The first leg of our Manitoba Stay-Cation was certainly not typical for the Roys. The rain was so heavy on the drive out that I had to pull over at Minnedosa for a nap. The 2 hour drive up to that point had been gruelling, with “water ruts” on the road that pulled the van this way and that, blinding rain and the powerful off-spray from oncoming traffic along the highway. I was so tired I opted to stop for a 15 minute sleep. I have never had to do this before, but knew that I was way too fatigued to drive any further. We arrived safely in the late afternoon and unlike other years, spent all but the last day cooped up inside out of the cold and rain. Most of the Canada Day events were cancelled, but all of the “meals” were still served in the town hall instead of the various locations in town. Like most of Manitoba, Binscarth was blasted with several inches of rain within a small window of time. Basements flooded, sewers backed-up and the creek at the park spilled its banks. Despite the poor weather, we had a wonderful time visiting with family.
Binscarth Park and Pool:
This first set of pictures was taken at the Binscarth Park. I couldn’t find a picture of how the creek usually looks, but if you look at the first picture, you can see a narrow “black” line at the bottom of the green grass line and that is the top of the “subway”. The “subway”, as we always called it is a huge cement channel (like a square culvert) that runs beneath the Yellowhead (#16) Highway. I am not sure, but I am guessing the size of the subway opening is about 8 to 10 feet square. Usually the water runs over the base of the subway and is just a few inches deep.
The subway was one of our favourite places to play when I was growing up. The bottom gets all slimy with algae and we would race down the subway to get a running start and then slide on our bottoms into the open water on the otherside. Of course, I would “have a bird” if my kids did this, but we were generally not very well supervised. In fact, we would ride our bikes the mile out of town to get there down the highway. The park is located in the base of a valley, so this involved navigating the hill down to the park and mustering up the physical strength to make the climb on the way back up. No one wanted to be the one who couldn’t make it and had to get off and push their bike to the top of the hill. I don’t remember how old we were when we began this, but I never remember my parents biking with me. We were definitely very young. Oh, to be raised in the 70’s….were there any rules back then?
The very small creek would run through the subway and is usually no more than about 6 to 8 feet wide and only a few feet deep on this side of the highway. On the other side, it is much deeper and collects more like a pond before running through another subway that runs through a large hill. The pictures below show how the creek spilled its banks and flooded out some of the more open camping spots along the creek. The current was nasty as well.
These photos were taken upstream a few miles from the park. You can see these little streams look more like raging rivers with the high Manitoba waters and strong currents.
This last set of photos were taken yesterday, along Hwy #83 in the valley between Miniota and Virden. If you look at the bridge, you’ll be able to see where the river usually runs. The entire valley has been flooded in this area and the water is right up to the edge of the road.
So happy to have sunshine and warm weather! Stay tuned for our next edition of our Mantioba Stay-Cation!