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Cross Country Ski Parkview Estates near Riding Mountain National Park

Sunday December 18th, a Cross Country ski event was held at Parkview Estates at the home of members Alf and Janis.  Prior to the
ski we had the obligatory feast-a-thong or otherwise known as ‘pot luck’.  The food was to die for and most of us seemed to forget we had
a ski ahead of us.  After dragging ourselves away from the food and hospitality of the Stanley Estate, we proceeded to the ski trails.
A gentle trail (whoops, gentle for some) led to the shores of beautiful Tamarack Lake.  Once at the lake we proceeded to ski on soft packed snow
on ice around the perimeter of the frozen water body.  Some, (who had eaten more than others), managed to make it around this
scenic area not once but TWO times.  We wont mention any names but one was led by a beautiful canine called Scottie……
Following the ski, we retired (a lot of us were retired) to the Stanley home and even more vittles and hospitality.
It was a fantastic afternoon and thanks to the Man and Lady of the Manor, Alf and Janis, for a great time.
Those members in attendance, Roger, Cheryl, Judy, Bert, Bill & Carol (part of ‘SOG’ –Sedona Organizing Group), Wally ( predicting 1 1/2 feet of snow in Sedona, Arizona in January), Evelyn, Kim,
Brenda, Robert (good to see you Bob), Donna & Aaron all the way from Ethelsbert, and of course Janis and Alf.
Writeup by Bill

A winter hike

Members Di & Scotty, Maureen, Grace, Jackie & Fred & Dover were accompanied by guests Neal & Sheila & Lucy and Dennis & Cole. Conditions for skiing would have been marginal @ best due to the lack of snow so hiking was a good alternative. We all hiked the 1.9 km to Kinisao Lake at which point the club members headed north to hookup with the Grey Owl trail and the guests headed back the 2.1 km via Brule. Once we got to the Grey Owl Trail we took a load off at the warming shelter.
The wonderfully mild temps meant we did not need to get a fire going although there was alot of wood to be had as the trail crew had recently stocked the wood shed, literally to the rafters. Just as Robert had described, Grey Owl Trail had been rutted by the trail crew vehicles rendering it unsuitable for skiing. It did make for easy hiking though!
We then made our way back the 3.6 km to the parking lot noting what appeared to be wolf tracks along the way. This had Scotty and Dover quite interested. Given the sunny, mild weather (temp @ end of the hike was -3C) the 4 of us decided to hike the Arrowhead Trail. I had skied it many moons ago and had forgotten how rolling the terrain is.
The not so controlled burn of this past fall was evident but did not detract from the scenery one bit. Neal & Sheila’s had graciously offered coffee and cake apres hike, so we stopped in and enjoyed their hospitality. Thanks to all who participated!
Fred & Jackie & Dover

Saturday, November 26, 2011 – Moon Lake

The day started out with breakfast at the South Gate Cafe and from there Di & Scotty, Kari, and I car-pooled to Moon Lake. We weren’t quite sure if we would be hiking or snowshoeing but once we got to the trail head we saw there was more than enough snow to make it a snowshoe. We had came across a couple of spots where we needed to do some fancy foot work to get across open water but more so to keep Scotty from pulling Di into the water. We stopped for a break at the half-way point that over looks the lake and to have a bite to eat. There’s nothing like enjoying a thermos of hot tea on a winter day, over looking a snow-covered lake. Lots of wildlife tracks but no sightings. Di and Scotty came back to my cabin for snacks and something hot to drink while Kari head home because she had to be at another event. Next time Kari!

Saturday, November 12, 2011 – Squirrel Hill Hike

The initial plan was to do a day hike from Whirlpool Lake to Cowan Lake but due to a road closure the hike was moved to Squirrel Hill. Located at the Junction of Hwy 10 and Hwy 355 (in the Minnedosa Valley), the trail has a network of trails (nicely mapped) that add up to about 6km. At 1pm, I was joined by James and Olwen, Eldon, and Dave as we set off taking the trail that was the outer rim of the Hills, stopping at the warm up hut to have a snack. From there we hiked a few of the inner trails to end the day with having done 6km. The day was cloudy and grey but the temperature was great for a hike. There was a layer of snow but not enough for snow shoes (just enough to remind some of us to water-proof our boots). It had been a few years since I last hiked this trail and I had forgotten how nice it is.
- Brenda

Arthur’s Hike, November 5th, 2011

Roger, Cheryl, Di, Dawn, Scottie, Lynne and myself met Arthur and Shirley at Huggie’s parking lot and followed them to their cabin at Strathcona Beach on Pelican Lake. Although the weather was grey and and cool it was still nice for hiking.
We hiked along a road parallel to the Lake for a distance until Dawn and Di decided to return to the cabin. The rest of us carried on and found a wonderful site with a great view overlooking the lake for lunch break. We continued on with a little bushwhacking and walking along the Lake shore. Cheryl tried to get us lost on the way back to Arthur’s cabin by taking a quad trail – but all worked out well. It’s hard to get lost when you know the lake is on your left hand side!
After returning to Arthur and Shirley’s cabin we enjoyed coffee, chips and some yummy egg rolls. Cheryl had her Ipad and showed pictures from the Souris River canoe trip as well as their Alaskan cruise; everyone enjoyed them – especially Dawn.
Arthur and Shirley are obviously excited about their new cabin and were terrific hosts.

