Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Those Canadian Lakes

Honestly, it wasn't looking that great. Once we turned north on Highway 6 on our way to Twin Lakes Beach, there was nothing but clouds. The fascinating part about travelling on the prairies is that the clouds are spellbinding. For one thing, you can see them all, except of course, the ones that are over Australia. And then, you can see weather approaching for miles and miles. The original plan was to go to Birds Hill Park, home of the Winnipeg Folk Festival and an 80-acre artificial lake. The bonus of this provincial park is that it is 24 kilometres from Winnipeg,

Gerald, my sister's boyfriend, decided that we needed to go to Twin Lakes Beach, a much longer drive, but the water and sand are great. As we were driving after turning north, I looked to my right where Birds Hill Park lies, and there was blue sky, no clouds. He could not be averted from his decision.

We arrived about 2 in the afternoon, and set up our space - the only ones along this strip. I figured others had been scared off by the clouds. There was a thin strip of blue to the north. An hour later, the skies were looking better, and the sun peaked around the clouds. It was HOT! Perfect. Here's what unfolded.....

And that was my last beach day in Manitoba. It seems Gerald has a knack for picking days to go the beach. If you are thinking of an outing, I would suggest that you consult with him.

Three days later, I was back in BC. I got off the plane and it was 32 degrees, too late for the beach. But the next day after spending time with the lawn mower, I headed out to Six Mile along the shores of the Kootenay Lake. It was the most spectacular day...

And that was the beach part of my vacation - 5 beaches in two weeks! There is nothing like those Canadian lakes!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Manitoba Beaches

So, here's the connection with Weather and beach days on my vacation - if I plan for one, and there are many choices when you live in Manitoba, the land of 10,000 lakes, then the weather won't co-operate. This summation comes after plenty of experience. I am on Day 13 of my Manitoba summer vacation and today is the 6th official day I have planned to go to the beach. And it's looking sketchy. Again.

When I went to bed last night, the forecast said HOT sunny day, with a temperature of 28 and a humidex of 39 degrees. That is uncomfortable enough in the city that all you want to do is dash from A/C to A/C; indeed the malls seem to be quite busy. My sister called late last night and suggested a beach day - I am all over that!

I woke up this morning much later than I would have thought, which I would certainly appreciate on any other day since the drapes in my mother's home are white but today it was definitely less bright. I went immediately to the window and gazed upward, and then to the computer. Clouds and the forecast said thunderstorms! Highly entertaining and cool to view when you are in flat land but NOT conducive to the beach. In fact, it can be a bit unnerving to be swimming during a thunderstorm.

Beaches are the places to go in Manitoba on hot, humid days, and they are one highlight of a province that shines in the summer. They are a must for summer vacations in Manitoba.

So far on my vacation, here are the Manitoba beaches that I have visited:

Grand Beach

Grand Beach is on the shore of Lake Winnipeg, which is the biggest lake in Manitoba about an hour's drive north of Winnipeg. This is very popular for city dwellers. The appeal is fine sand, lots of water and amenities such as food and flush toilets.

Rocky Lake

Rocky Lake is about 40 minutes north of The Pas which is about 6 to 8 hours north of Winnipeg. This is where my brother has a beautiful beach-front home. I didn't actually immerse myself in that lake because of the aforementioned issue with Weather.

Clearwater Lake

Clearwater Lake was my stomping grounds when I lived in the north. It is 25 minutes north of The Pas, and is the second clearest lake in the world!

Here I am enjoying that natural spring fed water. And it has fine sand with many sandbars, very cool for kids and a happy place for parents who can be less on guard for their youngsters.

Twin Lakes Beach

Twin Lakes Beach is on Lake Winnipeg, a lake that is parallel to Lake Manitoba about an hour's drive north of Winnipeg. Sandy beach and less populated that the bigger lake, it is on an isthmus, which is a natural land formation between two bodies of water.

Well, the sun is now coming through the window. I am going to check the forecast.... You just never know...