The Cabin – July 2020

Length of stay: 2 days
Visited: July 2020

With another heat warning on the forecast for the weekend, we decided to drive up north to the cabin and spend some time around the water. We somehow managed to convince my younger sister and her husband to come up with us even though the cabin has no running water and electricity.

We arrived at the cabin around 7:30p.m. Usually we park our car at the top of the road and walk in with all our food, water and other supplies as the path isn’t well maintained. But it was hot and humid outside and the mosquitoes were aggressive. Instead we decided to risk it and drive in. We took it real slow. I had to hop out of the car a few times to remove fallen branches and debris from the road, but eventually we made it.

Since the cabin typically doesn’t get many visitors, especially in the spring, the area around the fire pit was overgrown with grass, ferns, and other plants. After unpacking, we scavenged around the forest for wood to start a fire and cut back some of the vegetation around the fire pit to set up our chairs.

We spent the remainder of the evening by the fire. We heated up some toaster strudels on the fire and made some s’mores (with maple flavoured marshmallows …mmm).

We went to bed around 11p.m as it was starting to get chilly outside and no one wanted to venture off into the forest to find more wood to burn.

Day 1: Exploring around the Cabin by Canoe and Foot

We woke up bright and early around 7a.m. After eating some breakfast, C and I went for a short canoe ride around the bay and island. We figured we might as well head out on the water as soon as possible while the lake was still calm and it wasn’t sweltering hot outside.

The water level in the lake was low and there were a few spots that were quite shallow that required us to shimmy in our seats to move the canoe into deeper waters.

When we got back to dry land, K & E took a turn in the canoe to go fishing. They ended up paddling to the island to fish from there as the trees offered some protection from the sun. E even caught a small bass.

Meanwhile C & I went on a mission to collect firewood and get our steps in. Naturally it made sense to start a fire (even though it was 30°C outside).

When the guys came back we went inside the cabin to play some Cards Against Humanity. Much laugher ensured.

Since we spent most of the day snacking, we forced ourselves to go on a short hike around the property to visit the old mining buildings. From 1903 to 1907, the Star of the East mine was located in this area. The mine was never successful and many of the buildings were torn down, but the foundations from those buildings can still be found.

Being near the water seemed to keep the mosquitoes away. But once we headed deeper into the forest, we entered their territory and they were desperate. We ended up turning around shortly after starting our walk to apply insect repellent. Take 2 was much better.

Being near the water seemed to keep the mosquitoes away. But once we headed deeper into the forest, we entered their territory and they were desperate. We ended up turning around shortly after starting our walk to apply insect repellent. Take 2 was much better.

Day 2: Heading Back Home

We didn’t get much sleep as it remained hot and muggy throughout the night. There was another heat warning on the forecast for today. The temperature was supposed to climb to 31°C and feel like 42°C with the humidity. We were also supposed to get a severe thunderstorm during the afternoon.

After eating a late breakfast, we cleaned up around the cabin, packed our cars, and headed out. Even though it was disgustingly hot outside, we planned to go for a short hike through the Menzel Centennial Provincial Nature Reserve, since it’s located along the drive back. We might as well knock another hike off the list from our 52 Hike Challenge.

Ideally we would have liked to spend more time at the cabin, but wanted to get home before the storm rolled in. We’re hoping to come back in the next few weeks before the end of the summer.


39 thoughts on “The Cabin – July 2020

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      It’s a bit of a drive to get to the cabin, but so worth it to leave behind all the hustle and bustle from the city. Even if that means that we get a different kind of hustle and bustle from the mosquitoes. They weren’t too bad down by the water where a nice breeze kept them away. And yes, the maple flavoured marshmallows were very yummy. I didn’t even know such a flavour existed until now. Sounds very Canadian.

  1. kagould17 says:

    Always great to get away to the cabin. We are in a cabin in Jasper National Park right now and have Rocky Mountain wi-fi (up and down). Can’t see the pix, so will revisit when we get home. Have a great week. Allan

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      It’s just so peaceful and relaxing being in the middle of the forest surrounded by nature. It’s a good way to unplug from everything. We usually only get (very limited) wi-fi in the winter. A cabin in Jasper sounds lovely and very cozy, especially this time of year. Looking forward to reading about your time there. Take care.