Nov 5, 2011 Jackfish Lake Hike

On Saturday, Nov. 5th. Evelyn and I met Mike Rossier at the trailhead to the Jackfish Lake area in RMNP.
For those who have not been to this trail, the trailhead is south of the Boreal Interpritive Trail. Unless you have been there it would be difficult to find the trailhead. We were pretty sure where it was as we have seen ski tracks there each winter.
Mike tells us that he has been working on and improving the trail since about 1997. The trail itself is quite interesting. If you have done the Boreal Trail you would find it very similar. It follows a small stream bed and then you cross over to the Jackfish creek, which is the same stream that the Boreal trail follows. The trail follows existing game trails and valley bottoms. It is about 8 kilometers in length which brings you out to the grasslands on the north side of Jackfish Lake. I would class the trail as moderate to difficult. Footing is uneven in many areas, especially in the valley bottoms, due to the long and thick grasses.
Saturday was a very gray day thus one can become a little dis-oriented as to directions being travelled. Mike had his GPS with him so there was no concern on our part as to getting back to the highway. We did not see any wildlife but lots of sign. We found a fresh wolf kill on the shore of the creek where it entered Jackfish Lake. A nice 5 point deer. We could see where the wolf pack had forced him into the creek and ambushed him when he came to shore. He had to break his way thru the ice on the creek and as it had not re-froze we figured that the kill was made that morning. It was about 2 p.m. when we found it and there was very little left for the Ravens and Eagles. It was the birds that kind of showed us that a kill was in the area. We did not see any wolves but lots of sign in the area.
The hike took us from 10:30 a.m. thru to 4:30 p.m. to complete. All in all, a very interesting area and trail to hike on. One should be aware, however, that this trail is not easy. It is thru prime wolf territory and one should be with someone who knows the area. It is easy to get turned around. A hand held GPS devise would be considered standard equipment for this hike. Ski-ing it in winter would be easier as you could follow your tracks out. Mike also requests that it not be sno-shoed.
Wally Clegg

Oct 29, 2011 Lake Kinosao Hike

This is a great time of the year to hike. Fred, Jackie, Di, Dawn, Clark, Wally, Evelyn, Brenda, Tim, Janis and I met at the Grey Owl/Lake Kinosao trail head for a day hike. We had stopped at the South Gate hotel in Onanole for breakfast prior to this.  Actually Tim had not arrived by time the rest of us started down the trail but we met up with him at the lake. From the lake Di and her sister from England decided to head back to the car and the rest of us hiked over to Grey Owl Trail. It was a perfect day for hiking as the temperature was above zero and the trail was dry. The only wild life seen was a grouse and the scat from some unknown species. After the hike everyone headed off in a caravan of cars to the Stanley Cottage in Parkview Estates for hot drinks, snacks and all kinds of stories. I am sure the other cottage owners were wondering what was happening as this long line of vehicles drove into the area.  It is uncommon to see any more than one or two cars a day arrive in this area.
Clark, Tim and Fred decided to go and do a bike ride on the new trail connecting Onanole to Clear Lake after snack time was over. The rest of the crew headed off to their own destinations. Great group!

Gorge Creek Hike – Oct. 22

12 souls enjoyed the annual Fall Gorge Creek hike on Oct 22. Most met for breakfast at the South-Gate Motel in Onanole before heading to the trailhead There was considerable evidence of the recent fire as we proceeded along Highway 19. The weather was a little crisp to start, but we soon warmed up as we proceeded along the trail. The trail was the driest it has been in years – hardly any water flowing In the creek. No wildlife spottings except for a Fisher on Hwy 19 as we were driving in. We waited for our lunch stop until the end of the trail, prior to heading home, as it was a little breezy at the usual stopping spot. Good views, good company – all in all a “Gorge-ous” hike.
Hike Participants – Di & Scotty, Alf, Janice, Grace, Arthur, Brenda, Jacques, Kelly, Michelle & Sarge, Roger
Roger Bright

Cairns Cabin Hike

The trail was closed after ther forest fire and did not get opened untill the thursday before the weekend, so therfore there was some question as if the event would happen. It did get open about 3pm on on that day so we got to go.
Twelve people enjoyed the weekend with a nice dry trail and reasonable creek crossings. Some sun and clouds and nice temps for hikeing.
Nice and cozy in the cabin with that many people, so six enjoy the night under the stars and moon. On sunday we were out in good time, and seven of us enjoyed coffe and friendship at the Elkhorn Resort, as the others headed back to Winnipeg, wish they could have stayed longer, but are aware of the time long drives take.
Die I. Nadine A. Judy B. Bert P. Elaine M. Shea M. Cloee B. Kelly T. Kelvin T. Glen B. Melonie F. and myself enjoyed a good weekend hike.
Edward Beamish


