Not every lake dreams to be an ocean. Blessed are the ones who are happy with whom they are. ~ Mehmet Murat ildan
When given the choice between ocean or lake I have always been adamant that my choice is the ocean. There is something about the sea salt in the air and the taste as it kisses your lips. It is calming, and cooling, and it just feels fantastic. My husband on the other hand, when given the choice between ocean and lake has always chosen the lake. He loves lake life, the quiet feel of the water in the morning with the backdrop of trees and wooded area, and easy access to fresh water fishing. When we dream of retirement, it is always about building a house on the water, with me pushing for ocean frontage, and my husband pushing for a lakefront property. It is a fun back and forth game we play, always trying to sway the other over to our own personal preference.
When we left Nova Scotia and moved to Manitoba we soon realized that even though we gave up the fantastic ocean views we were now living in lake heaven. Endless lake possibilities and we have spent many days exploring them. I have enjoyed them all immensely, but I struggle to give up my feelings that oceans are still number one in my books. The last two springs my husband has headed north to The Pas for a boys only fishing trip. Both times he has come home with incredible stories of having fantastic fishing, great camping, and beautiful scenery, insisting that I simply must go see it for myself. Both times he has claimed that Clearwater Lake is one of the best lakes he has ever seen, his favourite lake in all of Manitoba, and that it might just be the lake to push me over the edge to becoming less of an ocean preference person. In the words of Barney Stinson from the tv show How I Met Your Mother - "Challenged accepted!".
Last week we road tripped north to Clearwater Lake Provincial Park so I could experience it for myself. My husband’s hunch that Clearwater lake could help sway me from ocean to lake was so very correct. Clearwater Lake is one of the most beautiful lakes I have ever seen, and I absolutely loved every single minute of it. From the cute yurts at Campers Cove, to the hiking trail simply called "The Caves" with nice look-offs and deep caverns into the earth, to the beautiful views from Sunset Beach, it truly is a remarkable place. Definitely a Manitoba gem, a place to relax and refresh, and a lake every Manitoban should check out for themselves.
Sitting at Clearwater Lake on a dock at Campers Cove, the realization that I love lake life just as much as the ocean finally hit me and sunk in. Lake life is not better or worse than the ocean. It is equally as beautiful, as calming, and as wonderful, and now I consider myself not only an ocean girl but a lake girl too. In that one precise moment while sitting in a chair reading my book, I took a moment to glance up at the lake and soak in all the glory. As the waves gently hit the dock I couldn’t help but whisper to myself "life is better at the lake". Clearwater Lake taught me to open up my heart and make room for two favourites - the ocean and the lake. The decision of where to retire - ocean frontage or lakefront property - is now such a difficult decision. If I am lucky enough to end up with either one of them in retirement I will be truly happy and content.
For more information on Clearwater Lake Provincial Park please visit http://www.gov.mb.ca/conservation/parks/popular_parks/northwest/clearwater.html.