Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

CLEAR LAKE: Family paradise

  • Print

We are camping this summer, altogether in our tent with the dog, and I can't wait.

Unfortunately for me, my family can wait -- in fact they'd wait forever to never go tenting again, except for my Mother's Day gift. It is a hand-made certificate by my daughters which clearly states that my husband and both of them will go tenting with at Clear Lake and only "minor complaining may occur in the presence of insects."

This would be different from years past when copious amounts of complaining have occurred.

I love tenting, I love tenting at Clear Lake. It is the site of a couple of my favourite childhood summer vacations in our family trailer along with my cousins in theirs. Riding Mountain National Park, with Clear Lake and the quaint and rustic town of Wasagaming inside it, is a collection of gems just three-and-a-half hours away from Winnipeg.

We've gone tenting as a family five times including once when I was pregnant. The last time was six years ago, when our oldest girl was nine and our youngest daughter was 18 months old. The little one couldn't understand why were all together and lying on the ground. She kept standing on her sleeping bag, saying 'Hi!" in the dark to no one in particular and then jumping up and down on the spot like she was spring-loaded.

It began to rain, of course, and the dog was stressed by the tree branches blowing and kept standing up with his butt above my husband's face and uttering the odd gutteral "woof" just as you thought you might be able to fall asleep. A moth got in the tent and we thought our eldest daughter was under siege with all the high-pitched squealing.

Due to the rain, my husband could not have his nightly bowl of cereal since, well, you can't eat in the tent because then a bear will come in, all the food was locked in the truck and he'd get drenched going out to the truck, only to have to drape himself over the back seat and contort into some unnatural position to find a bowl, milk and the cereal.

The night culminated with my husband bitterly proclaiming, "I'm cold, hungry and dirty. And there's stump in my back."

But look past all that, I say! We're out in the fresh air, surrounded by the massive trees in the park, the boardwalk by the lake and the spectacularly clean beach. There's adorable little gift shops and ice cream parlours dotted everywhere in Wasagaming. The amazing Interpretive Centre features realistic displays of stuffed wildlife found in the park, park staff to answer our questions and give us maps to anywhere we want to hike or drive, a massive wood-burning fireplace that is roaring when it rains, and a theatre showing educational programs with a conservation message.

When we're done soaking up all of that, we can go back to our campsite, have a cosy campfire of our own, eat our supper beside it and crawl into our sleeping bags to sleep, breathing in the scent of the pines.

Until the next morning, when we have to take down our tent in the rain. That's also happened every year, but I have a feeling this year will be different!

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition August 1, 2009 E5

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes


  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.


Make text: Larger | Smaller


Boil-water advisory lifted questions to cause of testing remains

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • A young goose gobbles up grass at Fort Whyte Alive Monday morning- Young goslings are starting to show the markings of a adult geese-See Bryksa 30 day goose challenge- Day 20– June 11, 2012   (JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)

View More Gallery Photos


Do you believe monitoring patients for a time at home, the "virtual waiting room," will help reduce waits for hospital admissions?

View Results

Ads by Google