What a fabulous w/e for a backpack into the cabin!  Clarence and Loree (daughter), Brenda Woods and Debbie (sister), Eldon, Ian (McGregor) and Di were backpacking – while Brenda (Emer) was just having a day hike with us.  After a relaxed walk into the cabin – we rested and had lunch – before heading out again.  We all enjoyed the wonderful weather and shelter from the wind, while we sauntered around the trails.  Some of us were lucky enough to see, not only one – but two moose!  Brenda left us to go back to the parking lot – and the rest of us wandered back to the cabin.  We sat around the fire having supper – watching the spectacular lighting over the lake as the sun went down.  As it cooled down – we moved back into the cabin for the rest of the evening.  Sunday morning, we were able to have breakfast around the fire, too!  It was amazing – who would have thought that!  Thanks for a great w/e everyone.  The next time at the cabin – we’ll be in the snow for sure!!! 
Di Ingram


It didn’t start out to be a good day – fog, wind – but Di and Clarke (Wilkie) decided to give it a go, anyway! We started at the golf course turn off, in RMNP, and headed to our destination – Moon Lake. After some munchies in the shelter at Moon Lake – we headed back. It took a while for us to warm up – but after the hill at Grayling Lake – we had thawed out! We knocked 15 minutes off our ride on the way home! Clarke could have done this ride in a fraction of the time we did it in – he clocked 60 km/hr down some of the hills, while I got only 50 km/hr – and that was peddling like stink, too! We then enjoyed hot chocolate and cookies at Clarkes cottage in Onanole. Thanks Clarke, for your company on a great 62 km ride.
Di Ingram

September 17th bike trip to Muskrat Lake.

The trip to Muskrat Lake was accompanied by energetic Tim on the left, adventurous Clark on the right, and shy me (Jacques) behind the camera. We were met by Fred and Jackie at the trail head. Fred was
going to join us but he forgot a part from his bike. We missed you out there. It was cloudy and a little cool. It was a perfect day for a long bike ride. We didn’t see one drop of rain on the whole trip. The
trail was in good shape. We went in after 11:00 and came out about 3:00 pm. The campground is fully functional. It has tables, camp stoves, firewood, bear bins, well that works, and last but not least an
outhouse with toilet paper. Thanks guys for coming out hope to do some more with you all.

Aug 19, 2011 K/G crossing

It was a beautiful sunny day at the K/G Crossing August 19th.  Nadine,Grace,Michele,Kelly,Lynne, Brian,Olwen,James, Kelsey and Jun participated.We hiked for a couple of hours, then enjoyed a typical tasty WWC pot luck supper around the campfire. Some other WWC members who attended the music festival at Kelwood sat.joined us later that day. The stars were out in full force, and after some investigation, we realized that the shining eyes in the dark were grazing cattle in the pasture across the road!…………… Hope to do this again next year!…………Michele and I checked out some back country trails(roads) that may be suitable for a bike ride.

Berg Lake Trail Hike, Mount Robson BC

August 27 to September 3, 2011 

After a two year hiatus, Eldon organized another of his five day backcountry hikes. This one was in the Mount Robson Provincial Park in BC. The hiking crew of twelve was comprised Eldon, Wayne, Ed, Fred, Di, Sylvie, Donna and Aaron, Judy, Bert and Bert’s friend Bill and his son Matt from Calgary. Seven traveled caravan style, leaving Brandon on Friday evening and arriving late Saturday afternoon. Bert arrived by motorcycle late Saturday night and would have never found the unsigned Mount Robson Meadows group campsite had it not been for a park person who stopped him for a suspicious person check. Aaron and Donna and Bill and Matt arrived on Sunday.
All from Manitoba had previous experience on Eldon hikes, and it is duly noted the average age of the hikers on these hikes increases by about one year per year. A few hikes ago, I was oldest at 55. This year I was third oldest at 61. (Are others aging faster than me?) With age comes frailty. Donna had a bad ankle, Aaron was recovering from a blood clot in his leg and Bill and Bert were concerned about problematic knees.
On Sunday, we checked out some nearby points of interest. We observed salmon running in a nearby river and jumping rapids. Then we went for a short hike on a well marked trail. Despite his age (or perhaps because of it), our leader insisted that the blue markers on signposts along the trail did not designate the blue trail that we had decided to hike and he led the more faithful (naive or gullible may be better descriptors) down a cut line which they followed until they came to a dead end. This was not a confidence building exercise, but rather raised the concern that the afflictions of old age amongst us were not only physical.
“Eldon the Fearless”, stands proudly, arms crossed, with Manitoba’s Mount Robson assault crew, with the Mount standing proudly in the background, Sunday afternoon. All are relieved that they found their way back to civilization after being lost while hiking the wheelchair accessible Blue Trail.
Day one, after breakfast, we hiked eleven kilometers with a net vertical gain of about 300 meters (1000 feet) to the Whitehorn Campground. Day two was another 11 kilometers and a vertical gain of about 770 meters (2600 feet) to the Beg Lake Campground. Both days were overcast with the threat of rain, but very little rain fell. While the trail was closed in for the most part, there were some terrific views. Once we got to the top, the skies cleared and from our campsite, we had spectacular views of the Mount Robson glacier most of the next two days.
Day three we hiked to Snowbird Pass. This was eleven kilometers and about 700 meters (2500 feet) up from base camp.
Fred and Bert saw what they thought was a caribou near the beginning of the trail. Eldon insisted it wasn’t, and when shown the photo at right, he identified the species as pica.
Along the way we saw and photographed other wildlife, including what I believe to be chipmunk, marmot and giraffe. I didn’t bother to verify species’ identification with Eldon.
The trail to Snowbird was a steady climb, all up and very little down. At Snowbird Pass we were greeted with a spectacular view of vast glaciers that stretched to the horizon in two directions.
Regrettably, leg problems stopped Aaron and blisters stopped Sylvie from reaching the top.
The Snowbird hike was our biggest day and we were a tired and hungry crew at the end of the day.
On day four we hiked the Mumm Basin and Toboggan Falls, but as several smaller groups rather than one large group. This hike, which was about 16 kilometers with 460 meters (1550 feet) climb, took us through pretty meadows, to a cave and then to the appropriately named Toboggan Falls (below).
Along the way we saw flowers and heard then saw a couple of avalanches coming down Mount Robson.
That evening, we had the only real rain of the week, and it occurred while we were in the cooking hut. The cooking hut at Berg Lake is large but cozy with a big deck out front that provides a straight on view of Mount Robson (see photo at right). It is truly a million dollar view that was ours for only a few dollars a day.
Friday, September 3 was day five, the day we hiked out. It was misty for much of the day, giving the hike a mystical appearance. As with the day before, we traveled out in several smaller groups, with each group going at a speed appropriate for their aging and failing body parts.
On the way out I got photos of a small animal of type that I had not previously been sufficiently close to get good photos (see below). I suspect Eldon would identify it as the elusive Mount Robson Caribou.
As always on Westman Wilderness events and especially on Eldon’s mountain hikes, there was great camaraderie, great scenery, good fun and great memories. This year we also had great weather to accompany the great moans and groans from an ever aging crew. Despite all our frailties, we all got off the mountain without the much longed for helicopter rescue.
Thank you Eldon for organizing another great hike. I can only image what it will be like to go on a similar hike with this crew in five years. I expect it to sound like this…..
“I saw an animal?” ”What kind is it?” “What time? Where’s my watch?” “A sasquatch! Are you blind or senile, you old fart?” “Maybe it was a caribou or pica.” “Where’s the bathroom?” “It time for my nap.”

