The International Peace Garden

This is the last post about this journey of a thousand (or more) miles. When we were compiling our itinerary for this trip I was adamant that we get to see the International Peace Garden. Canada and the United States has the world’s largest unprotected border and the International Peace Garden is a celebration of the peace maintained between the two countries. It was an interesting stop. We were there too early in the spring to see any flowers blooming and there was a lot that we didn’t get to see. It would definitely be worth the drive to go back to it again someday.

There are a lot of cool things to see at the peace garden, but the Peace Towers were the structure that I was most interested in seeing. The towers are 120 feet tall, and the height is supposed to represent immigrants soaring ambition when coming to either country.

The four columns symbolize the four corners of the earth from which thousands of immigrants arrived into Canada and the United States in the 1800s and 1900s to build better lives for themselves. Two columns stand in Manitoba and two in North Dakota, facing each other in two similar, but separate societies.

Straddling the 49th parallel, essentially in four places at once. Half of me is in North Dakota, USA and the other half is in Manitoba, Canada. It’s a very cool experience knowing today’s security measures with crossing borders. You are able to enter the International Peace Garden from either side without having to go through customs, the entrance to the garden lying between either border crossing station.

Looking up was my favorite view, but I probably never would have done it had Jill not shown me her pictures!

We get so focused on what’s straight ahead of us that we forget to look and see what’s above us! We hopped back in the car, went through Canadian customs and we were on our way home!

The International Peace Garden is in the Turtle Mountains, a park and recreation area shared by North Dakota and Manitoba, so we weren’t really surprised to pull into Boissevain, MB and find this giant turtle waving flags to greet us. Upon a little research I found that this is Tommy the Turtle who was apparently constructed as a symbol of the community’s summer “Turtle Derby.”

After stopping in Brandon, MB for lunch and Regina, SK for a Costco pitstop our very last stop of the trip was in Watson, SK because I am a sucker for “world’s largest” and roadside attractions of the giant nature. I’ve seen this Santa many times on drives from my parents to Regina but we’d never stopped for a picture so just an hour from home I finally had my chance to stop for this snapshot.

With this trip under wraps I was able to cross another project off of my Project 52 list – #7 Travel some place totally new. This trip was my very first time to a few places in southern Saskatchewan, and then of course, everything in North Dakota and South Dakota was totally new! What a great Easter break!


One thought on “The International Peace Garden

  1. Date Girl says:

    Wow, I didn’t even know this place existed. How very cool. Thank you for sharing your pictures. It would be fun to visit there someday!

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