Yesterday I asked someone what they were doing for the weekend. He said he was going to the Lake.
Without hesitation I replied, “Me too!”
This is a common refrain you will hear in many parts of Canada, but in Manitoba, it seems, just about everyone I know has the same destination.
But where is that ‘lake’ everyone refers to when they provide that information.
I know my friends cottage is along Lake Winnipeg, mine is on Lake of the Woods.
I know many who camp out every weekend at places like Falcon Lake, the Whiteshell, and Nutamik.
They will all tell you they are going to the lake.
It is a Manitoba rite of summer. With only a few months to enjoy the heat, the ‘lake’ is the escape hatch, the stress reliever after several months of frigid temperatures, the unwinder after a long week of long hours at work.
And why are we not more narrow in our definition. Because Manitoba alone allows more than a hundred thousand lake options, not to mention that unbelievable huge body of water just over the Manitoba/Ontario border, Lake of the Woods.
You may remember the big media explosion that occured after Jonathan Toews, our current local hockey hero, was going to have a lake named after him in his honor.
There was this pecular outcry about why are we doing this, as though we were running out of lakes to name.
After World War II thousands of lakes were named after fallen soldiers. My uncle was one of those who got a lake named after him.
There are many more to name in Manitoba’s huge north, most of them undeveloped.
That is part of the reason we don’t define the specific lake where we will be spending the weekend.
With planned developement, generations ahead will be able to utter the same phrase every Friday when asked, “We’re going to the Lake”
This province and this country sometimes fail to appreciate how fortunate we are to have that access to water so close to us.
So if you don’t see me any more this weekend with a blog post, on twitter or facebook, it’s because I’VE GONE TO THE LAKE.
But you can still listen to the Journeys Travel Show broadcast live from the lake Sunday at noon CST on http://www.cjob.com/
I’ll talk about the fish I caught, the scenery before me, and the tranquility I feel even as I also describe dream vacations we may wish to take come winter.