Baldy Lake Hike, Westman Wilderness Club, September 3rd 2011

Four members gathered at the site of the former Baldy Lake Warden Station. Hike Leaders Brian and Lynne, along with Jackie and Bill.  Dover was the Mascot!  After about 2.5 km, we missed the Baldy Lake turnoff and continued along the trail for about another 2.5 km.  On the return trip we stopped for a quick lunch and then proceeded along what Bill thought may be the trail to the lake itself.  Luckily, after bushwacking the overgrown trail, we arrived at the lakeshore of Baldy Lake. (It would be nice if the Park Staff were able to keep this trail open before it reaches a point where it wont be an easy task to resurrect it).  Baldy Lake is a pristine Wilderness Lake–Club Members have camped on one of the islands a few years ago as well as canoeing amongst the many inlets of the lake.
The hike totalled approximately 10.5 KM.  Weather was ideal during 99.9 percent of the trip—we just missed a heavy shower at the very end as we approached our vehicles.
Following the hike we retired to Bill and Carol’s cottage at Rossman Lake,  for Carol’s home made Pizza , Lynne’s Ribs and refreshments.
Alf and Janis joined us at the cottage and a good time was had by all.
Thanks Lynne and Brian for another good outing.

August 27, 2011 Bike ride on North Escarpment Trail

We had a really large group of two people.  Tim from Winnipeg and myself from Dufresne were still very eager to go for a bike ride.  We met at my cottage and from there we were brought to the trailhead by my wonderful wife.  We decide to bike to East Deep Lake for lunch and then go down the Jet Trail.  The trails were in the best condition that I had ever seen.  They were dry and mowed.  It was Tim’s first trip on the trails.  I’ve been down them many times.  The weather was very cooperative and hardly a bug to be seen.  But I did get stung on my finger by a wasp.  Tim was eager to do the Jet Trail and I was totally agreement. We did stop on the Jet Trail and veered off to go see the Bald Hill. It was a great view.  After we stood there in awe for a while, we proceeded back to the Jet Trail for the ride of our life.  I could hear Tim behind me screaming with excitement.  We got to the bottom safely.  For the last few kilometers we gave her averaging 30 k/hr. weaving back and forth.  We arrived at the end of the trail to see my wife patiently waiting to give us a ride back to the cottage. The experience gets two thumbs up.

