Bondi Resort Blog

Come on into our Blog for a look at the wonderful world we've got to share! With over 240 hectares (600 acres) of wilderness woodlands surrounding the resort, just ten minutes from Algonquin Park, we feature over 400 metres (1200’) of waterfront and beach; boat rentals; summer hiking trails winding through fields and woods; 20 km. of groomed cross country ski trails and snowshoeing in winter; access to nearby snowmobile trails for sledders, and a toboggan hill for the young at heart.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Life is a Ditch -- in Winnipeg

ice dam, Breezy Point
I had a lot of fun this weekend, at Birds' Hill, just north of Winnipeg, working with a great group of horses and riders.

In addition to offering great hospitality and being among the very finest folks to spend time with on the planet, my hosts were kind enough to take me to see the sights. Which, at this time of year in Winnipeg, involve the Floodway, and the flooded fields dotted with Canada geese that stretch away in all directions.  The bridge to Selkirk had been closed due to an ice dam at Breezy Point.  The Floodway opened while I was there -- they cannot open this until the ice is gone from the river, or they'll just get more of these ice dams.

ice over the road
The Floodway, inspired by the devastating flood of 1950 in Winnipeg, is an impressive piece of construction, that doesn't get the press it deserves. When built, it was the second largest earthmoving project in the world, just behind the Panama Canal. 76.5 million cubic metres of earth was shifted.  Since then, the Floodway has been enlarged and extended, making it a larger project than the Panama Canal. Perhaps if it had palm trees along the banks more people would come to look at it.

a peek at the Floodway, from the airplane
It was impressive to walk along the road, next to the Red River in flood, and look at what the river has done. 

Across the road are trees who's bark has been bashed away by the impact of ice. Small ice floes are spread, stacked, angled, jumbled everywhere.  The river runs frighteningly fast -- just watching the debris whip by was an experience. Gives one a whole new appreciation for the Courier du Bois...

Danae and I walked along beside the river, admiring the colours in the chunks of ice, and doing a bit of head shaking at the power on display. 

Not to mention the mess left behind when the waters recede.   The ice will melt away, but there will be a lot of clean-up for the debris and Manitoba mud.

We found clamshells in the middle of the road, something you tend not to find here in Muskoka... 

And then, our Pièce de résistance.  We were near Lockport, which I am informed is the mecca for fishermen seeking the Manitoba Catfish. In winter, the river is covered with fish huts hunting this big fish.  Come summer, Selkirk hosts the Manitoba Catfish International tournament. This is a serious fish, for serious fishermen.  Selkirk even hosts a statue of Chuck, the Channel Catfish. We didn't get to see it -- bridge was closed... The point being these are huge fish, and folk come from around the world to fish for them.

Well, we needed neither net nor bait...  We found a catfish on the road, right on the white line. Roadkill Catfish...

Only in Manitoba.

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