Flooding on Winnipeg River

I’m lying on the sofa very early in the morning, watching and listening to a thunderstorm; it’s supposed to storm on and off all day long here. Normally I’d enjoy a good storm, but in the Airstream you worry about hail, falling tree limbs, the dog quaking in the corner of the trailer beside Tracy (who’s catching up on sleep).

It’s true that the rain is wonderfully loud on the aluminum roof, and the lightning flashes through the skylights and all the wrap-around windows. Just last week, though, an Airstream family I know with our same model had theirs totaled from hail; they’d put so much work into customizing it for their family, too. Well, we shall see.

This storm is happening at Whiteshell Provincial Park—our last park in Canada—along Barrier Bay, which is part of a long stretch of lakes and bays created by the Winnipeg River. And I think this rain is the last thing they need around here after a very wet winter, spring, and summer.

Yesterday was gorgeous though, and we crammed in as much as we could in our one sunny, warm day.

We really hit a streak of picking the same exact type of campground (a type not for us) as we moved east across Canada, ever since we were in Edmonton. In defense of Tracy’s research skills, there are almost no reviews online about campgrounds in Canada. Seems like families come to their local provincial park year after year, to have reunions, to fish, to boat, to spend time together at the closest recreation area around (everything is so far apart here). No need to advertise it!

I know they see our weird trailer and our Texas plates and wonder, ”What are they doing here?” We’ve been wondering the same, as kayaking was our goal and it’s not been what Tracy hoped at these big campgrounds built for motor boats.

For this final Canadian leg, this was the third campground Tracy tried to find a spot in; the first two were full, so he just grabbed the one available site. It’s one of those pull-throughs right on the side of the campground loop road. With the windows open, we hear everything people say about the Airstream as they walk by slowly, gawking.

Some haven’t ever seen anything like it (“Looks like something you’d use as a bunker during the Cold War”), and some know just enough to pass misguided judgement (“Those things cost $100,000, maybe $200,000. Can you imagine?”). I smile and wave, a specimen of American greed and extravagance.

They can’t see the explosion of our full possessions that’s happened on the other side of the trailer.

If the rain lets up, we’d like to bike part of the Trans-Canada Trail that passes right through the campground (that’s why the bikes are off the truck).

Tracy pulled out his tools to drill holes for my NEW BRILLIANT BUCKET LAUNDRY SYSTEM (the previous post, if you missed it). That’s why the beach wagon is out of the truck bed.

After successful bucket-laudrying, I’ve added the classy sight of drying underwear to our campsite. We must be an enigma, as we probably are everywhere we go in these local, family campgrounds.

The campsite is, though, within a short walk of a beach on Winnipeg River, so we risked our lives taking the boats off the trailer and then carted/carried them down to the water, only to find that recent flooding had created rapids downstream and an impassable line of rock that’s part of the rock formation that’s prevalent here along the Winnipeg—I’ve got to ask Tracy what it is when he wakes up. He did get to fish a bit in the water between the two impassable areas, and he had encouraging bites that just came off the hook.

If we can get back out on the water, we’ll portage across that northern bit and kayak in the lake that’s formed directly up river. The mud though. The flooded banks. The silt and slimy green flotillas will only increase because of today’s storms.

Still, we want to make the most of our final Canadian stop. We began in the west and have made our way east, with highlights at the Ice Fields glaciers and gorgeous Jasper, and lots of lakes after.

I’ll hold off on any grand statements about Canada for my final post from here, as thunder just made me jump. Better check on Banjo.

One thought to “Flooding on Winnipeg River”