I started my planning for my next trip, knowing that I had to drive about 3 hours to see the first new-to-me elevator. At first I was planning for a multi-day trip, similar to my two-day southwest Manitoba trip. I quickly realized that if I was to get all 45 in one trip, it would be a three-day affair and I couldn't spare the time.
Then insanity struck. What if I took a day trip in June... with the long days... and shot as many as I could while daylight prevailed?
I feverishly planned my route in Excel, as I always do. Using Google Maps I started timing the trips between elevators, punching the numbers into Excel and coming up with a trip plan. I decided on a loop to get all the elevators north of Riding Mountain National Park, which would be almost half of the 45 remaining grain elevators. The trouble was... that would be 21 hours from start to finish. That's a long day. But hey! I'm still youngish so why not?
|Insanity by the numbers|
I tweaked the plan over the next few days. One thing bugged me. I really really wanted to get to Inglis to see the last remaining elevator row in Canada, but the site is only open until 6 PM and my plan had me arriving at 5:10... cutting it a bit close. Then I had a brilliant idea... why not do it in reverse? Cut straight west from Dauphin through Gilbert Plains, Dutton and Roblin, then drop down to Inglis in the morning, then complete the loop? Genius.
Here was my map showing the route. Just reverse the arrows west and north of Dauphin and that's the route I settled on.
|The big loop|
(In case you're wondering, I had to get back to Winnipeg for Sunday morning for a birthday party, so there was no chance of making this a two-day affair)
The weather forecast for the 27th was... iffy. It was calling for sun but a 60% chance of showers or thunder showers. I elected to go, but would check the weather when I woke up early in the morning.
I gathered all my gear (camera, lenses, tripod, monopod, bug spray, sun screen, snacks, drinks), made sure the car's tank was full, and set my alarm for 2:15 AM and went to bed Friday night with visions of elevators dancing in my head.
On to the trip!