An Interlake adventure... see Hwy 6!

Steep Rock with paddlers. Gail McDonald


ou'll enjoy the quieter, sandy beaches along this lake, leading to the rocky shoreline at Steep Rock Limestone Cliffs, your weekend destination, a

weekend of sunshine, fresh air and lots of water fun, exploring a nature lover’s heaven. Leaving the city limits, take Highway 101 to High-

way 6. You're set to explore the only route that takes you to Manitoba's north, following the shoreline of “the other lake”, Lake Manitoba. Heading northwest, you'll see open farmland, great for growing grains and other crops, gradually moving into cattle country. Further north you may even see some bison grazing in roadside fields. You'll note railroad tracks alongside the highway, this is the old CN line, now home to the Prairie Dog Central Railway running to Grosse Isle, the trail head of the In- terlake Pioneer Trail. Next community is Warren, you'll find one of the last wooden grain elevators in Manitoba, built in 1948 – a Prairie sentinel rarely seen now. Are you a history buff? Discover the tales of the pioneers from this area at the Woodlands Pioneer Museum. You'll need to plan a day trip later to enjoy all these. The largest Métis settlement in North America is

found at St. Laurent, at the south end of Lake Mani- toba. From the Manipogo Festival in March to Métis Days in August, life in this community reflects many of the old ways of fishing, language and lifestyle. Be sure to return for one of these celebrations! In Lundar, be sure to stop at the park on the south end of town to snap a selfie with the Lundar goose, a

Cliff Reflections at Steep Rock.

symbol for the thousands of Canada geese found each fall. Come back to stay for a few days at the Lundar provincial campground and take in a few rounds at the Lundar Golf Course or enjoy shopping at the farmers’ markets in the area. Just 15 minutes up the road you'll find Eriksdale, you could stop these coming home, to see the only creamery museum in Manitoba, open sea- sonally. Perhaps you'll get to try making your own but- ter!

Moving north of Eriksdale you'll pass the west bound portion of Highway 68, leading to the Narrows of Lake Manitoba, Manitou Island and Dauphin. However, that's another trip! Continuing north, do a quick selfie stop at the Sharptail Park in Ashern, capturing yourself with another unique roadside attraction. The scenery here is lower scrubland, and in the dis-

tance you see the Interlake's largest flagpole and massive Canadian flag – it's Moosehorn you are pulling into. If you have been lucky enough to find a place to stay at Steep Rock, a stop for a late supper would be great or the Moosehorn Motor Hotel could be your choice for your stay. If you left Winnipeg on a Friday after work you still have time to catch a Steep Rock sunset over the lake... or take this time to relax. Steep Rock town site is just a short drive northwest

from Moosehorn, it's best to grab breakfast before you start out. Take Highway 6 to PR 239, turn left and fol- low the signs. Signage at the outskirts of town shows you the way to parking, I'd suggest you go to the cliffs first, to see them from above, and do some climbing and walking the trail. There are benches where you can relax and enjoy the scenery, or you might prefer to sit on the rock and discover the symbols of past animals

etched into the limestone. Wandering along this rocky shoreline check out the multiple coloured rocks, broken down over the years by wave action. Interested in kayaking or paddle boarding? Go find Steep Rock Kayak at the dock area in the townsite, if you didn't bring your own. Drive down to the harbour area, park and talk to Peter; he will fill you in and teach you how to ride a board, or paddle a kayak and you can rent both of these from his place. If it's a calmer day, paddling over to Steep Rock Island

is a neat thing to do! Go meet Peter's goats. Swimming is usually done from Steep Rock beach park, the campground you could be staying at. There is a cafe here and a small store with memorabilia and necessary grocery items. Relax for the day, or continue hiking on the Steep Rock trails, around the quarry, back to the cliffs, and reading all the interpretive signs that speak to the story of the area. You need to include staying for the sunset, as these

are spectacular across the western sky, looking out over the lake. If you are lucky enough to know someone that has a boat up here, going for an evening cruise is splen- did, with the sun falling and hanging on the horizon to spend those last minutes blazing above the water. Spending two nights here is best, giving you time for

relaxation, for reflection and rejuvenation. Make sure that on your way home southbound you leave time to stop at the area’s unique, outdoor museum/art gallery. The Armand Lemiez statue area, south of Moosehorn, has reopened for public viewing. Travelling south you'll be making plans for your next visit this way. Gail McDonald is the Interlake Tourism manager. www.

