I have only lived in three communities in my life, and this past week I spent time in all of them. Besides Winnipeg and Regina, I spent about two and a half years living ‘out on the lake’.
Lake of the Woods near Kenora Ontario, is as beautiful and peaceful as ever. In fact it was unbelievably peaceful when you consider it was still August and the daytime high was above 30. We had our choice of any lodging in town, and we didn’t even have to wait at the Chip Truck ! “Where is everybody?” I wondered aloud.
They call it Sunset Country, and in August it starts to set a lot sooner. After about the middle of the month, lots of the ‘summer people’ as they’re referred to by the locals pull their boats out of the water, and that’s it for the season. What a waste when the weather turns out so nice.
It also hit me when I saw a few of those yellow pumpkins on the roads. Ontario is one of those strange provinces where school starts before Labour Day! What a dumb idea. Something like half the country does that, and it’s one of two reasons why tourists don’t feel welcome in late August.
The other one has to be the price of gasoline. Would you believe just under $1.40 a litre? That’s more than 12 cents higher than Winnipeg, and more than 15 cents higher than Regina and Saskatoon right now. The reasons are many, but they all boil down to a variation of “Because they can”.
Despite that, it was still a wonderful few days. I saw my former dog, and he still remembers me. With no one around, my favourite beach could be renamed Nature’s Own.
And there’s still nothing to match the sound of a loon across a stretch of still water.
I’m Roger Currie