The Cabin – May 2021

Length of stay2 days
May 2021

Spring is in full force here in Ontario. It’s usually a fine line between when new growth starts to appear and the mosquitoes come out to play. We decided to risk it anyway and visit the cabin in mid-May as this very well might be our last visit for the next couple of months.

As such, we ditched work early and stopped at Peter’s Woods Provincial Nature Reserve to go for a hike since it was somewhat along the way to the cabin. By the time we arrived at the cabin it was just after 8p.m, but the sun was still shining. While we encountered next to no bugs on our hike through Peter’s Woods, there was no shortage of them here at the cabin. We made a late dinner and ate inside to avoid the bugs.

Even though it was quite warm outside (18°C), we started a fire in the wood stove. Turns out this really wasn’t necessary and I ended up having to crack a window open in the middle of the night as it was getting too stuffy.

Day 1: Just around the River Bend

Since we went to bed rather early, we woke up at the crack of down. The morning is always my favourite time of the day as the lake is usually calm and everything seems so peaceful. And since it was still chilly outside, the mosquitoes weren’t out …yet. After making some coffee, we decided to take advantage of the calm water and no bugs and go for a canoe ride.

We canoed around the bay, hugging the shoreline so we could get a good view of some of the nearby cottages. We made it up to the mouth of the river before turning around. The water was as smooth as glass, casting a nice reflection of the trees in the water.

After eating breakfast, we hopped in the car to embark on a day trip to visit two provincial parks, starting first at Lake St. Peter and then Egan Chutes. We returned shortly after 2p.m. I’m glad we woke up early and got our canoe ride and hikes in during the morning as it rained later in the afternoon. This gave us time to catch up on our reading.

Thankfully the clouds started to clear in the afternoon. We took advantage of the nice weather (it went up to a high of 20°C) and made a fire outside. Between the wind and smoke, the mosquitoes stayed away.

But then the wind died down so we were forced to retreat indoors. We weren’t complaining too much as it was now time to make dinner. We spent the remainder of the evening reading and playing cards. We also enjoyed a nice sunset from the window.

Day 2: More Fun in the Sun

We woke up to another beautiful day of blue skies and sun. It was a little chilly inside the cabin (10°C), but we weren’t complaining as the real advantage of this is that it helps keep the mosquitoes away until later in the morning when it starts to warm-up.

As with yesterday, we figured we’d use this opportunity to go for another canoe ride. After our morning coffee of course. This time we headed in the opposite direction and scoped out the cottages on the other side of the lake.

When we returned from our canoe ride, we made a late breakfast. We took our time to clean up after ourselves and pack up. We headed out shortly after 10a.m. We planned to squeeze in another hike at Menzel Centennial Provincial Nature Reserve on the drive back to Toronto. Even though the mosquitoes were noticeable, it was still nice to squeeze in one last visit to the cabin during the spring before it turns into a feeding frenzy.


68 thoughts on “The Cabin – May 2021

  1. Little Miss Traveller says:

    What an idyllic spot your cabin is located in and such beautiful,weather for canoeing and hiking. Glad you didn’t get bitten too much. I always take repellant away with me then frequently forget to take it out of the hotel with me !

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      It’s always nice to have a little slice of nature all to yourself. We had fabulous weather when we visited, but it came at the cost of being swarmed by mosquitoes when you stepped outside. I always have two things of insect repellent in the car just in case one dies. You can never be too prepared!

  2. Olympus Mountaineering says:

    How lovely this cabin and especially that chair by the stove and the window!

    I don’t know what kind of book you have been reading there, but I would certainly be immersed by reading and just looking out of the window.

    The canoe ride also seemed wonderful in such calm waters.

    Very happy you are able to enjoy such a place.

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      That chair by the window is my favourite spot inside the cabin. I’ve done much reading in it over the years, plus it’s just always nice to look out onto the lake. I love hitting the water early in the morning while the lake is still calm and no one else is out yet. It’s a wonderful way to start the day. We feel so fortunate that we have the cabin to escape to over the past year and a half during the pandemic. It’s tough living and working in the same place, so it’s nice to be able to get away for the weekend and just appreciate nature.

      • Olympus Mountaineering says:

        I fully understand how important was this cabin for you for this past one and a half year, and I am sure also for the coming period/months too.

        Therefore, enjoy it and I wish you all the best.

      • WanderingCanadians says:

        Definitely! We usually try to visit the cabin at least once a month, but take a bit of a break in the late spring and early summer when the bugs are bad. It’s too bad the cabin doesn’t have running water or electricity otherwise we would stay for much longer when we visit. Take care.

