancient seabeds lying deep below the earth’s surface.” Sounds amazing right? Really it seemed like a huge hot tub with a whole list of elemental minerals in it, 42c, and an indoor and outdoor pool. It certainly did feel good on our muscles! Laying out on the deck in the sunshine was a pleasant treat as well.

Groceries and pitas followed, then back to camp. Tomorrow we head back out on to the road. Regina here we come!

Ps ~ Doug is complaining the spa was too hard on him, his body is stiffening . . .   well, now we’re equal! I can only hope I can find a few more spas to torture him with along the way!

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River Park Campground in Wakamow Valley

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The view looking toward outside

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Crescent Park

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This one is for Dr, George! Eeee!

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Day 9 ~ A Short Jaunt Down the Road, Turn Right At The Moose

Distance ~ 58 km.     Winds ~ crosswind from the south 20 -25 km. 
Temperature ~ 18 – 28C    Sunny skies      Thursday, May 22, 2014

When we first rode out to the highway from camp, the flags of Besant Campground were fully extended out from the west wind. We rejoiced in our good fortune and snapped the tell tale photo, believing the Weather Network had made a mistake . . . . . it was not a brutal crosswind as predicted.  In fact it was a stiff tailwind that would blow us all the way down the highway through Moose Jaw to Regina. Our excitement lasted only a short 10 km ~

Our day was cut short, thinking we could enjoy a full days rest on Friday, explore the town of Moose Jaw from the central campground in River Park located in the Wakamow Valley, and be on our way Saturday to Regina with fresh legs.

An afternoon of reading, a dinner out at Cornerstones, and a walk up and down Main street completed our day. It is like a summer evening here, people in shorts, sandals, cars with their tops down and stereos loud. It felt so good to walk and stretch our legs out. We are looking forward to a day of rejuvenation tomorrow!

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The Moose of Moose Jaw

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Coffee is Darlene's treat today! Thanks, D!

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Back along the boardwalk to camp.