HUGS & KISSES, FRIENDLY MANITOBA

Dear PACT,

Heard things worked out for you during your recent visit. I'm so glad. You see I like to be a good host and a good friend.

I heard you entered on the Saskatchewan River. People find the delta can be confusing, but I think that's part of it charm.

I know you know that Cedar Lake can be "fussy". When you entered I made a deal with it. If Cedar wanted to storm and rage and show you how windy it could get, then it should do the decent thing and show you how calm and serene it can be. We made the deal, but it was a day later than I had wanted it. You see, Cedar, being a young lake, always likes to do things his way. But I was glad to see you take advantage of the situation and have a delightful night paddle. Did you like how I got the sunset to blend with the sunrise? I even called in favours from the Northern Lights and the Half Moon - who really doesn't like to bend from his schedule - to add some extra light. It was my way of saying "sorry for the wait".

I got nervous about your Lake Winnipeg travels so I was able to get Gerald McKay to meet you in Grand Rapids. I knew he would have good advice for you. I didn't want you to get intimidated because the lake is the third largest reservoir in the world, and tenth largest fresh water lake in the world. And talk about shallow and tempermental. I have tried for years to get Lake Winnipeg into a wind schedule, but he doesn't listen.

I figured you'd be tired about halfway through Lake Winnipeg, so I made sure that the McBeth Point fishing village had extra cabins, and some friendly people to show them to you. I even hear you had a fish fry with them! That makes me so happy. I love it when Manitobans are the good hosts I like them to be.

I'm glad when the lake really threw a fit, you were able to use Ken and Linda's cabin. The east shore is my favourite too, and I made sure the cabin was in a beautiful and sheltered bay. What a place to wait out the temper-tantrum. Sorry about that display. It's embarrassing and gives us all a bad name.

Thrilled you were able to spend Canada Day with me. I had a great time, and it looked like you did too. Perhaps we should plan to get together next year?
Bring some of those ice cream sandwiches you were raving about and I'll bring the sparklers.

I really am sorry about all the damn dams. And the water level. When I heard you were set on paddling UP the Winnipeg River, I was distraught at the timing - the current was running was stronger than it had been in years! Oh, if it were any other year, or even two weeks before! Unable to strike a deal with both Manitoba Hydro and Ontario Power Generation, I made sure some of my best hosts were waiting to meet you and cheer you on.

And talk about good hosts! I am so glad you ran into my friends the Purves' and the Arnold's in Lac du Bonnet. They were raised in true Manitoban style: good friendly hosts. It's not my fault that you had such a good time you had to stay another night!

I really tried my best to show you a good time, and to challenge you just a little bit. I had heard that Wild Rose Alberta and Land of Living Skies Saskatchewan were too easy on you. I'm not like them.  I am a true friend. And sometimes friends need to give you a little push to make you stronger. You'll notice that everytime you were tested something or someone was there to help you out. PACT, what we have now is true friendship.

Please visit again any time you'd like.

Hugs and Kisses,

Friendly Manitoba