Back Pack Aug. 13 & 14/11

Di, Scotty, Fred, Jackie, Dover, Jenni & Will (new members) did the backpack into Kinnis Creek Aug. 13 and 14. We met at the Central/Strathclair trail head at 11:00 on Aug. 13 and hiked the 7.9K into Kinnis Creek. The day was beautiful with temperatures around the mid 20′s. We arrived at camp early and had a few hours to lounge around before supper. We were joined by Jack, another new member from Lorette. Jack cycled in with his dog, Fenton. Jack had supper with us and then cycled back to the Bison Enclosure parking lot.
The highlight of our weekend was the full moon. We then had the privilege of hearing what sounded like no fewer than 2 groups of wolves howling.  There is something magical about listening to wolves howl at a full moon. They howled until we went to bed around 11:00 P.M.  Jackie, Dover and Will heard them after midnight as well. It was interesting to see both Scotty and Dover become more alert as they listened to their distant cousins.  We did not see any wolf sign the next day. The hike out on Sunday felt considerably warmer.  Di was absolutely delighted Scotty joined Dover for a swim in Lake Audey. Scotty was probably getting tired of Dover showing off. On Sunday we trekked back to the Bison Enclosure parking lot and then decided to do another 6Km return trip into Minnedosa River.  Minnedosa River was busy with a horse tour enjoying their lunch.  We all decided to meet at Poor Boy Michael's for a bite to eat and met Alf & Janis and Bill & Carol there. It was nice for Will and Jenni to meet other members we had spoken of (in high regard for their expertise and involvement with WWC).  
Please see the pictures we took of our trip attached. 
Until next time.... Happy Trails.
P.S.  Strathclair Trail is closed beyond Kinnis Creek and signage indicates a $5,000 fine for venturing beyond this point. Check with Parks for any updates. 

Jackie Goods

July 31, 2011 Snake creek hike.

Well, this was the first event we have planned with the WWC so was a learning curve for us.  Our daughter dropped us off at Snake Creek as she had to go back to Brandon to work.  Her last words were ‘what will you do if no – one shows up’ and we concluded that hitch – hiking back to our cabin would be our new experience that weekend.  Needless to say we were thrilled when Shannon and Jacque arrived.  It was a gorgeous day for a hike with the sun shining so brightly.  A little stirring up of the water resulted in a few spills by the members as they could not see their footage – otherwise a nice three hour hike!  Kelly, Michele and Shannon went back to the Pettinger’s cabin by vehicle (yah!) and met Grace for appetizers and drinks.  We all went for a relaxing pontoon boat ride and were later joined by two other couples from Brandon for a delicious potluck – especially Shannon’s quinoa salad!
Michele and Kelly

‘Trekkin in South America’ July 28, 2011

Approximately 35 people (about half of those WWC members) attended the Westman Wilderness Club presentation ‘Trekkin in South America’ by Garth and Dee Thomson. It was a very informative 2 hour plus session on their 7 month sojourn in that country from the southern tip to the northern portion along with the Galapagos Islands. Their adventures while hiking, biking and traversing Argentina, Peru, Bolivia, Equador, Columbia and Venezuela was very interesting. Coffee, cold drinks and cookies were served. A big thanks to all those who were able to attend and make this a successful venture. Thanks also to Lynne, Brian and Carol for assistance in organization and setup.

Bike Ride Eden to Polonia – July 16 ,2011

Di, Jackie and Fred were the willing participants. We stopped for brekky in Minnedosa, made our way to Eden and were on our bikes around 10:30a. We cruised north up Hwy 5 and took a hard left and the Junc with PR 352 and before we knew it we were at Big Valley. After a brief rest stop, it was onward and upward heading south out of Big Valley to PR 357. As we turned west the WSW breeze made sure our progress up the next 8 or so km incline would be an enjoyable one. At this point we were to turn north 5 km, then west 3 km following a quiet gravel road to Kerr Lake. Oh, did I mention the 1 wrong turn we took off PR 357. It was somewhat fortuitous as we saw the most stunning pinto horse. Kerr lake was relaxingly beautiful yet busy. We dined and relaxed for the better part of an hour in some much appreciated shade. The wind had a bit of a moderating effect on the 30 + celsius day. Then we were off, 3 km east then straight south to the hamlet of Mountain Road on PR 357. Took a few moments to peruse the cairns erected for the former church, schools and stores that once graced this site. Onward ho south to PR 265 thence east down into Polonia. Fred took a side trip to the Polonia cemetary situated on the west side of the scenic valley. Wondered around the church grounds in Polonia admiring how well kept they were. The grotto is not to be missed either. We sat in the shade of the local hall and had to summon some will power to leave this picturesque spot. The wind was at our backs as we climbed out of the valley and began the long descent down PR 265 back to Eden. The freshly maintained and graveled road caused us to limit our speed unfortunately. This somewhat slower progress did afford us the enjoyment of the views to the south and east. We loaded our steeds and headed to Neepawa where we had a cold one. Di bid us adieu and Fred and Jackie popped into Safeway so the former could strap on the feedbag. This jaunt is from the “Cycling Back Road MB” book circa 2000.

