Tag Archives: Falcon Lake

We’ve found a place just when we’re leaving.

In some senses it’s a shame that we’re likely moving out of Manitoba just when we’re settling a bit. I guess at the moment I’m thinking mostly about the fact that we’ve found a place of our own to retreat to.

If we were staying in this fair province, we would probably make an annual pilgrimage to Falcon Lake and Falcon Trails Resort:

Kids on the dock
We all love it there.

Falcon Lake, 2012

Last week was the kids’ spring break. No school for a week. What do you do with three energetic young children in a small trailer in a transitional season (i.e. neither snow nor beach weather)? Dixie threw around a couple of options, all of which involved a lot of travelling and, ultimately, exhaustion. Then Dixie suggested a couple of nights at Falcon Lake. Agreed! And less than two hours away!

A year and a half ago we spent Thanksgiving weekend in a cabin on Falcon Lake (post and videos). It was an great weekend and has established itself in my mind as one of those few special memories that can’t be replicated. In fact, I worried a bit that this weekend, if it didn’t go well, would undo the memory of the first weekend there. That did not happen.

The weather forecasts leading up to this weekend were all over the map, starting with hot and sunny and moving to cool and rainy. We got the middle: cool and sunny. The weather was actually great for walks and much time spent on the dock.

Madeline’s favourite place:

Sitting on the Dock

Unfortunately, as early as our spring has been, the ice was not yet melted on Falcon Lake, so we did no canoeing this time. We were all disappointed. You can see the ice is almost right up to the dock. By the time we left, the ice was well beyond the crack in the ice above Madeline’s head. I imagine by Easter weekend it’ll be open water.

But we relaxed. And we hot-tubbed.

In the hot tub

And we played games.


And we threw lots of rocks at and onto the ice.

Rock throwing

And we went for walks along the lake.

Family Portrait

And we read. And we napped.

On Monday, we realized that we were so close to the Ontario border that it would be silly of us not to cross it. Madeline at first didn’t believe us that we were going to Ontario. She thought we were joking, that we were just going to a city called “Ontario”. Then we got to the “Welcome to Ontario” sign.

Quick trip to Ontario

We briefly considered driving to Kenora, which was just 45kms away, but we had no good reason to do so beyond being able to say that we went to Kenora. So we didn’t.

All in all it was a good, relaxing weekend.

(More pictures here.)

Falcon Lake videos

Here’s a video of us canoeing on Falcon Lake.  I rushed the pan a little, but twisting around while video recording in a canoe with fidgety kids is a bit tricky.  You’ll get the idea, though:

And here is a video of the kids on Picnic Island and the island itself. They were yelling their names to listen to the echo, but the camera didn’t really pick it up well (and perhaps they may have been shouting in a slightly different direction than earlier). The island was straight across from our cabin–we looked across at it from our living room.

Giving thanks for Thanksgiving weekend

Dixie and I were not sure what to do for Thanksgiving this year.  It’s kind of a big deal for Dixie, but driving 10 hours one way for a couple of nights and a delicious turkey dinner at her parents’ house would have been too exhausting.  Everything everywhere was booked, or so it seemed, even in the Grand Forks, North Dakota.

There was, however, a last minute cabin cancellation at Falcon Trails Resort in Whiteshell Provincial Park in eastern Manitoba. The only problem was that they required us to stay three nights and they aren’t cheap.  We didn’t think we could justify the cost. Some emails were sent back and forth between Dixie and the admin there, seeing if they would let us book just two nights. I think Dixie may have even played the “poor seminary students” card, though I’m not sure that worked. However, as the weekend approached, the owners got more desperate to book the cabin for the weekend, so they offered us the third night at a fraction of the regular cost, so we jumped on it.  Now that we’ve been there, I may well be willing to pay the full cost for three nights.

Sunset on the first night:

Sunset on Falcon Lake

The cabin overlooked Falcon Lake. It had a bedroom with a queen-sized bed on the main floor and two sections in the loft, one with a queen-sized bed and one with a single. Cabins also come with TV and vcr/dvd player, wood stove, and a hot tub. We also had free access to canoes.

All of us in the canoe (I, of course, am taking the picture):

Morning in the Canoe

Our weekend consisted of the following: sleeping, eating, watching movies, reading, canoeing, throwing sticks into the water from our dock, and sitting in the hot tub (Luke puts the accent on “tub”), and one short hike. Not much else happened. The weather was beautiful the whole time we were there: sunny, light breeze. Pretty much a perfect weekend.

I wouldn’t dare post another sunset picture, except that this one, from the second night, is just different enough to be allowed:

Falcon Lake sunset

Of course, as much as I hope and dream otherwise, families remain families, even on weekends in a cabin on a lake, so there was still fighting and screaming and yelling and discipline, but somehow the whole experience overpowered the darker moments.

The kids on Picnic Island:

The kids

And playing in the hot tub:

Kids playing in the hot tub

There are more pictures of the weekend at our Flickr “Falcon Lake 2010” set, including some pictures of the cabin’s interior. I also have a couple of videos I’d like to post, but with our finicky/slow internet connection, it doesn’t seem to want to work.

Stretching out for Thanksgiving

A couple of great quotes from the quality bunch posted on internetmonk.com today:

Imagination does not breed insanity. Exactly what does breed insanity is reason. Poets do not go mad, but chess-players do. Mathematicians go mad, and cashiers; but creative artists very seldom … The general fact is simple. Poetry is sane because it floats easily in an infinite sea; reason seeks to cross the infinite sea, and to make it finite. To accept everything is an exercise, to understand everything is a strain. The poet only desires exaltation and expansion, a world to stretch himself in. The poet only asks to get his head into the heavens. It it the logician who seeks to get the heavens into his head. And it is his head that splits. — G.K. Chesterton, Orthodoxy

If you surrender to the fear of uncertainty, life can become a set of insurance policies. Your short time on this earth becomes small and self-protective, a kind of circling of the wagons around what you can be sure of and what you think you can control–even God. It provides you with the illusion that you are in the driver’s seat, navigating on safe, small roads, and usually in a single, predetermined direction that can take you only where you have already been. For far too many people, no life journey is necessary because we think we already have all our answers at the beginning. — Richard Rohr, The Naked Now.

Tomorrow we’re off on a little journey into a world in which to stretch ourselves out: the woods of eastern Manitoba. There we will spend three glorious nights in a cabin on a lake, sucking the marrow out of life and all that. We’re bringing some games, some movies, some books, some wine. We will walk and talk and be present to our children.

My European family never celebrated Thanksgiving, so Thanksgiving was for me often a lonely weekend. All my Canadian friends were busy with family and turkey and football games. I just kicked stones. The first or second year we were married, Dixie’s parents, grandparents and brother’s family stayed in a cabin on Christopher Lake for the weekend. It was perfect in every way and to this day it remains one of my favourite memories of my married life and of Thanksgiving.  Hopefully this weekend will create similar memories for our young family.

I have a sudden urge to say, “He is risen!”  But it’s the wrong weekend for that, true as it may be.

I hope you, dear readers, have a wonderful Thanksgiving weekend.