  2. ourcrossings says:

    Great post and lovely photos; you had me at maple flavoured marshmallows! I wish we had secluded wooden log cabins in Ireland, too. I don’t really like staying in hotels and would definitely prefer spending a night in a wilderness. Some of the most beautiful cabins that I’ve seen are scattered along the Sunshine Coast Trail in British Columbia. And they are free to stay in, how amazing is that. I’m glad you had a great time at the cabin with your family 😊 Have a good day 😀 Aiva

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      If we’re going to have a fire, might as well make s’mores. I didn’t even know that there was such a thing as maple flavoured marshmallows until my sister found these. It’s been great being able to spend so much time at the cabin this year because of the pandemic, makes me feel very fortunate that we have it. The cabins along the Sunshine Coast Trail sound amazing!! Sounds like a trail I would enjoy!

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      Making (and eating!) s’more is easily one of my favourite things about camping or going to the cabin. If you’re going to have a fire, you might as well make s’mores. It’s also fun to experiment with different types of chocolate. This time we tried maple flavoured marshmallows. Mmm.

  3. Lookoom says:

    I am always under the enchantment of the weekend at the cabin in the woods by the lake, it sounds so Canadian. Around Toronto the possibilities are limited, you are lucky to have it in the family for generations.

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      For sure. We’ve been spending a lot more time than usual at the cabin largely because of the pandemic. It’s been a great way to escape from the city, get a change of scenery and social distance. We went up a few times this summer to cut wood so that we’d have a big supply in case we want to visit in the fall and over the winter. And with cases rising in Ontario, looks like this may be the only place we can travel to.

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      While I love camping and sleeping in a tent, staying in a cabin is just so much easier. It’s also much warmer than sleeping in a tent once you get the wood stove going. It’s very cozy. Thanks for reading and commenting.

  4. carol hopkins says:

    I love the stone retaining wall! I lived in Southern Ontario for many years and well remember the voraciousness of mosquitoes and the God-awful humidity. It sounds like you had a bit of fun despite bugs and humidity.

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      We certainly made the most of it despite the humidity. Builds character. We at least had a nice breeze down by the water, so the mosquitoes weren’t too bad when we were sitting around the firepit. It was well worth it to explore the foundations of the old mining buildings even if they were in the dense forest with all the mosquitoes. While I enjoyed the summer, I’m happy that it’s now fall. The days are comfortable and the leaves have started changing colour. And there’s no more bugs!! Take care.

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      I’m grateful that we have the cabin to visit given all the travel restrictions still in place. It’s great being able to get out of the city and spend time in nature. Thanks for reading and commenting.

  5. JoJo says:

    Stunning! Slice of heaven on earth. Reminds me of being back home in New Zealand but we didn’t have maple flavoured smores – sounds delicious!

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      It’s just been so nice being able to get a change of scenery now that we’ve been working from home for the past half a year. It’s always so peaceful and quiet up at the cabin. It’s a good way to unplug from everything. And yes, those maple flavoured s’mores were delicious. Thanks for reading and commenting.

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      Ontario is the perfect place to explore by canoe given all the lakes, rivers, and ponds here. It was really hot outside, so we weren’t out on the water for very long. The wall of stone is from one of the old mining buildings that used to be in this area over a hundred years ago. I think this particular building used to be one of the old bunkhouses.

      • alisendopf says:

        That is very interesting. What were they mining? The cabin seems very remote in your photos, but industry back in the day wasn’t too worried about remote locations. Some of the silver mines in BC required a full day hike to access – I often wonder how they got the silver back out!

      • WanderingCanadians says:

        They were mining gold. There were a number of mines in this area back in the early 1900s, but I don’t think any of them were very successful. I love that the property and area around the cabin has such a rich history, both in terms of how it was used for mining and also because it’s been in my partner’s family for over a hundred years.

      • WanderingCanadians says:

        Agreed, I feel very fortunate to live in Canada. We are no longer doing anything with our families for Thanksgiving since cases in Ontario have been rising, so we’re planning on visiting the cabin instead. Take care.

  6. usfman says:

    Making fires are banned in Rocky Mountain National Park. The Cameron fire west of Fort Collins is the largest in Colorado history. It doesn’t seem like you have that problem in Ontario parks, correct?

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      Every so often we have a fire ban in some of the parks if it’s been very hot and dry. This year we had a fire ban earlier in the year, not for weather related reasons, but because of the pandemic. Thankfully wildfires aren’t nearly as big of a concern here in Ontario compared to out west. Hope you’re having a fabulous time in Rocky Mountain National Park. Looking forward to reading your posts about it!

  7. Janet says:

    When I read your posts, I always have to use the conversion table (Celsius to Fahrenheit or kilometers to miles) to find out how hot or how far you walked. Boy it was hot outside!

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      That was easily the hottest weekend all summer. It’s always cooler down by the water, but even with a nice breeze rolling off the water, it was very uncomfortable to move around. Glad the days with high humidity are behind us. Well, until next summer that is!

Leave a Reply