Back Pack to East Deep Lake July 1-3, 2011

Di, Scotty, Clarence, Fred, Jackie and Dover did the two night back pack into East Deep Lake. The weather was perfect for the weekend with sunny skies and low humidity. On July 1 we backpacked 8K into the camp site at East Deep Lake where we found a beautiful lake with resident loons for entertainment. Dover enjoyed swimming and gaining confidence each time he ventured in to cool off….Lucky Dog! On Saturday we did a 25K hike on the Packhorse and Jet Trails. We discovered a moose antler about 5K into Packhorse trail. Clarence was able to get some ideas for his art work from viewing the Moose Antler in it’s natural setting. At about 7K into Packhorse we came across the work of some busy beavers who flooded part of the trail but it was still passable for about 200 meters. We were able to view the escarpment valley along two sections of Packhorse, but majority of the 12K from East Deep Lake was in the bush. We were happy to turn onto Jet trail as the trail was wide with two creek crossings. We did some uphill sections that were a bit muddy. Scotty and Dover were glad to enjoy our rest stops as the 25 k did take us most of the day. We all enjoyed salty pistachios at camp as they turned out to be the perfect snack after a day of hiking. On Sunday July 3 we saw a brown/cinnamon bear on the trail about 1K from the trail head. We decided to meet at Poor Boy Micheal’s for a well deserved coffee in the early afternoon. I think we were happy to realize we spent a few nice days in the back country away from the crowds in Wasagaming. Overall it was a wonderful weekend celebrating our national holiday.

North Shore Trail RMNP – June 18

Arthur and Shirley, Eldon, Di and Scotty enjoyed a some what muddy hike on the North Shore trail.  There were less trees down than the last time I had walked it – but the mud was thicker and deeper!  We started from the wishing well – and stopped for lunch at The Spruces – before heading back.  The weather was beautiful – and a good time was had by all.  Arthur and Shirley headed home – while Di and Eldon enjoyed a few hours at the Little Valley Jamboree.  The black clouds were circling all evening – but that didn’t seem to put many peole off, and I had a good chuckle at the array of ‘welly boots’ that people had – rubber boots to you Canadians!
Di Ingram

Rae trail hike

Nine members: Di (Scotty) , Jackie, Grace, Judy, Nadine,Arthur,Steve, Lynne and myself assembled at Petrocan station and arranged transport to Rae Trail. On route we heard radio reports for tornado watch and severe thunderstorms as the sky became more ominous – perfect!!  We had previously entered GPS coordinates for waypoints on the trail however still did a lot of bushwhacking, backtracking and trespassing which turned into a rather adventuresome journey.  Although we saw some lightning in the distance accompanied by rolling thunder the weather remained cooperative until the last 10 minutes of the hike when we did get a little damp.. The were many overlooks on the Assiniboine River with spectacular views.
We all stopped at the Robin’s Nest to swap stories and pick off a few more ticks after the hike.
It was nice to have new member from Oz, Nadine Allen, along on the hike.

May Long Weekend

On the May long weekend Di, Scotty and myself (Clarence) decided that we would rather deal with a little bit of wet than more cabin fever so despite the rain and dismal forecast on Saturday morning we headed for the Central Trail. At the trail head we met up with Grace who joined us for a few hours and rode her bike while we backpacked into Whitewater Lake. When we got to the campsite we wasted no time in getting a tarp strung up and a fire going so that we would have some shelter and some warmth. The rain did stop during the evening and did afford us enough time to set up our tents before the showers started again. On Sunday after a rather late breakfast we headed out and day hiked further up the trail towards Gunn Lake hoping to see some wildlife but with the exception of one deer we didn’t see anything. Somehow we weren’t surprised when later in the afternoon Eldon and Brenda walked into camp to join us for the second night. Monday morning during our leisurely hike out we met up with Marg and Millie on the trail who were out for a day hike.
Thanks Grace for toughing it out and joining us at the trail head and to Eldon and Brenda for the fun you added to the weekend, and to Di who probably put the most effort into making this weekend happen. It was a great weekend, Thanks.
Clarence Sawatzky

Slide Show -’Your Local Wildlife’

About 50 people – WWC members, The Naturalist Society members and general public – enjoyed an amazing show of our local wildlife.  Both Linda Boys and Jim Wilkie had us totally spelbound!  Both shows were set to music, and a lively discussion took place afterwards – on subject matter, where was it taken and how on earth was it caught on camera!  A big thank you to Linda and Jim for giving us their time, to Judy for finding us a venue at the last minute and to Jackie for the bit I hate most – the introductions!
Di Ingram

April 2, 2011 – Brandon Hills Hike

The hike on saturday turned to a snowshoe due to the weather, and Steve and I shared the trail. It was a pleasant trekk to the “bench” and back, and with a little help from my friend( a couple of times), we got out of the parking lot to head home. We agreed that although it was great to still be snowshoing, it will soon be canoing weather! Thanks for the company Steve!

Mar 27, 2011 Snow shoe at K/G Crossing

It was a grand sunny day on Saturday at the K/G Crossing!  6 adults, one child and one dog enjoyed exploring a loop  that was great for snowshoes or sled, close to the southeast corner of the RMNP. It was a little breezy at the picnic area, but not to worry……….the fire was ablaze before long, and we enjoyed a wiener roast before heading home. We might just try this one again next year!

James Lake Cabin, February 19-20

Donna, Aaron, Brenda, Eldon, Clarence, Di and Scotty had a wonderful overnight stay at the cabin.  We all met in the parking lot – and skied in together.  The trail was very icey in parts – but the little bit of new snow that was falling saved the day!  After a warm-up by the fire – we all hit the trail for some more skiing.  I think everyone of us did a face plant at some time or other – the trail just sent those skis in opposite directions!  Di was very greatful that Eldon took Scotty for a while – but I really think that it was the other way around.  It made quite a change to hear Eldons voice, ‘Scotty..S L O W….’!  It was a warm night in the cabin – for those in the attic, and quite comfortable for the rest of us down below!  After packing up and getting back to the parking lot – we said our good byes, and Eldon and Di hit the trail for one last ski.

