Canada 9 July: Russell, MB - Riding Mountain National Park, Wasagaming, MB

The torch shines bright on a rainy day!

Thank you to the Russell Inn who offered us discounted rooms last night, we really enjoyed the waterslide!

As we prepared to run from Russell, Manitoba this morning the rain was coming down at a steady pace and Purnakama bravely volunteered to be the first on the road.

She enjoyed a brief moment of silence in the rain before her run began.

Brahmata was next to carry the torch.

Zuska continued all the way to Waywayseecappo...

Sanaz offered some moral support before Purnakama embarked on her next stretch of road.

Ready and smiling!

Puroga, our Hungarian runner, didn't seem to mind the downpour at all!

Arpan put in a few more miles as friendly Manitoba locals looked on and offered encouragement and support.

Yatkara also didn't let the rain dampen his spirits.

In Rossburn, we were warmly greeted by dedicated members of the community. We gathered in Veterans Park to innagurate a new Peace Tree dedicated to the Peace Run and Canadian Veterans. All of the trees in Veterans Park are fruit trees, including this one, which is an apple tree. Rick Koklu is the President of the Legion in Rossburn.

Brian Brown, the Mayor of Rossburn also came out to welcome the team and see the Peace Tree.

Pictured here with us is Dianne (front row, centre) who is the Secretary of the Legion and also volunteers with the Lion's Club. Behind her is Gary. To her left is Karen, who is also with the Legion. Nancy (fifth from the left) represented the Lion's Club, she gave the team oranges and water bottles and told us a little bit about the important work that they do for the community and the world.

The plaque in front of the tree.

Everyone patiently listened to our Peace Run song while the rain trickled down.

Martin Lambe (left) was responsible for having the tree planted and installing the plaque. Due to his extreme helpfulness, he actually ended up missing the ceremony! He drove out to the highway to greet our runners, but as the runners approached from a different direction, he ended up waiting there while the ceremony took place. Luckily, he caught up with a couple of our runners and Mayor Brown later and we were able to offer him a Certificate of Appreciation and take a photo in front of the newly planted tree. Thank you Martin!

Mayor Brown kindly offered our team a Certificate as well!

Arpan began carrying the torch toward Riding Mountain National Park.

Yatkara was feeling peaceful.

Puroga was finally able to dry off a bit.

Canola fields were abundant and we could not resist exploring them! (Did you know that the name "canola" is short form for "Canadian Oil"?)

Two prairie girls and an Australian.

Manitoba has a large Ukranian population and historical sites can be found in many of the towns.

Sanaz acted out a pioneer scene with Tavishi for our entertainment.

Purnakama is excited about chocolate (and grain elevators).

In Wasagaming, we arrived at Clear Lake with a not-so-clear sky.

Pavaka's parents, Suzanne and Norbert, joined us from St.Anne, Manitoba and were happy to hold the Peace Torch with their son.

Rocky the dog enjoyed lots of attention from the team!

We shared our torch with some of children and families who were enjoying the park.

People from all over were curious about the Peace Run.

We visited the Peace Tree in front of Clear Lake that was planted in 2014 during the Peace Run visit at that time.

This row of u-benches was also dedicated to the Peace Run in 2014. Some of our runners sat down to feel the peace for a moment.

George, from the Friends of Riding Mountain National Park held our torch and we offered him a painting by Sri Chinmoy to honour the work that they do for this beautiful National Park. He told us that they have a special focus on getting youth more involved in the outdoors so they do not suffer from "Nature Defecit Disorder".

Pavaka's parents joined us at our campsite for the night and we really enjoyed spending time with them. Suzanne very generously cooked the team a delicious Indian meal for dinner with rhubarb cake and Saskatoon berries for dessert. Yum!

Later, at the Wasagaming Campground, the skies cleared up and the instruments came out!

Pavaka even wrote a custom song about the 2016 Canadian Peace Run!

Pierre improvised on several "instruments" such as a soup ladle "saxaphone".

Sharing music is always the perfect way to end an evening.