June 7 – Anniversary of the End of a Manitoba Voyage

Posted on June 7, 2015

Do you know what the “mouth” of a river is?

It's one end of the river – the end that is “downstream” – the part where the river flows into a lake, reservoir, ocean, or maybe just another river.

That is the opposite end from the “headwaters,” the source of the river, which is often an underground stream or a melting glacier but is sometimes a lake or a marsh.

On this date in 1800, famed explorer David Thompson reached the mouth of the Saskatchewan River, in what is now Manitoba, Canada. The river empties into Lake Winnipeg.

Many Americans don't know much about Canada, especially the central provinces of Saskatchewan and Manitoba. These two provinces are largely prairie, and of course a few lakes.

And when I say “a few lakes,” I mean over 110,000 lakes in Manitoba alone, including the tenth-largest freshwater lake in the entire world, Lake Winnipeg.

I don't know if you noticed that I referred to David Thompson as a “famed” explorer. He is widely known by Canadians, but not so much by citizens of the U.S. Thompson surveyed huge swaths of land and traveled miles of rivers; he filled in gaps of knowledge about almost two million square miles of Canada!
This map shows Thompson's exploratory routes.

Here are some cool things to see in Manitoba:

The Canadian Museum for Human Rights has interactive exhibits and a Tower of Hope.
The interior of the Manitoba legislative building features hieroglyphics, free-masonic symbols, and numeric codes – but in a pretty subtle way. A tour guide is helpful to point out such things as a bust of Medusa, the repeated use of the numbers “666” and “13,” and Egyptian sphinxes!
Lake Winnipeg (above)
and Hudson Bay (below)

Check out the beautiful Manitoba lake below. There seems to be a mysterious "hole" in the lake.

Also on this date:

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