Portage a Friendly Place to Walk

by Karen Gross


460492401When you go for a walk, do you make eye contact with people you pass by and greet them with a smile and/or a nod and/or a friendly greeting? People in Portage do.

That’s one of the many things I love about this town – people here are friendly. Especially walkers. Almost everyone I meet walking on the Crescent Lake path will offer or return a greeting, and even complete strangers will stop and allow my dog to sniff their dog. Dog walkers, in general, seem to be a especially friendly bunch.

In the winter, many of these friendly walkers can be greeted in the warm, snow free environment of the PCU Center, or the almost empty corridors of the Portage la Prairie Mall (not to be confused with Walmart, which is a big box store and not a mall).

Our license plates declare a province-wide characterization of “Friendly Manitoba”. I don’t think that this is necessarily an accurate representation of all Manitobans. Try greeting Winnipeggers on one of their walking paths – you probably won’t even get eye contact. In many neighbourhoods you wouldn’t want to make eye contact. Or Thompson walkers – if you can find one – between the cold and the mosquitoes – who wants to go walking there?

But in Portage, people are friendly, and most of them are not too scary. A few are crazy, like saying “Good Morning” all day long (what’s wrong with that – lots of restaurants serve breakfast all day), or wishing people “Merry Christmas” on a snowy day in April.

So if you should happen to see the crazy lady who walks with poles on the Crescent Lake walking path, wish her a Good morning at 3 in the afternoon, or a Happy Thanksgiving in June. Just don’t expect her to wave back – she needs the poles for balance.

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