Taking time to stop and smell the pickerel and blueberries
The weather we’ve had in Manitoba has been nothing short of spectacular. When I received a message about a weekend retreat in the Whiteshell, I was pretty stoked as the timing worked out perfectly. It was a weekend I could escape from the normal hustle that happens during the summer on weekends in Winnipeg. More specifically, I was pretty excited for a mid-July weekend retreat of doing nothing at the lake. The added bonus was I was going to be partaking in the annual All-You-Can-Eat Fish Fry in Otter Falls.
The All-You-Can-Eat (AYCE) Fish Fry at the Otter Falls Resort is an annual event and very well attended by many cottagers. The line to get into the Fish Fry was just as long as the lines at the Olive Garden on Portage Ave. on a Saturday night. With Kristin, Eryn and Mike as great company, the 30 minute wait passed quickly as my stomach grumbled every time someone from the buffet walked passed with a heaping plate of salad, fries and fresh beer battered Manitoba pickerel. I couldn’t wait to dig into my own plate.
Along with the bread, salads and fries, there were two styles of pickerel. I started off with the pan-fried pickerel and convinced myself that was the healthier option. After sitting down with the first helping, Kristin, Eryn and Mike twisted my rubber arm (quite easily) to try the Labatt Blue beer battered pickerel. I did and it was delicious.
In an attempt to work off all the pickerel, fries and salad consumed the previous evening, I convinced myself that I come along for a hike and go berry picking. I was game for both since I’ve always been curious about the Trans Canada Trail that snakes through the Whiteshell Provincial Park. Between the North and South Trans Canada Trails, there is over 120kms of developed trails for hiking, cycling, skiing and horseback riding. There are many shorter hiking trails throughout the park including the challenging Mantario Trail which is 60km long.
Back to the hiking and berry picking trip. In fact, we didn’t get that far at all. The hiking trip turned into an all-out berry picking adventure. Along the trail, we would find patches of wild blueberries and raspberries. Kristin brought a pail, and I brought my camera. All the berries I picked went straight into my mouth. I couldn’t resist the sweet taste of wild blueberries and raspberries. All the berries that Kristin picked were going to be used for a pie.
A weekend at the lake, like most weekends was jam packed with new food and outdoor adventures. So much for a relaxing weekend at the lake.