Length of stay: 2 days
Visited: February 2021
Ontario has been under a strict lockdown with a stay-at-home order in effect since December 26, 2020. While some restrictions have begun to ease across different regions of the province, the stay-at-home order was extended in Toronto until March 8, 2021. While the rules around the stay-at-home order are a bit confusing and unclear, the goal is to encourage people to remain at home unless it’s absolutely necessary to go out. The pandemic fatigue has really caught up with us over the past couple of months. With the Family Day long weekend coming up, we decided to break the rules and spend some quality time up at the cabin for a change of scenery.
The game plan was to drive up Saturday morning. Except there was an extreme cold warning in effect up at the cabin with wind chill values near -35°C. The temperature was supposed to warm up later in the morning, but overnight it was forecasted to plummet to -22C°C. That’s a bit too cold and would require us (usually me) to get up regularly during the night to feed the fire. Instead we drove up Sunday morning as the temperature was more mild (-15°C feels like -20°C). Along the way we stopped at Emily Provincial Park and Mark S. Burnham Provincial Park to go for a hike and make some progress on our Ontario Parks Challenge.
Despite the cold, the sun was shining and there was next to no wind. It was the perfect day to go for a hike and spend time outdoors. By the time we arrived at the cabin, or rather the road leading into the cabin, it was just after 2:30p.m. There was well over a foot of snow, so we strapped on our snowshoes and forged a path into the cabin. We could tell more people have been visiting their cottages this winter as there were quite a few snowmobile tracks through the area, including on our property.
It felt like -10°C inside the cabin by the time we arrived. While K got a fire going, I made a few more trips back and forth to the car to bring in the rest of our supplies. After returning from my second trip, K joined me outside for a break. Here we are, standing outside the front of the cabin when a snowmobiler comes up from across the lake and just drives in front of us and along the path we just snowshoed along. Thanks. While the snowmobile helps to pack down the snow, it can make it challenging to snowshoe on as the path is now uneven.
I made one more trip back to the car, all the while grumbling about how our snowshoe path was ruined. On the way back, there were even more tracks from the snowmobiler. A bit bold considering this is private property and we’re clearly using our cabin.
We settled in, made a late lunch, and spent the remainder of the day reading by the wood stove and playing some board games. K made an attempt to chop some firewood. Except it doesn’t work so well when the wood is frozen. We’ll have to save this for another time in the summer.
After eating a late breakfast the next day, we cleaned up around the cabin and decided to head out a bit early. The weather forecast issued a special weather statement and we were supposed to get 15 to 25cm of snow this evening. So naturally we wanted to get back to Toronto well before the snow started. We initially planned to go for a hike on the drive back, but it looked miserable outside. It had started to snow and it was windy. We’ll have to save it for another day.
Even though our stay up at the cabin was shorter than expected, it was still nice to get away.