Spruce Woods, Manitoba – Cloudburst in the prairie

Lake Winnipeg is known for its beaches and the relatively warm water in summer. The extended sand beach in Grand Beach Provincial Park is really pretty with its sand dunes; the water is shallow and lukewarm. Wind raises and it starts to rain, but it stays mild. The subtropical feeling is supported by gently rolling pelicans. Canada goose families are waddling around, always watched by mum and dad. Seagulls are passing by and piping plovers are dashing along the shoreline. Birds’ paradise.

We get strong wind, and later on a violent storm develops. Deep darkness surrounds us in the afternoon. We are passing numberless thundery fronts. Raindrops as big as saucers are splashing against the windscreen and Manitoba’s farmers have to endure again a couple of centimetres of precipitation. We continue to Spruce Woods Provincial Park. Manitoba’s prairies are said to be extremely boring. It’s not so bad, at least when you are travelling for the first time. Big fields are interrupted by tree rows, small forests, farmsteads, and villages. But the highway leads astonishingly long straight ahead. In front of Spruce Woods the landscape turns hillier, greener; grass, hardwood and conifers take turns. A part of the park is called Spirit Sands, a desert-like area with shifting dunes and cactuses. It is a very arid region, but not today. Whole Manitoba is sinking in thunderstorms and we get drummed to sleep by raindrops.

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