I live in a Canadian province that is undervalued by the rest of Canada. It’s virtually unknown in the US, never mind the world at large.
We Manitobans are actually okay with that. In fact, one might say we encourage our anonymity. Why would we choose to be so cloistered?
Because, we’re a little bit selfish.
We have access to lakes, beaches and forests that rival those found in all the better known tourist locals. Camping and cottaging is a provincial pastime that we have finessed, leaving the capital city, Winnipeg, nearly people-free every weekend in the summer. We just love our wilderness and there is so much of it to enjoy. So, selfishly, we want to keep our provincial and national parks to ourselves, free of tourists and the gong show that would arrive once we’ve been “discovered.”
We have the Interlake; home of Lake Winnipeg and Lake Manitoba, both within an hour's drive from the city - each lake the size of Lake Superior. Grand Beach, nestled on the south shores of Lake Winnipeg, has such soft white sand and expansive dunes, it ranks as a world-wide top 10 beach.
(According to Playboy Magazine and when are bunnies ever wrong?)
To the far west we have Riding Mountain and Duck Mountain National Parks, where the pine trees grow thick and the water runs clear.
And where do we Carmichaels spend our summers?
Our wee cottage, "Stone’s Throw," is on the other side of Lake Winnipeg, almost directly across from Grand Beach, in Ponemah. We can rarely see across the vast water as it’s so wide. Lake Winnipeg resembles more of an inland ocean when standing, toes wiggling, on one of the sandy beaches that dot its shores. The lake is wide, shallow, and warm. In the low water years, sand bars arise over night when the wind shifts direction, allowing the kids to walk for miles without getting deeper than their waists. In the high water years, we jump off the pier into the deep waves.
It’s a different beauty than my rugged and wild Brereton, but it is a prairie beauty that I have grown to love. The girls call it their second home, building treasured memories of their own and really, how awesome is that?
Our door’s always open and you’re welcome to visit. You can even buy a beach house and call it your own. Just don’t tell anyone where you’ve been.
It can be our little secret.