May 21st, 2006: The Victoria Day long weekend so far has been a kind of a non-event. The nice, warm weather that was forecast didn’t quite make it; yesterday was sunny for the most part, but pretty cool, maxing out about 15°. Today started out dreary, cool, and windy, with a bit of drizzle in the morning. It did clear up in the afternoon but was still windy and cool. There haven’t been many people about, either. We took a drive through Lakeshore Campground yesterday, and there were only ten sites occupied. There were a few in Hilltop, but Cranberry wasn’t open. We saw one canoe go by, trolling with an electric motor, and one power boat pulling a cold-looking man on a tube.
We hear that security was tight at all resorts, with a liquor ban on provincial park campsites. That could have deterred some people from coming to the lake for the weekend. I suspect the weather, and the fact that farmers are scrambling to get their crop in, had more to do with it being quiet than the security, though. We heard a woman state on the radio that she and her family were going to the lake this weekend because she heard security would be tighter.
Our yard sale was pretty slow, naturally, but we got in some nice visiting, sold a little stuff, and had some family out.
We went to Preeceville last Tuesday; the Kelsey Ecological Society hosted a slide show by eminent educator and naturalist Dr. Frank Roy. What a wonderful evening! Theme of the slide show was wildflowers of Arizona - Dr. Roy was there in the spring of 2005, just when the desert burst into bloom, and what a feast! His photography is excellent and while he names the various plants and tells us about them, he doesn’t use technical terms, making his narrative very pleasant and understandable. We were fortunate to see another of his slide shows some years ago, about the Athabaska Sand Dunes. If you ever get a chance to see one of his slide shows, don’t miss it!
We had heard horror stories about Highway #49 from Kelvington to Lintlaw, so we took the grid east from Chicken Little. We didn’t turn south when we should have, and wound up at Rockford, headwaters of the Assiniboine and center of Harold Fenske’s book “Riverlore”. What lovely country! When we get our motor home running, we are going to make a short trip into that country and take a few pictures.
Coming home, we decided to stay on the highway to see how bad it really was. From Preeceville to Okla, it was quite good. From Okla to Lintlaw there were some rough places; from Lintlaw to Nut Mountain it was terribly chopped up, and not quite as bad from Nut Mountain to Kelvington. They are using little bright red diamond flags to mark the bad spots. If you see a flag, slow down! They ain’t kidding!
Got an e-mail from Tracey Hanley, who worked in the Park Office in the ‘90s – her name was Tracey Chaher then – and she now lives in Ponteix:
“Just thought I would update you on how things are progressing here in the southwest corner of the province.
The farmers are practically done seeding, and are now hoping for a nice rain to get things growing. We didn't have any of the flooding problems that the north had. In fact, things are quite dry, and people have been watering their lawns for at least 2 to 3 weeks.
There is a watering ban in town, allowing each side of town to water on alternate days, with absolutely no watering on Sunday. However, for some reason, the Mayor of the town is the only one to water whenever he so wishes! Must have something to do with his position of power I guess.
Gardens are all planted, and potato plants have broken the soil by a couple inches, as well as onions and garlic.”