Snowshoe at Yellow Quill Trail in Sprucewoods – February 13

Bailed on the ski @ Bittersweet because the weatherpeople were forecasting highs of +7C with rain showers for that neck of the world. The snowshoe that was switched to a ski was switched back to a snowshoe, took place in very balmy temps, and sometimes gusty winds under a mostly sunny sky.
The groupo consisted of Brian & Lynn, Grace, Clarence, Di, Eldon, Jackie & Fred and our k-9 accompaniment of Scottie and Dover.  We ventured over dune and some dale while skirting the ski trail. One or 2 of us went ass over teakettle but it was all in great fun! Lunch was had on the trail as we we soaked up some sun. High temp of +6C was noted as we exited the parking lot. Apres ski all stopped in at Robin’s Nest for coffee and dessert. Great group, great outing!

Greetings from Sedona!

WWC members Alf and Janis, Carol and Bill  hiked the Huckaby Trail in Sedona, Arizona on Feb 1st 2011.  We  started out at 1020 AM from the Trailhead, with scattered cloud  conditions and temps about +3C–cool enough to put on gloves and  another layer!  We hiked for two hours on beautiful Red Rock trails,  lined with juniper trees and others.  We were able to see Agave and  Yucca plants as well.  In order to make us feel like real Manitobans,  the odd snow flurry came down to keep us happy!
We stopped for lunch about midway through the hike in a sheltered  area from the cold winds coming from north of the 49th parallel.  At  least it was sheltered for the beginning until some sharp gusts  almost drove us down the slope–luckily it was short lived!  A big  change from last week when temps were sunny and in the mid 60′sF!  It will be great to see this cold spell end. The good news is that it will soon be back in the 60′s range.
Cheers from Sedona

Brandon Hills Day Ski – February 6th

As there weren’t any takers for a snow shoe – Fred, Jackie and Dover, Diand Scotty went for a ski in the hills.  Fred was on a mission to do 30 km- while Di and Jackie and the dogs had a more leisurely ski!  There werequite a few cars in the parking lot – but we only met up with one man andhis dog who were out for a snow shoe (and ‘no’ they weren’t walking on theski trail!).
Di Ingram

Grey Owl Day Ski- February 5th

Fred, Jackie, Eldon, Di and Scotty, and Kari Hume (new member) gatheredfor a ski – on a really balmy Saturday morning!  After stopping to make afire at the warming hut – we continued on to Grey Owl cabin.  Eldon and Ditook turns in skiing with Kari – and while Scotty was dragging Eldonthrough the bush – Kari and Di were lucky enough to see a Great Grey Owl. Kari was able to get this photo – before it swooped past us into thetrees.  Fred and Jackie continues their ski on the Cowan Lake trail (Ibelieve they had to break trail!!!) – while Eldon, Di and Kari headed forcoffee and Cinnamon buns at the Southgate Hotel. A great ski was had byall – on probably the fastest conditions that trail has been all winter!
Di Ingram

Day Ski Jan 23, 2011

What a difference a day makes. When we started the ski at noon the temperature was -3. Shannon, Wayne, Di, Fred, Jackie, Clarence, Brenda, Scotti, Dover and I spent the afternoon skiing the Helman Hills east of Virden. Unbelievable was the word of the day. Coffee and snacks at Shannon’s after the ski.

Snowshoe Saturday Jan 22, 2011

It started a wee bit chilly at -36 but by the time we were underway it had probably warmed up to -30. All the same Clarence, Di, Fred, Jackie, Donna, Aaron, Michelle, Roger W, Scotti, Dover and I  were determined to get out and enjoy the day. Roger led us into the wilds around his cottage and showed us where he plans to have his winter camp this coming weekend. After one and a half hours we decided that was enough enjoyment and headed for Rogers cottage for coffee and treats. Alf and Janis joined us for this part. It was a great day and didn’t seem as cold as the thermometer said.

18 January Brandon Hills snow shoe

Fred, Jackie and Dover, Di and Scotty met for a snow shoe down in the Brandon Hills.  I’m really not too sure where we went – we were following Fred, who was following the moon that had appeared from behind the clouds!  We headed east from the parking lot through the bush – on a kind of trail made by some man or beast.  We ended up in a field on the north side of the hills – where we made our way back to the parking lot.  It took us about an hour and a half – and it was so beautiful under the full moon – I think we could have stayed longer!  Thanks Fred and Jackie for joining me.

JANUARY 16, 2011 SKI

I decided that the Hilton trail wouldn’t be a good bet – as it had not been groomed for several weeks – and it would have had several inches of snow on it!  The Grey Owl trail had been groomed on the friday before our ski – so that’s where we went.  Judy and Bert, Brenda and Clarence joined Scotty and my self, for a truly breath taking and beautiful ski – it was like a winter wonderland -  the sun even tried to poke its head out once or twice!  It was the first time for Brenda and Clarence on the Grey Owl trail – I don’t think they were disappointed at all.  We all made it out to the cabin, and on the return journey – stopped at the warming shack to warm up and dry out,  before heading back to the parking lot.  We then headed to Onanole for hot drinks and Cinnamon buns!

