Sunday, July 06, 2014

navigating the prairie waters

We delayed our trip to the lake place for a couple of days, first to spend a bit more time with the Offspring during her whirlwind trip home, then once again because of the ominous weather warnings we were hearing from the prairies. Those warnings were well-founded. 

By the time the rain stopped, after three days of torrential downpour, Manitoba and Saskatchewan were almost impassable with road closures. And not just gravel country roads either - the Trans Canada Highway from White City to Grenfell, a stretch of 108 kms, was closed for several days initially when it was covered with water and then parts of it closed once again when the road caved in.

We saw some crazy sights on our drive. We saw water pouring out from underneath railroad tracks. We saw a car that had been washed off the road. We saw convoys of vehicles cautiously navigating submerged sections of highway. Prior to this trip, we didn't even realize that ditch water could have a rapid current. And this was a full five days after the rains had stopped.

And of course, with the ground already saturated, it is going to take a long time for the water to dissipate. Most of it is heading into Manitoba.

Our usual 10 hour trip stretched to 11.5, as we were detoured south after Regina, in order to go northeast. But we saw some parts of the province we hadn't seen before, and we were happy just to make it to our destination at all. We didn't have to resort to our backup plan of turning around and driving back to Moose Jaw for the night before heading back home with our tails tucked between our legs. Kudos to the province of Saskatchewan for dealing so effectively with a situation that was still so fluid. So to speak.

At the lake place, the house was solid and dry, as always. We met with the plumber and finalized plans for water and septic tank installation. The next time we head out there, we should have indoor plumbing. My heart beats a little quicker as I think of civilization drawing nearer.

We did some yard work - including a bit of bushwhacking - which roused the curiousity of the local beaver, who came by to see what the heck was going on. We conversed with the swallows, chiding them on their messiness while being grateful for their effective mosquito-eating prowess and being charmed by their elegant flight. We hung out with the chipmunks and finally spotted one of our resident garter snakes for the first time this year. The Spousal Unit managed a bit of fishing and landed a hefty rainbow trout. We made plans and lists.

Life, after all, is all about the plans and lists.


Eugene Knapik said...

We've had lots of rain but we don't have anything like the floods the west has seen over the past couple years. On the plus side, the rain has been good for wild mushroom picking around here.

Barbara Bruederlin said...

We even had some massive mushrooms in our yard this spring, Eugene - way bigger than the usual. Of course, everything is tinder dry now.