Before we arrived at Riding Mountain National Park, we had to travel from Saskatchewan into Manitoba. Our road of choice was Provincial Highway 55. The only concern was that 60 km of it was gravel. Reports stated that if it rains the road is essentially impassable. We are never ones to pass up an adventure off the beaten path, so we made the voyage.
Somehow we made it, with all six tires still holding air! It feels good to be back on pavement.
People on the prairies seem to always talk about the Weather, perhaps because nothing else changes day to day. We spent the first night in Manitoba in The Pas, and woke up to 1.5 degrees temperatures. We hightailed it south from there, and 5 hours later in Dauphin, MB it was 27 degrees. I guess this is why everyone spends so much time discussing the Weather.
We were unsure what to expect at the park, and essentially everything was still closed. And I mean everything, no park maps, no directions, no trail suggestions- nothing. We were very disappointed that Parks Canada cannot even leave some maps outside in a box somewhere. It all seemed very poorly organized.
The town site inside the park is called Wasagaming, it had one and only one facility open.
We had done some research before our arrival, and located the Audy Lake Campground. It was on a lake obviously, and open. The bad news: No running water, and it was at the end of a 28 km gravel road. Ohhh joy. Well again, the rewards come to those who trek off the beaten path. No Alcohol Ban at Audy Lake, although it would have not have meant anything, as there was no one there to enforce it.
The wind was bitterly cold, temperatures were below zero overnight. Thankfully Audy Lake has complimentary wood, and the Camp Kitchen has a large stove inside.
Lake water heated on the fire provided the hot water. We hung our shower bag from the rafters.
This stove had no problem keeping us warm, we stayed for three nights and two nights the temperature fell below zero. It was a big rush to get the stove lit the next morning.
As we decided to stay for three nights, we did not have enough drinking water with us. We did have enough food, but would have had to start eating cans of corn- not very exciting. We made one trip to the grocery store to restock. That trip was a 3 hour, 160 km roundtrip. That is how far from society we were.
We played many games, read a few books, and essentially relaxed, never venturing very far from the warmth of the stove.
We have camped in many places, and this was our best experience to date! If you are in the area, and enjoy a private camping experience this is the spot. I would imagine in the Summer season (July and August) this place is packed. In the Summer’s the nightly price more than doubles as well. As part of this blog is about being frugal, and stretching your dollars, Audy Lake was a whopping $15.70 per night. (We burned about $125 worth of wood)