Di Ingram

Turtles Back – Snowshoe

What a splendid day to snowshoe the turtles back, lots of sunshine,smiles and no wind. Di, Eldon, Jackie, Fred (aka the trail groomer) , Clarence and our pair of four legged friends Scotty and Dover left the boat launch area at 11 am. We hiked across the lake before we got on the trail and found that most of the trail had either had been traveled by snowshoe or by snowmobile so the going was fairly easy. The Summit can be a little bit of a task in the summer but adding snow and snowshoes adds an extra level of difficulty to the climb. Di opted to remove her snowshoes (something about the wrong grip wax) and walk. At the top some time was taken to climb the tower, take some pictures and have a snack and some extra good hot chocolate. On the way down we took the longer route only to find the trail had not been traveled but fortunately all we had to do was send the trail groomer ahead and once again all was well.
Because we did not go the trail that Fred wanted to take we still had lots of time to stop in Boissevain for coffee and something to eat when we got off the trail. During the wonderful conversation over coffee the idea was born that a return trip might be in order, but we would bump it up a notch by doing the trip under a full moon. Stay tuned.
Thank you so much for joining me today. It was great.
Happy Trails
Clarence Sawatzky

Jan 8, 2011 Cross-Country ski on Grey Owl Trail

What a great day for a ski! The sun was bright and the Temperature near -15c as members Michelle P, Di I, Clark W, Shannon K, Janis S, Robert S, Alf S and guests Jeff M, Jake S, and Jill G met at the trail head of Grey Owl Trail in Riding Mountain National Park. After a quick photo call which included everyone except the photographer yours truly, we were of into the forest. Thirty minutes later we were at the warm-up hut 3.6k. A fire was started in the stove to await us on our return. The trail was freshly tracked but glide conditions were slow making for a  tough ski. The scenery was spectacular with the trees covered with snow and hoare frost. This made up for the tough skiing. After a quick stop at Mr. Grey Owl’s cabin, we headed back with our next stop the cozy warm warming hut. A Quick warm up and a drink and snack prepared us for the last stretch to the vehicles. Ten skiers went in and ten skiers came out. That is good.
Then it was a caravan of seven vehicles as we made our way to Janis & Alf’s cottage for hot chocolate, coffee, hot chocolate and coffee together tea and snacks in front of the cottage’s roaring wood stove.
As several of the guests were strangers and the members had not seen each other for awhile, it was time to get to know the guests and catch up on news from each member. Too soon it was time for everyone to head home and for me to relax in front of the stove.

Jan 2, 2011 Snowshoe to Katherine Lake

The night was cool -30C in the Clear lake area overnight but by noon it was  grade A day for a snow shoe from Brenda’s cottage to Katherine Lake. Janis, Evelyn, Wally, Brenda and myself were already to go but were delayed while waiting for Grace and guest Eileen. Apparently they took a wrong turn and ended up doing some sight seeing on Kucher road before back tracking and finding their way.
The sun was shining brightly and the wind was calm as we made our way through the wooded area in  the deep snow for the first half of the trip. Then like magic we came upon a packed trail made by some Christmas holiday snow shoers. This easy going was short lived as we were soon back in the deep snow slugging our way to the lake.
A group decision was made to back track back on the same trail rather than breaking a new trail and a different route.

Back at Brenda’s cottage we were treated to tea, hot chocolate and goodies before heading our own ways back home. Thanks Brenda for arranging this outing!

New Years at James Lake Cabin!

We all made our way into the cabin at different times on New Years Eve – and when we finally met up, there was Clarence, Eldon, Judy and Bert, Fred and Jackie, Di and Scottie.  Some of us had another ski, followed by another ski – to fill in some time before midnight!  We enjoyed a pot luck supper in a rather novel way – eating things as they were ready – not necessarily all together!  However, some people (who will remain nameless, Fred) decided that dessert and main course could be eaten altogether in one bowl!  Midnight almost came and went, as we were so busy waiting for it!  The bottle of champagne (thank you Eldon) cork was popped – only to find that it was almost frozen solid!  It really didn’t take that long to thaw out – and we enjoyed our toast with some help from some sparklers!  On New Years Day, we met some day skiers in the parking lot – and skied back out to the cabin for lunch and munchies.  There was Grace, Brenda Wood, Mike Clarke and then Brian Bookatz arrived with a large bottle of Amarulu – which was very much enjoyed by everyone!  We all took off for a ski – but some went back to the parking lot, while Clarence, Eldon and Di returned to the cabin for a second night.  It was a peaceful evening, some cards, a nap, and another game.  We were all pooped out (I was, anyway)!  Sunday was considerably warmer than it had been, so we had a leisurely ski out to the parking lot.  Unfortunately we just missed a couple of moose, according to another skier.  There weren’t very many people out at all – we were suprised, as the trails had just been groomed on New Years Eve…..but we all had a good time, anyway!  Thanks to everyone who came….

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