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After our young grandchildren moved to Alberta a few years ago, our back and forth visits have tended to be short and spent with the entire family together. This would be the first time we would have the two girls alone for a full week.

At 9 and 11 years of age respectively, we knew that as much as they enjoyed our company, we would have to be in a place with lots of interesting things to do to keep them, and us, occupied.

It was my wife who suggested that Wasagaming, or Clear Lake as it is better known, in Manitoba’s own Riding Mountain National Park might be an ideal choice.

After our young grandchildren moved to Alberta a few years ago, our back and forth visits have tended to be short and spent with the entire family together. This would be the first time we would have the two girls alone for a full week.

At 9 and 11 years of age respectively, we knew that as much as they enjoyed our company, we would have to be in a place with lots of interesting things to do to keep them, and us, occupied.

It was my wife who suggested that Wasagaming, or Clear Lake as it is better known, in Manitoba’s own Riding Mountain National Park might be an ideal choice.

 

We frequently refer to the girls as our princesses, so when we spotted the horse drawn Glass Slipper Carriage Ride passing by us a few times, we could not resist. Designed and built by the same Los Angeles company that creates similar vehicles for the Disney Corporation.

It stands out as it carries its young passengers around the community and really is a good way to get a feel for the town in a casual and relaxed manner.

 

There are a number of hiking trails in the park. For those looking for some real exercise, some of the trails can take you all around the lake. Guided educational walks targeted to the children who visit the park are available as well.

Just beyond the main thoroughfare of Wasagaming awaits the Ominnik swamp, a fascinating different walk that where you wind your way along a floating boardwalk. The trail puts you in touch with frogs, minnows, and all sorts of other birds and water creatures that inhabit the swamp.

On one evening we took in a movie at the historic Park Theatre http://parktheatre.ca .

It is the largest log cabin theatre in North America and has been designated a Heritage Building by the Government of Manitoba. Movies are current and change every couple of days.

While both girls have been taking riding lessons, it was 9 year old Avery who was determined to go on a trail ride for her own enjoyment, and to demonstrate to me the new skills she had only recently acquired.

Because it was significantly less expensive than what was available in Clear Lake, I chose the Trailhead Ranch, www.trailhead-ranch.com, located only a 15 minute drive away near Lake Audy. It was her first experience riding on a western saddle. She found it awkward at first, but she had a great time riding her horse Amigo.

While the beach at Clear Lake is quite lovely, the posted sign suggested swimmer’s itch may be present in the waters. That was enough to dissuaded 11 year old Jayda from spending a lot of time in the water itself. So the heated pool at our Arrowhead resort got plenty of action on a near daily basis.

As is often said, time passes quickly when you are having fun. Before we knew it the week was over and we were headed back to the city, too soon to be saying goodbye to our two young ladies for another, all too long period.

But we look forward to taking the girls away from their parents again next year. The already strong bonds of love grew even stronger from spending virtually every hour of each day with them. It is an experience every grandparent should have.