Wednesday, September 21

Project Love Manitoba: Gravel Pit Swimming

A friend of mine moved to Manitoba several years ago from Nova Scotia, and is having a difficult time adjusting to a different province.  We may be one country but as many Canadians know, each province and territory has it own unique flavour, feel, natural beauties, and points of interest. Moving is one of the most stressful experiences of life (find more life event stresses here) and the adjustment requires a person to figuratively walk through several stages (there are several theories) but some identify a total of seven:

1. Dread
2. Freneticism
3. Planning
5. Euphoria
6. Negotiation
7. Adjustment

Up until the end of the Waiting Stage, you have not actually physically moved as of yet.  If it is a move that you are not really looking forward to, after you arrive, you may not experience the euphoria stage (the honeymoon portion including joy and excitement of the new) for a while.  Once the euphoria is over, you may get stuck in the Negotiation Stage, during which the realities of a new place are evident and frustration, anger or even depression might settle in for a while.  Either way, you just don't want to be in this new place.  You have created a long mental list of what you miss from your old home/city/province, and very little in your new place compares.

So far I have enjoyed many things in Winnipeg and in Manitoba.  After a trip home to see family in August, I returned to Winnipeg and felt the stings of the Negotiation Stage.  So when my friend, and another mutual friend, decided that it was time to form a plan, the I Love Manitoba Adventures, I was very interested.  The idea is to look for as many interesting and enjoyable things we can do in Winnipeg but more importantly all over the province, unique to Manitoba, then do as many as possible.  We have been able to squeeze in several adventures but the plan will be even more important as the long Manitoba winter sets in.  Last January through February we had 6 weeks of -30 to -45 degrees Celsius.  When the temperature rose to -15 degrees Celsius it felt like a spring day.  Like I said, this part of the year is going to be the harder portion.

The two adventures we have managed to squeeze in so far include a swim at a gravel pit and a trip to tube down a river, that morphed into a boat float on Lac de Bonnet.  Here are the shots we took and the commentary from the gravel pit, all of which is helping us enjoy the province in which we are currently living.

Gravel Pit Swimming

This is a gravel pit we did not swim in but a working pit Christa took me to, 
to show me she was not a fool (I had my doubts).

The actual gravel pit Christa came upon by accident one day, 
trying to make her way to a different pool of water in the distance.

The water was the aquamarine colour of lakes in BC.  Unbelievable really!
It was a hot, hot Manitoba day and the cool, refreshing water is exactly what we needed.

This is new for me.  I did not know that water collected in gravels pits (abandoned or currently being used) and that people swam in them.  At first I was very doubtful and asked a few friends about it.  They had been swimming at gravel pits for years but warned not to go near the edges as the leeches would come out to play.  What?!?  Ugh?!?  I did my best to avoid the blood sucking creatures.

In We Go

Christa's got skills!

Charlie's got skills!

Joyful Swimmers

Like any swimming occasion, it was time to goof off and we began taking pictures under water.
Yep, if either of us had drowned and were found three days later, this is what we would look like.

More fun as the sun sets.
Gravel pit swimming gets a 10 out of 10 for fun summer things to do in Manitoba.  In case you were wondering, we did see a leech after we got out of the water, and after I had been mocked for making mention of such ridiculousness, a wee black leech began swimming from the edge of the pit to ledge from which we had just exited the pit (don't tell Stephanie, she does not know this part yet).  Thank goodness our bodies were leech free!

The tube ride turned boat float will be posted another day.  Thanks for reading!


  1. Aughhhhh! I know NOW! *throw up sound*

    GREAT pics of the pit!!! Just beautiful and sad that it's way too cold too enjoy it anymore this year! :(. I just wanted one more dip! (leeches or not!)

    I will make it my aim, as a Manitoban to try to make winter as fun as possible! Get some skates ladies! One of our activities will be skating on the river trail!!

    Steph :)

  2. One of the great things about your blogging, is that I am so happy to click the icon that says READ MORE. Wonderful to know that the post is not over and that there is more coming. Thanks for the virtual gravel pit swim, Tonia. Fabulous blue water colour. Can hardly wait for the winter adventures. Do you already have skates?


  3. What gorgeous picture Tonia. It makes almost want to visit you in Manitoba. I am going to do that before the year is out. I am going to pick a warm day. I love you hairdo under water, just lovely!

  4. 7 stages, eh? I will admit that the thought of leeches sends me back to "dread".... but the gravels pits look AMAZING! did you FIND any leeches? I would like to see what theylook like under your fabulous photo lens...

  5. Cool experience! The pictures are great! -rini

  6. the pits that have been going to for the last 3 years have been closed, the cops will fine you if they find you there. this is because 'idiots' that ruined it by leaving garbage and beer cans. :( I need some new ones and these look amazing!! where are they??? thank so much!!

  7. Do you know where this is? Or how to get there from Winnipeg?

  8. Nice to see you had the pit experience, They have been around for as long as I can remember, Fun spots to toboggan in the winter and great for a swim in the summer.