Wasagaming and Clear Lake

2011/09/25

Today was a mini-vacation – a break from driving, at one of my favorite places, Riding Mountain National Park – specifically the town of Wasagaming, which is on Clear Lake.

Had breakfast at the aforementioned restaurant that turned me off milk for two years – decided to give them a second change, decades later – and it was not bad.  I didn’t have any milk though.

After that, I went and walked around the campground for a bit.  We used to camp here frequently in our Manitoba days.  I don’t have many specific memories of it, but still a general feeling of happy nostalgia washed over me while I was walking around.  Plus it’s beautiful.  Here’s what a typical campsite looks like:

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Lots of room, a picnic table and fireplace, and enough trees between sites to give a bit of privacy.  The sites are all open at both ends onto roads that look like these:

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If you’re camping here, the preferred way to get around and go into town is by bicycle, but it’s an easy walk too.

I walked around town a bit. Here’s the old firehall:

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And I went back to the favorite ice cream parlour and bought the favorite ice cream – two scoops on a double cone:

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As a kid I was amazed by these weird mutant double-headed ice cream cones, and wondered how they made them.  Seldom saw them anywhere else so I still associate them with Riding Mountain.

By accident I discovered an old memory.  This purple martin birdhouse:

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inspired me as a child – I wanted to make birdhouses all fancy like that.  When we got back to the farm I did build some birdhouses, some of them multi-story, but they didn’t turn out quite as fancy as this. :)

My main mission for to day was to sit around near the beach contemplating my cross-Canada road trip, what it means to me, and what I want out of life.

To that end, I spent some time lying down on a picnic table, watching the breeze rustle the leaves on these trees:

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Which is a really relaxing thing to do – I can’t recommend staring up at trees enough.  Might want to wear glasses though to keep falling things out of your eyes.

I also went out onto the jetty next to the beach, and sat here for a while, thinking:

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Watching the wind raise ripples in the water, and the jetty shape interference patterns in the ripples, was also relaxing.

I was finally starting to get into this whole thinking thing seriously when a hornet crawled up my shirt and bit me on the chest. OUCH!  I haven’t been bitten by a mandibled insect since I was a kid and I forgot how much it hurt.  I rushed back to my room to disinfect it and see if there was a stinger present – no, but it swelled up a fair bit.  By the end of the afternoon the swelling was gone but the bite still stung.

That kind of interrupted my chain of thought.  I went and sat near the beach again, but kept getting interrupted by more bugs crawling on me, so eventually I gave up on trying to get any serious thinking done today.

Still, it was a nice day off from driving and I definitely did get some good relaxing in.  From here it’s the home stretch back to Vancouver, with a brief stopover in Calgary, and then my road trip will be done.

More fall color photos:

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At the end of the day, I went back out to get some sunset photos – nothing spectacular due to lack of clouds, but it was nice.

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