06-Jun-2001 -- After visiting 50N 97W, we proceeded generally northward, then west, crossing the Red River, and northward again on Highway 8, along the west side of Lake Winnipeg. This took us past several cottage / beach communities, as well as several which are people's homes, mostly of Icelandic descent, who fish the lake for their livings. We ended our trip in one of the latter, Riverton, where we found this confluence on the north edge of town, in a large yard / field, which we guessed to be behind 55 Lundi Avenue (it is very near the lot-line, behind a shed on the adjacent property). After we placed a stake to mark the spot, we took our pictures, then started back southward on Provincial Road 222, which parallels Highway 8, but closer to the lakeshore.
About 10 miles (16 km) south of Riverton, is a town with the Icelandic name of Arnes – on the main road, there is a small park honouring Vilhjalmur Stefansson. The plaque by the monument to him reads “Vilhjalmur Stefansson, noted Arctic explorer and ethnologist, was born at Arnes, Manitoba in 1879. In major expeditions in 1906-07, 1908-12, and 1913-18 he greatly extended knowledge of the islands and coastlines of the Western Arctic, and of its people. Stefansson was an early exponent of the idea that experienced Arctic travellers could live off the land as the natives did. As author and lecturer he became a persuasive advocate of Arctic development. Stefansson Island perpetuates his memory. He died at Hanover, New Hampshire in 1962.” The quotation in Icelandic on the monument itself (picture #6), translates as “I know what I have experienced, and I know what it has meant to me.”
We continued about another 10 miles south to the larger town of Gimli, where we had dinner, then went to the harbour, where Barrie and Betty have their sailboat anchored. They had only gotten the Tenacious in the water a few days before, and had not yet installed the sails, but they took us out into Lake Winnipeg, using their auxiliary outboard motor. Lake Winnipeg is 428 km (266 mi) long north to south, with an area of 24,390 sq km (9417 sq mi), making it the third largest lake lying entirely within Canada, behind Great Bear and Great Slave Lakes in the Northwest Territories.