Can the Humboldt hockey team ever recover? D

Fred Morris

uring their 48-year existence, the Humboldt Broncos have won 10 Saskatchewan Junior Hockey

League championships and have a .596 WP (winning percentage). After their last championship season in 2012, they went into a four-year decline. In 2015-16, they had their worst winning percentage of .336. They rebounded in the last two sea- sons. This past season they continued to improve with about 14 regulars who still had future eligibility. They finished with a 621 WP. In the playoffs, they began by up- setting Melfort (WP 724) three games to one. In the league semifinals, they played the league-leading Nipawin Hawks (WP 802). On April 4 Nipawin posted a come- from-behind, six to five victory on a power play goal in the third overtime. Nipawin led the best of seven series three games to one. Nipawin had won two overtime games. The April 4 game eerily ended at 11:59 p.m. Forty-one hours later, the Broncos were involved in the horrific bus crash. The fa- talities and serious injuries deprived Hum- boldt of most of their players, including both goalies who may have returned next season. It is the worst disaster ever experi- enced by a Canadian sports team. Although it is very difficult, life must continue.


istic chance of winning the series? With a couple of good overtime bounces, Hum- bolt could have been leading the series three games to one. Would we have had a repeat of the no-decision 1919 Stanley Cup final? Should all leagues consider var- ious difficult scenarios or hope that they never occur?

The first question is, when can the team play again? In 1919, the Stanley Cup was not awarded. The April 1 deciding game of the Stanley Cup final between Montreal and Seattle that year was cancelled because players from both teams were incapacitat- ed by the Spanish flu epidemic that was ravaging the world. It was impractical to wait until late April hoping for most of the players to recover enough to play. After the December 30, 1986 Swift Cur-

rent-Bronco bus crash killed four players, Swift Current returned to action on Jan. 9, 1987. Several players injured in the bus crash returned to action. They even made up four games lost right after the accident. After the 2018 bus crash, Humboldt conceded a series that they would not like- ly have won. Nipawin defeated Estevan in the SJHL final. What if Humboldt had still had a real-

Humbolt has promised to ice a team for 2018-2019. They are holding a tryout camp from May 25 to 27 in Saskatoon. An 11th championship in 2019 would once have been a possibility. A 1958 air crash killed eight players of the Manchester United Soccer team just as Manchester was emerging as a great young team. It took them 10 years to regain their excellence on the pitch. Could Humbolt suffer the same fate? Good teams are built by good coaching, management and a little luck. After build- ing a team, it hurts to give away any part of the team quite apart from the disaster. The existing major league disaster drafts

resemble expansion drafts. Since 1970, 94 per cent of NHL expansion teams have failed to make the playoffs in their first year. How can this terrible dilemma be re- solved? Should the SJHL consider allow- ing Humbolt the use of slightly younger and older players for a couple of seasons? Bep Guidolin played a full time in the NHL as a 16-year-old during the Second World War player shortage. Perhaps, the

SJHL commissioner or an outside arbitra- tor could have the power to award one or two players and perhaps a proven goalie to Humboldt?

The next question is whether the team

can overcome this tragedy and simply move on with life. In December 1956, four Canadian Saskatchewan Rough Rid- ers were killed in a plane crash. Saskatch- ewan became the league doormat for four of the next five years. Despite the loss of the Canadian players, they still had great Canadians like Reg Whitehouse and Ron Atchison. However, changes in coaches, and quarterbacks were the main factors. They even lost a game because they know- ingly used an ineligible player. The plane crash seemed to be used as an excuse for mediocrity. A little more than 30 years later, four Swift Current Broncos were killed in a mid-season bus crash. The Swift Current Broncos found a way to get on with life. They finished the season, improved their previous season standing, and made the playoffs. In 1988-89, they still had six players who had been in the 1986 bus that crashed. They won the Memorial Cup with one of the most dominant teams in WHL history. My condolences to all of the victims of the Humboldt crash. Fred Morris describes himself as a political activist and sometime political candidate.

June 2018

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