The Great Manitoba Summer / by Deborah Clague

Manitoba winters can be a hard pill to swallow, but our summers more than make up for it. Blue skies. Fields of gold. Barbeque. Bikini. Martini. Linguine. After my beloved steel chariot was rearended by a minivan-driving soccer mom yapping on her cell phone earlier in the week, I decided to get as far away from suburban hell as possible this weekend, hitting a hidden oasis just west of the city: Beaudry Provincial Park. Ever heard of it? Despite living here for for the duration of my feeble existence, I hadn't...until I read about it in a handy little free guide called "Great Manitoba Getaways".  

Located about 10 minutes west of Winnipeg on PR241 (Roblin), the park is a secluded paradise of curious critters (deer, garter snakes...possible escapees from Headingley Prison located across the river) and lush foliage. It's complete desertion reminded me of another beautiful park that often seems to be overlooked (LaBarriere); however, the actual ecosystem of the river-bottom forest reminded me of another place entirely - Stanley Park. Seriously, walking beneath the shady canopy amongst thick dew-tipped giant ferns brought me right back to being in my favorite city in the world, Vancouver. I've been thinking a lot about it lately...perhaps this wee slice of local heaven will tide me over for the time being.