With thoughts of a gorgeous walk along Lake Winnipeg we set off on the morning of Good Friday to drive north to Victoria Beach. We wanted to have an outdoor fire, roast a few wieners or smokies, enjoy the fresh air of the bush, introduce the dog to the wonders of VB, and generally "warm" up the cottage, which we haven't been in since the fall of 2008. It's still standing, we knew that. Glenda and Mike kept it in shipshape order, with some more repairs and renovations, including finishing off the inside of the porch. This is at the end of a week of sunny, warm weather, with temperatures up in the high teens.
Just in time for the long weekend, a Colorado low swept into the province, bringing high winds (up to 90 kph), driving rain full of sleet and hail, and much cooler temperatures. We sure had our day at the "beach", but had to go in to the fire to warm up. No sun to be seen. Pelting sleet on the beach. There were a few hardy seagulls flying around, and there was lots of open water at the shore, which was quite amazing considering 2 years ago the shoreline was ice and snow until late May. Turns out the wind pushed all the ice to the western shore, piling up to 10 metres high at Winnipeg Beach.
It was great to get back to the fire in the cottage, and a bit disappointing to have to leave. But there's no running water until mid May, due to the possibility of pipes freezing, so it's just not set up for a longer stay. Although we plan to do it next winter, once a few more baseboard heaters are installed. Then you can melt a few buckets of snow/ice and use that for dishes, toilet flushing, and whatever else you need to get by for a few days.
The dog was quite exhausted by the fun of walking along the beach -- a lot to sniff and chew. She needed a rest. We played another round of Blokus and headed back to the city, listening to an amazing story on audio CD -- Neil Gaiman's The Graveyard Book. This one is set in an old graveyard in an English city, and a small boy is being raised by the inhabitants after his parents and sister are murdered. Great history and great adventures.