  3. kagould17 says:

    I’m with you. The morning is the best time to be down by or on the lake. Love the stillness and calmness of the water and floating over it in a kayak or canoe feels like flying. Why do the blasted skeeters have to wreck it all? If it was not for them, summer would be more pleasant. Glad you got to the cabin and had a good time. Thanks for sharing. Allan

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      For sure. Plus it’s usually a bit cooler first thing in the morning, which is always great during the summer months. Thankfully when we visited the mosquitoes seemed like they were just waking up and weren’t too aggressive yet. The worst is when they buzz around your ears. That sound (and fear that they’ll fly into my ears) drives me crazy. Thanks for reading. Have a wonderful weekend.

  4. Christie says:

    Such glorious mornings! I love the stillness and the peacefulness of these kind of clear mornings. But yes, the mosquitoes can be a nuisance, they can be so hungry sometimes LOL

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      There’s just something so peaceful about being by the water, especially first thing in the morning. I wish I was there right now with this heat! At least when we visited we didn’t have to deal with black flies, horse flies or deer flies.

  5. Lynette d'Arty-Cross says:

    Jaw-droppingly gorgeous photos! And the water is so clear. What a beautiful spot. But I understand about the mosquitoes. Ours have finally come out (they were delayed by the unusually cold spring) and they are huge. However, I made an accidental discovery: spraying yourself with Febreze air freshener keeps the little horrors away. Not sure why, but it works (my husband says that it’s full of nasty chemicals that no one should be breathing in and I tend to agree, but I don’t like breathing in bug spray, either 🙂 ).

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      I imagine for the mosquitoes to survive up north they’d have to be quite hardy and therefore more hungry. Thanks for the tip about Febreze! That stuff smells way better than insect repellent and probably doesn’t make your skin feel greasy like the Deep Woods stuff.

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      It’s always nice to get a change of scenery and spend time outdoors. The cabin is a slight step-up from camping, but is still quite rustic as there is no running water or electricity. Either way, it’s just us and nature. Well, us, nature and the mosquitoes.

  6. Rose says:

    Your calm, crystal-clear, morning lake photos are gorgeous. I’m a morning person and this sounds like a heavenly way to spend those early hours. And your phrase ‘Just Around the River Bend’ has the song from the ‘Pocahontas’ movie, playing in my ears. “Why do all my dreams extend, just around the river bend?”

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      I’ve always been a morning person. It’s nice to get an early start to the day to avoid the crowds. Plus I just feel so much more productive with my time. Pocahontas is one of my favourite Disney films. I can’t help but think of that song every time I go canoeing! I’m glad you noticed the reference.

  7. Lookoom says:

    A lovely moment and what a reflection on the water of the lake. What a pity to have to leave the ground to the mosquitoes for the nice part of the year.

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      For sure. We usually spend a lot of time hiking through the forest, so it was nice to explore our surroundings by canoe for a different perspective. When you’re out on the water away from the shore, you also don’t have to worry about the bugs too much!

  8. Ab says:

    That sounded like such a wonderful weekend! I do have to ask though, where the heck do you two find all that energy?! Hahaha. I’d be spending half the day napping after all that activity.

    Is that a new bench by your campfire? Haven’t noticed it before. It looks like a nice comfortable way to enjoy a warm fire!

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      What you don’t know is that we usually end up going to bed ridiculously early after a day of exploring – like at 9p.m, sometimes even earlier! So we definitely do get tired!! K usually naps sometime in the afternoon depending on how early we finish up.

      Oh that bench. It’s been at the cabin forever. We usually store it inside when the cabin isn’t in use. It can be annoying to have to drag it outside and then back inside with every visit. Plus you have to finagle it a certain way for it to fit through the door. It definitely is convenient though and is a good back-up in case we forget (or are too lazy to set-up) our camping chairs.

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      We’ve certainly gotten good use of the cabin since the start of the pandemic. It’s been great to explore more of the surrounding area and visit some of the nearby parks. Plus it’s just nice being by the water. I’m glad we managed to get one last visit in before the bugs completely take over!

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      Thanks for your kind words. We sure picked a great weekend to the visit the cabin as the weather was fantastic. It’s always nice being surrounded by nature and so close to the water. It’s all very peaceful and relaxing.

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      Why thank you. I feel so grateful that we have this little slice of nature all to ourselves. It’s been the perfect place to escape to during this pandemic and get away from the city and everyone else. If it weren’t for the mosquito apocalypse I would be up there every weekend in the summer. We’ll have to wait at least another month or two for the bug situation to become more under control.

  9. Janet says:

    Beautiful reflection photos. Love the view from the cabin. I’m curious, what are you reading? I am reading Huckleberry Fin for the first time. It was my book club’s pick. And, Snow Falling on Cedars, which is well written.

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      Thanks! That bay window at the front of the cabin is the perfect spot for reading a book or just looking out onto the lake. I’m currently reading book five of the Wheel of Time Series by Robert Jordan. Each book is quite hefty, which in some ways is great as I’ve had a lot more free time on my hands thanks to the pandemic. I’ll have to check out Snow Falling on Cedars as I’m always looking for new books to read.

