Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Who cares about some stinking rain?

Campers still have fun out at Birds Hill

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Kim Macaulay cooks under Tristan Szajewski's umbrella as his cousin, Ethan, looks on at the Birds Hill Park campsite Sunday.

JOHN WOODS / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS Enlarge Image

Kim Macaulay cooks under Tristan Szajewski's umbrella as his cousin, Ethan, looks on at the Birds Hill Park campsite Sunday. Photo Store

THERE was driving wind and relentless rain, but that didn't deter Manitobans from enjoying the great outdoors this weekend.

Chantelle Siddle and her friends saw their tent blow away but set it back up and stuck it out.

Camping out in their trailer, Lisa and Tony Hrynyk opted for the comforts of home, including pizza ordered from Oakbank.

Late Sunday afternoon, the campground at Birds Hill Provincial Park was still two-thirds full.

A park employee said 301 of 476 campsites were still occupied.

"Everybody left around 6 a.m.," said Siddle, 22, from Winnipeg. She and five of her friends were tenting at an unserviced site at Birds Hill.

Late Sunday afternoon, they gathered inside a dining tent, enjoying happy hour and card games.

They arrived Saturday afternoon, and it wasn't easy to get settled in such unsettled weather, said Adina Albright, 19.

"Our tent blew away," Albright said. They set it back up and are sticking it out until Tuesday.

The lousy weather outdoors made for a more cosy gathering of friends indoors, said Vanessa Lavallee, 18. Instead of swimming and other distractions, they were crowded around a picnic table playing card games.

"It's fun," said Lavallee.

Not so fun for three little kids cooped up in a camper for days during a torrential downpour.

Amanda and Mark Derksen from Lorette arrived at Birds Hill Friday to meet family and friends and had just packed their three children, ages two, five and eight, into their vehicle for a short drive across the campsite to visit their grandparents.

At the serviced campsites, Tony Hrynyk from Beausejour was sitting under his camper out of the rain waiting for pizza to be delivered.

Next door, neighbour and friend Kim MacAulay prepared to barbecue steaks and potatoes under an umbrella outside her camper.

She heckled Hrynyk for ordering takeout and being lazy. He heckled back.

"They're too cheap," Hrynyk said as his wife, Lisa Hrynyk, arrived at their camper with pizzas ordered from a restaurant in Oakbank.

MacAulay, her husband and two dogs were relaxing out of the rain.

They'd watched a movie and were having a drink before supper Sunday under the canopy of their camper.

"It's the same thing we'd be doing at home on a rainy day," she said.

Up at Winnipeg Beach, Mayor Tony Pimentel's Playland arcade downtown was doing a booming business, with kids from the campground looking for something to do on a rainy day.

Strong winds Saturday night and Sunday knocked down tree branches that took out some power lines, Pimentel said. Electricity was out in some parts of the beach town, but not downtown, he said.

"It's good we have the amusement centre," said Pimentel. "Families in the trailer park are looking for something to do."

carol.sanders@freepress.mb.ca

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition June 30, 2014 A4

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