The South Saskatchewan River – now knows as Diefenbaker lake – that flows by Sask Landing Provincial Park is OPEN. The ice went out easily this year, melting slowly over several weeks. When it reached the consistency of a Slushie we had a couple of warm days. Last week we drove to Saskatoon in the morning, following along the edge of the ice covered lake, and returned late afternoon to discover two-thirds of the water open. Heavy with silt, brown and choppy, it contrasted with the silver grey of the last of the ice. Interwoven water and ice formed fascinating patters along the ninety kilometres of the lake.
Today it is all open, silver grey stretching beneath the slate grey of low lying clouds. Often its surface is dimpled by rain drops, as spring showers urge out the green along its banks.
I’m raring to get the kayaks out of storage, dust them off, load them up and get out on the water. With temperatures running from -3 degrees Celsius to +10 degrees Celsius any attempt would be premature and result in a burrrrry cold trip.
The other deterrent to launching is the fifty feet of mud between me and the water. The river is low, as they have let out a lot of water at the damn over the winter to make room for that coming down from the mountains mid to late June. In the last years the levels have been so high through the summer, much precious river bank has been lost in its raging depths. There are two marinas in the Park which offer the possibility of launching off a cement pad and I will make do with them until the water rises.
This year I am determined to finish another leg, if not the whole, of my odyssey from Sask Landing to Elbow at the end of the lake. I just have to get the weather and my body to cooperate. Wish me luck! Paddles raised.