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      Thanks! We usually go hiking so it was nice to take a break and work out the arms instead by going for a canoe ride. The views are totally different out on the water versus standing on the shoreline and looking out onto the lake.

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      Too bad we can’t live at the cabin full-time! That’s not a bad view to wake up to every day. Wishing we were there right now as I’m drinking my morning tea. Thanks for reading and commenting.

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      Thanks! The morning is my favourite time of the day to be out by the water as the lake is usually calm. If the sun is shining, it can create fantastic reflections of the trees onto the water. It’s sometimes hard to tell where the shoreline ends and the reflection begins.

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      For sure. The cabin is located on a nice quiet lake where there aren’t too many cottages. The lake is also quite shallow which means we don’t get too many boaters zooming by. This makes canoeing so much more enjoyable!

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      It’s always nice to leave the city (and crowds) behind and just enjoy nature. It’s very peaceful and I sleep so much better at night. Too bad there is no running water or electricity here otherwise I would live here for a few months of the year.

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      Thanks! I much prefer to go canoeing when the lake is calm as it just feels like you’re flying. The reflections in the water were a real treat and a great reward for starting our day early.

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      We’ve certainly gotten much use of the cabin during the pandemic. While it is quite rustic, it’s still more comfortable than camping. It’s always great to unplug from the real world and just enjoy the present.

  10. carolinehelbig says:

    That smooth-as-glass lake is amazing—what a peaceful scene. While we get mosquitoes out west, they are nowhere near as bad as what I remember in Quebec and Ontario.

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      We had such wonderful weather during our visit to the cabin. I love it when the lake is calm as it makes it easier to paddle across, plus you get the nice reflection of the trees in the water. The forest around the cabin is quite dense which turns this place into a mosquito apocalypse during the late spring. Nothing is more annoying than that persistent buzzing sound when they circle around your ears.

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      Thanks for your kind words. The cabin has been the perfect place to escape to during the pandemic for a few days to just get a change of scenery and focus on the simple things in life. The weather was finally warm enough in May for us to use the canoe and explore around the lake. Thanks for reading and commenting.

      • thetinypotager says:

        We are looking forward to getting back up to the Scottish Highlands and the lochs there and until then I’m vicariously living the wilderness life through your lovely blogs 🙂

      • WanderingCanadians says:

        Thanks for your kind words. It’s always nice to leave the city and spend time outdoors. Hopefully you’re able to make it to the Highlands. I’ve been watching Outlander and have fallen in love with the Scottish landscape (and accents).

  11. wetanddustyroads says:

    Such a lovely cabin! And you’ve found the perfect entertainment – rowing on that beautiful lake! If there is one thing we South Africans love to do, it’s to make a fire outside … so, my favourite photo is definitely of your fire!

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      I feel so fortunate that we’ve been able to spend so much time up at the cabin during the pandemic. Since we’ve been working from home for well over a year now, it’s been nice being able to get a change of scenery and escape from the real world every so often. I find there’s always something so peaceful and relaxing about being by the water. It’s always great to sit around the campfire. It makes my clothes smell smoky, which is one of my favourite scents.

      • wetanddustyroads says:

        Haha, I had to laugh at your favourite scent 😁 … after our camping trips we always say it take days for the smoke to get out of our hair (even though we’ve washed it several times!) And totally agree with you about the peace one find at water – our home town is next to a beautiful lake and we love our walks here on the beach.

      • WanderingCanadians says:

        You say that like it’s a bad thing, hahaha!! How lucky to live so close to a lake and that you’re able to take walks along the beach. We contemplated moving closer to the water, but the housing market, especially for waterfront properties, is just crazy! Seems like everyone has the same thoughts as us.

      • wetanddustyroads says:

        Smelling like a camp fire is never a bad thing … well, maybe for those who don’t like camping 😄.
        The same here with regards to seafront properties – fortunately our town is small and although we don’t live right next to the lagoon, we can walk to the beach. But the property prizes on the beach is, like you’ve said, absolutely crazy!

      • WanderingCanadians says:

        I sometimes wonder how people can afford some of those waterfront properties! It’s great that you still have access to the beach. We’re lucky that our government has created a few provincial parks along some of the nicer beaches in Ontario for all to enjoy.

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      I feel so fortunate that we have the cabin to escape to during this pandemic. It’s always nice to get a change of scenery and spend time in the great outdoors. There’s no running water or electricity here, but we have a roof over our heads and it’s located right on the water. Life doesn’t get much better than this. Take care.

  12. btrb says:

    I enjoyed your cabin post. It looks like a great place to reconnect with Mother Nature. I can identify with the mosquito problems, for sure!

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      Thanks for your kind words and for commenting. Our cabin has been a lifesaver throughout the pandemic and a great way to escape the city and spend time in nature. We usually don’t visit in the late spring or early summer as the forest turns into a bug festival.

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