Thursday, August 11, 2016



            Soon after our family moved to Kipling in July of 1970 we found our way to Kenosee Lake at Moose Mountain Provincial Park. Dad and Mom loved nothing better than packing up the family and spending a Saturday or Sunday picnicking and playing in the park. We’d load up the old Hibatchi barbeque, the charcoal briquettes and a cooler full of food and beverages and off we’d go to join the thousands of other like-minded people at the resort.

            I remember the first time we crested the big hill by the golf course and took our first glimpses of the massive parking lot filled with cars. Wow! There wasn’t a lot of pavement showing in that huge parking area, I can tell you that much. It was wall to wall vehicles. Back then it seemed like every family had a minimum of seven children and everybody went to the beach. I haven’t done any real data tracking or anything but I seem to recall hearing that on the July 1st weekend during the 1960’s and ‘70’s Kenossee Lake had the third highest population in the province after Regina and Saskatoon. No wonder there was little room for vehicle or people parking.

            I also remember the big slide that was in the lake at the main beach. Chances were pretty high that it would be a long wait for your turn to go down that slide and on the really, really hot days the metal slide would heat up so much between riders that it felt like you were burning your exposed skin off all the way down. That was if you could get going at all. Youch.

I am at or nearing the “uphill both ways” age and I have started my share of conversations with “remember when”…but remember when those summer days were so hot the pavement was melting? It was! Really! I know that it probably does that now, too, but I just don’t go barefoot on pavement as much as I used to so I don’t really notice it as much now.

You know, it just didn’t seem like a successful trip to the lake if you didn’t come home with some tar burnt into the bottoms of your feet. Ditto the hot sand on the beach! Yowza! Remember digging your feet deep into the sand until you found the cool stuff? Ahhhh, relief.

            I’ve got another “remember when” moment for you…remember when there were so many frogs everywhere down there that the vehicle traffic on the highway sounded like they were driving on rain-wet pavement? True story. It was like an actual version of a Twilight Zone episode. Yuck!

            A lot has changed in the past four-plus decades since I first visited Kenossee Lake and it remains one of the most beautiful places in the province. They may not get the huge numbers that they did back in the old heyday but the amenities are just as good, or better, and there are still a lot of familiar faces. Older faces, mind you, but still the same people you swam with, played football at the beach on Sunday afternoons with, went to Grandison Hall’s dances with, sang around the campfire with or got tossed out of Kenossee Garden’s when Jones and Leipert thought that you had had enough. Oh, right, that was someone else’s memory not mine. Whoops.

            I don’t get down there as often as I used to but when I do go the old memories flood back and I’m taken right back to the old happy times. Such a beautiful prairie oasis. Good old Kenossee…gotta love it!

“The sand may brush off, The salt may wash away, The tans may fade. But the memories will last forever.” 

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