A car rumbles down a side road, rounds a curve and starts down the valley towards Pembina Crossing amidst the "oohs and awes" from the family inside.
"Wow. Look at that river valley," shouts one of the kids.
"Look, a wild turkey," calls out another.
This family is part of a growing trend. Many people are opting to stay closer to home for family vacations and weekend getaways this summer.
Today this idea is growing in popularity partly because visitors combine their trip with wildlife watching and viewing rural scenery, which helps to lower travel and vacation costs."
Pembina Crossing is a scenic, yet virtually unknown, spot located in the Pembina Valley south of Manitou.
It is a place with an interesting human history and an abundance of wildlife and breath-taking panoramic views.
Despite being a terrific destination for a country drive this spot is not well known. And, like all the places described in the book "Manitoba Wild", the drive to these places is more than half the fun as this book clearly focuses on spectacular scenic drives.
Rural areas are brimming with natural beauty and scenery, but you need help in finding many of them because they are local secrets.
This new book helps change that. Manitoba Wild is a useful guide for anyone wanting to travel throughout rural Manitoba for wildlife viewing.
Manitoba Wild showcases many of Manitoba's most scenic, yet largely unheralded places. It is filled with beautiful colour photographs, maps and directions to each location.
As well, it lists many of the birds, animals, wildflowers and other plants that you may see along the way.
The book leads you to amazing places such as Tolstoi, Birch Falls, Silver Bend, Thunder Hill, Tobacco Creek, Cat Hills and Medicine Rock. Some of these may be places you have heard about, but they are all new to most people.
The road between Tolstoi and the Agassiz nature trail, located about 100 km southeast of Winnipeg, is a paradise for anyone interested in wildflowers, butterflies and birds. Many endangered species are found here and the variety of wildflowers is simply astounding, yet hardly anyone knows about it.
"There is something very special about this drive that takes you through one of the most biologically diverse natural regions on the planet and one that is on a scale only read about in books or magazines such as National Geographic. A single visit here is never enough. Each visit is different from the last, as wildflowers and other native plants quickly emerge throughout the growing season." - an excerpt from Manitoba Wild.
Birch Falls is an amazing spot located east of Bissett near PTH 304. This is wilderness at its finest where you will hear the roar of turbulent water cascading down the chute at Birch Falls.
While this is a place that is easily overlooked, it is also one of spectacular scenery.
Manitoba Wild appeals to people who like to go for a country drive, families planning a vacation, photographers, hikers, bird watchers, as well as people who like to experience nature from the comfort of their armchair.
It offers something for everyone from all walks of life. Whether you are a serious naturalist or just getting interested in nature, you will learn something new in these pages.
Here is another interest twist to this new book.
Author Bill Stilwell has put together a slide show and talk featuring the spectacular photographs from this new book. He is willing to make a presentation for your club or group at a very reasonable cost.
Manitoba Wild is available at bookstores and gift shops for $18.99 plus GST. Call (204) 476-5210 or visit the website at: www:manitobawild.com.