Middle Manitoba

2011/09/24

Today I took a little detour up to the region between Lake Winnipeg and Lake Manitoba.  There was a property advertised for sale there in Dignam’s, and since it’s only an hour’s drive from Winnipeg I thought it might be worth checking out.

The land was advertised, if I recall correctly, as having a significant portion of marshland, possibly suitable for birdwatchers.  Well, I couldn’t even reach the property as all approaching roads were closed due to flooding.  I tried driving this one despite the water lapping at the edges of the road, but it got me no closer:

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So, not being able to reach the property because of water, I’ll have to assume the bit about it being marshy is true.

If it floods like this in the fall, I hate to think what spring must be like.  I know Manitoba suffered uncommon flooding this year, but I also know uncommon flooding is common for the flat part of the province.  Scratch this area off my buy list.

Since I was in the area, I decided to check out nearby Delta Beach and St. Ambriose Provincial Park.  My mother and I camped here once, and all I remember about it is that the park was filled with incredibly dense clouds of mosquitoes.  I thought it would be nice to see the big lake too, but all approaches were closed due to flooding, and indeed most of the houses in St. Ambroise were sandbagged.  Not a good sign.

Continued on via back roads to Riding Mountain National Park, where I took the less-used east entrance – it’s a rough gravel road, but really beautiful. Especially in the fall:

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Here’s the view to the northeast from the top of the escarpment.  Riding Mountain is very high for the prairies.

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I think the purple haze in the distance is from farmers burning stubble.

Riding Mountain is where I learned to appreciate the potential beauty of swamps.  They look best in the fog, but here’s a couple anyway:

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I’m staying in Wasagaming for the next two nights – taking a one-day break from driving. I plan to mainly sit on the beach and read my book.  Here’s the nice little cabin I have to myself:

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It’s not quite as fancy as the place I like to stay at Long Beach, but it’ll do in a pinch.

I was hoping to see a movie tonight in Wasagaming’s unique log theater, but unfortunately it’s closed for the season.

After sunset I sat on the beach and watched the stars come out.  That was enjoyable.

Minnows minnowing in the lake:

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Some more fall color shots:

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Generic beauty shots:

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From earlier in the day, a field of mixed wheat and drying sunflowers.  I think the sunflowers are the crop here – that green in the background before the trees is also all sunflowers.  Not sure why there is also grain here – maybe to distract birds from the sunflower seeds?

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And a couple shots of abandoned buildings:

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(That’s Riding Mountain in the background of the last shot; this building is right at the junction of #5 and #19, the road that goes into the park from the east.)

Passed through the town of Neepawa on the way – it’s a very nice town.  I’m impressed with how pleasant it is, and despite appearing quite small it somehow supports a Safeway, a Co-Op and a McDonald’s.  I also generally like the landscapes in and around Riding Mountain.  Too bad there’s no major cities nearby; I’d go crazy with boredom living in this area.

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