A sunny morning in Manitou Beach

Sculpture Garden at Little Manitou Art Gallery

“Why does it always rain when we go to Manitou Beach?” Sandra asks. It doesn’t always, but when you wake up on a Saturday morning and it feels like nighttime because the skies are overcast and the rain is drizzling like a Vancouver winter, it seems like a good day for a soak in a hot mineral spa. Manitou Beach is only an hour and 20 minutes away. It’s not that it rains when we go to Manitou Beach. It’s that we go to Manitou Beach when it rains.

Last Saturday, the cat woke us up at the first light of dawn. Robins were singing outside the window and the smaller birds were making a racket in the trees and bushes around the yard. The cat was excited: time to get up, guys!

A sunny start to the day, perfect weather to go drop in on our friends Sarah McKen and Clayton Cave at Little Manitou Art Gallery. It’s a peaceful way to spend the day after a busy week.

Visiting Little Manitou Art Gallery, Manitou Beach, Saskatchewan. Walking in the sculpture garden: works by Sarah McKen (bronze sculptures); Rick Pollock (metalwork flowers, tractor); Clayton Cave (metalwork feathers); James Korpan (metalwork horse); Mariann Taubensee (glass). (Darrell Noakes)

Visiting Little Manitou Art Gallery, Manitou Beach, Saskatchewan. Sarah McKen (left) and Clayton Cave (centre) select some post stamp jewellery from Sandra Salmon (Photograph by Darrell Noakes)

Sandra packed a picnic lunch and off we went. We spent about an hour with Sarah and Clayton. Sandra was showing some of her new postage stamp jewellery, while I strolled around the sculpture garden.

Visiting Little Manitou Art Gallery, Manitou Beach, Saskatchewan. Walking in the sculpture garden: works by Sarah McKen (bronze sculptures); Rick Pollock (metalwork flowers, tractor); Clayton Cave (metalwork feathers); James Korpan (metalwork horse); Mariann Taubensee (glass). (Darrell Noakes)

Visiting Little Manitou Art Gallery, Manitou Beach, Saskatchewan. Walking in the sculpture garden: works by Sarah McKen (bronze sculptures); Rick Pollock (metalwork flowers, tractor); Clayton Cave (metalwork feathers); James Korpan (metalwork horse); Mariann Taubensee (glass). (Photograph by Darrell Noakes)

We spent another hour or so browsing the antique stores and walking along the beach. No one can remember when the lake has been so high. The village is protected by a tall berm now, and sand has been brought in to rebuild the beach. I was looking at a satellite image of the lake a day or so ago. The image probably doesn’t date back more than 10 years. It’s easy to make out the outline of a gazebo that the village built on the beach, a long ways from the water’s edge. By the time I photographed guests playing volleyball at Mike’s Beach Bar, the gazebo was not quite surrounded by water. A couple years later, the gazebo’s deck was awash. The gazebo was finally removed last year.

Beach Volleyball, Mike's Beach Bar, Manitou Beach, Victoria Day Weekend Saturday Night (Darrell Noakes)

Beach Volleyball, Mike’s Beach Bar, Manitou Beach, Victoria Day Weekend Saturday Night (Darrell Noakes)

Even with the high water, Manitou Beach is still a great place to go and relax. The changes at Mike’s Beach Bar — new kitchen, freshly painted murals — give the main street a festive atmosphere.

Mikes Beach Bar, Manitou Beach. Murals by Travis Vagner. (Darrell Noakes)

Mikes Beach Bar, Manitou Beach. Murals by Travis Vagner. (Darrell Noakes)

As we stepped into Manitou Springs spa, clouds started rolling in. It seemed darker outside every time we looked out the windows as we bobbed in the warm, salty water. We lingered for nearly two hours before heading outside for our picnic.

 (Darrell Noakes)

The scene that greeted us as we left Mineral Springs on Saturday. (Darrell Noakes)

The sky was pretty grey, but it was still warm, so we headed to the park near the tennis courts, finished our snack and decided to head back to Saskatoon.

It started pouring like crazy before we got to Young.

Aw, man! It always rains when we go to Manitou Beach!

 

Interesting links:

News about Little Manitou Lake water levels

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