Lake Diefenbaker 2022….just add water. It’s been a number of years since visiting the lake community of Elbow, Saskatchewan situated on Lake Diefenbaker. I really don’t know where to start, the lack of water in Lake Diefenbaker or the building boom in Elbow. OK positives first, for years, 10 to be exact, the rodeo committee in Elbow hired Charlotte and myself to photograph their rodeo events for them. At the time we were professionally doing rodeo photography and being at many different events always found Elbow our favourite rodeo. I know we were paid to say that….not really, Kevin Volmar and his crew were the best we have ever worked with and treated us good year after year, we also like the small community of Elbow. Fast forward several years and we found we were in for a surprise.
I hardly recognized the community when driving in, new cabins/homes, new streets numbering in the dozens where there were none before and empty stores now with tourist/lake business in most spaces. RV parks expanded into streets and avenues in several locations. Pulling over on main street I talked to an elderly gentleman who lives in town, I asked him if they found gold in the area that created all the growth to which he answered “no Covid did”. Since 2019 I would say the town has doubled in size, and some say Covid hurt the economy….well not in Elbow. If one is going to work from home why not the lake, it appears this is the case.
For those not familiar with Elbow it’s situated halfway between Regina and Saskatoon on Highway 19. Elbow got its name from a bend in the south Saskatchewan River that reassembled an elbow. Elbow is now situated on Lake Diefenbaker and features a first class marina, golf course, miles of beaches and the sailing club. The lake is 225 km long with 800 km of shoreline so very attractive to larger boats and sailboats. I’m told fishing is excellent. Danielson Provincial Park and Douglas Provincial Park are also located on the lake. The lake was created when the river was dammed up for the Gardner River Power Plant. This trip Charlotte and I visited and stayed at both Provincial Parks which I will feature in the next blogs.
As mentioned the Marina is home to probably the biggest number of sailboats for sure on the prairies. Charlotte and I were lucky enough to visit with the owners of the Elbow Harbour Marina, Trish and Jake. Although early in the season they said the lake was the lowest it has been in 20 years. People familiar with Lake Diefenbaker know the levels vary over the season and count on the spring runoff from the mountains to refresh the lake levels every year. Well this year its appears runoff is later than normal and the lake is lower than normal. Boats that normally are going in are still on shore. One gentleman who we met and lives on his cabin cruiser in the summer and some of the other boaters remain optimistic it’s only a matter of time and the lake will rise. The lake has been known to vary by approximately 20 feet so it has a lot of water needed.
By the way for you RV types the Marina is not just for marine types, it’s also set up for those who travel and live in our land yachts. They have a very good stock of RV parts as well so if in need of parts near Elbow check them out the prices are good as well.
Just a little on Lake Diefenbaker and the boom community of Elbow, worth a trip to check it out just north of Number 1 highway and south of the Yellow Head highway. Highway 19 is in great shape and a nice drive from Elbow to Saskatoon right by the door of the Whitecap Casino.
Until next post on our visit to two provincial parks, take time to enjoy the beauty around us, drive safe and with these fuel prices may the wind always be on your back. Thanks to those who have taken the plunge and subscribed it gives this old guy something to write about and share some images.
Hope to see you down the road….studiowest.ca
Charlotte and Gerry