You don't go to the Pembina Valley for the food

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by humvee, Sep 22, 2008.

  1. humvee

    humvee Long timer

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    I've found one of the hardest things to do is come up with a dayride idea for Manitoba where you aren't going to run around grid roads and farmers fields for 12 hours.

    It took a few weeks of putting our heads together, but Germanpickle (with his new to him KLR) and I finally came to agreement. We declined an invite to the ICEMAKER trip (backroader), and decided to hit up the Pembina Valley and see what there is to see. We came up with a route, but basically agreed that we'd following interesting roads and see where they lead.

    It was supposed to be a nice weekend, but I awoke to about 4C temps. Much colder than expected, so I went deep into the closet to gather a few more layers.

    Our meeting point was just outside the city.
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    I was early, and grabbed a hot coffee while I waited for GP. He pulled in shortly after. Little did we know that coffee was almost the best food we'd have all day. We saw one of those fancy 4x4 motorhomes drive by. I was able to snap a quick pic. (there's a flatbed in front of the motorhome)
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    Not wanting them to have the only adventure that day, we turned up our Zune's and headed out on the highway for the hour of slab to the valley.
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    #1
  2. GermanPickle

    GermanPickle Been here awhile

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    So, my morning started at 6:45 Am. +3C outside my door. I waited for the Co-op to open and headed out to meet Humvee.

    My drive down Hwy 15 toward Winnipeg to rendezvous with Humvee was a chilly one. I don't know if it was the humidity or what, but this morning, even my legs in my chaps felt cold.

    As I neared the Perimeter I decided I was to be the first off roader of the day. I turned left, blasted the ditch, and then through an area where I suspect budget cuts prevented a road from being completed.

    I jumped back on the highway and proceeded to Oakbluff Petro Canada where Humvee sat waiting for me. I parked my bike as Humvee attempted to warm up by sipping on what turned out to be the best coffee of the day.
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    I snagged my Java, and secured the title of first to get the bike muddy.

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    We laughed, and talked of our great expectations. Now Saddle up and off to Winkler for some Breakfast!
    #2
  3. GB

    GB . Administrator

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    :thumb

    :lurk
    #3
  4. humvee

    humvee Long timer

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    The ride to Winkler was uneventful. The rain was falling to the east, but not in our direction of travel. We did get a couple drops on the visor, but nothing to worry about.

    Our tummies were starting to grumble. Time to find some food. A tried and true method - look for the busiest parking lot in town. It's never failed me yet.

    until now.

    I think the place was called DJs. It's just on the West side of Winkler and the parking lot was pretty full. How could we go wrong?

    Well. First off - there was no waitress. There's nothing better to start a ride than a nice young lass serving you good hot coffee. No, it wasn't to be.

    You had to stand at the counter and order, but there was no menu. I asked to see one, and she said "oh, We don't serve breakfast :huh
    But we have coffee, toast, muffins, and cinnamon buns".

    Me: :eek1:cry

    Her: I keep telling my boss we need to serve breakfast.

    By now Tobi had joined me at the counter. She saw the look of disappointment on our faces, and said we should hit the truck stop we passed a few minutes ago.

    I didn't want to waste any more time, or get geared up..so we grabbed our coffees and cinnamon bun and sat down.

    This wasn't friendly home-town service with home-made food.
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    Disappointed, we finished up with some free refills and continued on our way.

    BTW, the lot was full from the mennonites in town, getting their fill of free refills...which is the mennonite way...I would know. They also were playing some kind of gambling game, where they flip coins and guess at outcome (or something like that, I can only understand so much german)
    #4
  5. GermanPickle

    GermanPickle Been here awhile

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    There were approximately 30 people in the restaurant. All of them sipped a cup of coffee, nothing else. Not one of them was under 60 years old, with the exception of us.

    Not that I have anything about people my elder, but Let this be a testament to the clientele this "family restaurant" attracts before noon.

    Here's the complete "Hungry Man's" breakfast. Showing the complete compliment of BOTH or our feasts.

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    Let's just say.. Neither of us felt that we left that place feeling as if we had a lumberjack's breakfast. I felt more like I just ate at "eat like a Prisoner diner" ... well maybe not. there was more than bread and water... They did have jam for my bread.
    #5
  6. humvee

    humvee Long timer

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    Leaving Winkler, we headed west and took one of the first gravel roads south.

    Voila...a hilll! Yes, this is a reason to get excited.

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    Things are about to get interesting.

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    Go ahead GP, take the lead :evil

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    #6
  7. GermanPickle

    GermanPickle Been here awhile

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    Before we get too deep into this story.. Let me just say that we had a "guideline" of where we wanted to go. We didn't have a set route.

    We left Winkler and headed West, then took a left onto the gravel. A few miles later we encountered this...
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    Humvee realized that he needed to get some bearings
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    We carried on..
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    Leaving me in the dust, Humvee's enthusiasm is duly noted as we see the first rolling hills.
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    ..Carry on Humvee....
    #7
  8. humvee

    humvee Long timer

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    GP carries on past the "danger" sign. It goes down a twisting decline, then an angled "cut" in the road. I imagine it's there for Spring run-off, and the road would be closed. We followed it for a while and it just becomes a 2-track road. I see a sign that we're on the trans-canada trail.

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    The trail ends after about a kilometer or two and we're given the option of 2 ATV-like trails. We follow one, and it seems to be going around a farmer's field.

    I hear honking behind me and turn around, GP has hammered on the brakes, and promptly falls over. I quickly stop and reach for my camera...BAH! It's gone. NOW I see what the big fuss was, he saw it jump off my bike and he quickly stopped to help. Thanks buddy. :freaky

    Here's what you get for your trouble. Instead of helping, I quickly got this shot after he handed me the camera. His first drop of the KLR, and I was proud to be a part of it.

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    #8
  9. humvee

    humvee Long timer

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    GP must have some writer's block, so I'm going to continue.

    This little farm trail was great, we both fondly looked at our bikes while going through the tunnel of love.

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    which brought us into this great overlook.

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    At which point we turned back and took another quad trail. I was apprehensive, but we went down a really steep decline into the valley. At a small plateau, we parked the bikes and walked a few hundred km to see what we were getting ourselves into. At the bottom was a short drop into the nearly empty creekbed, and then the trail went up the other side. We agreed that we should save this for another day, and concentrate on getting ourselves but up the hill.

    Here's the dry creekbed.
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    and GP gunning it back up the hill.
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    we made it back up without problems, rejoiced, then headed back for the gravel and into the US.

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    Now on the US side, near Frost Fire ski hill.

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    What an awesome road.

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    With a haunted house. Freaky, the windows were relatively new, 1996. Someone must have abandoned it mid-way through renovating. There were jackets and supplies all over the place. Even a power garage door opener with remote.

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    #9
  10. calan818

    calan818 The CarMexican

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    I was enjoying your report of my backyard! I did recognize a couple of the roads, and there are plenty of those in the Pembina Hills. Winkler does have its own unique feel, and your description of your pauper's breakfast was very funny. You are right...if there are free refills, the old mennonite farmers will hang out all morning! Good food is a very important part of any adventure ride. If you had some bacon and eggs in your belly, you might have tried that dry creek bed! :rofl
    #10
  11. humvee

    humvee Long timer

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    I know GP has some great pics, but I'll keep on writing, just to finish up the report.

    We continued on, following some tracks provided by another ADVer.

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    Things looked awfully familiar, and at a tall ridge I remember coming here in 2002 to go geocaching.

    We continued following gravel until we got to Walhalla. It is here we followed Backroader's advice and had dinner at Jack's Bar, Best steak in ND he told us. Well, there was no Jack's bar, but there was Jackson's Bar.

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    Simple mistake I thought, we walked it with rumbly tummies and visions of a nice Ribeye, mashed potatos and gravy.

    It was pretty empty, a few people at the bar. No waitresses, No menu...this is a very bad sign :cry

    There was a small menu board by the bar, only the most minimal of bar food. The most substantial were frozen pizzas. We each ordered one and waited.

    When you're hungry anything tastes good, but it sure wasn't Steak and potatos.

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    After dinner we walked to the small grocery store to check it out, yep, they had the same frozen pizza's right there in the freezer. We also saw what appears to be a MUCH nicer restaurant across the street. I forget the name, but it had "BEER EMPORIUM AND STEAKHOUSE" in the title. You can guess where we're eating next time. How can you resist a place called a Beer Emporium?

    We crossed the border without incident, but they went through most of our gear and pockets. We took some more gravel on the way, I guess GP wanted to even up the score.

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    And when I returned home, my world was right where I had left it.

    Daughter was painting
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    and the boy was drooling
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    :clap
    #11
  12. sae

    sae n00b

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    Everyone knows that when you are in Winkler you have to have breakfast at Triangle Oasis :rofl
    #12
  13. GermanPickle

    GermanPickle Been here awhile

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    SAe.

    thanks for mentioning this AFTER the fact.

    Can you shed some light on the coin game we witnessed at our breakfast experience?
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    #13
  14. jonesg11

    jonesg11 Adventurer

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    Sorry to resurrect an old dead thread, but I couldn't help but laugh :roflas I read about Winkler. I grew up not far from there and spent 20+ years in the area!
    #14