The Cabin – February 2023

Length of stay: 2 days
Visited: February 2023

We planned to visit the cabin at the beginning of January to celebrate the New Year, but due to a series of mishaps, including a fierce winter storm over the holidays and us forgetting our snowshoes, we had to make alternative plans. And so with a free weekend in February, we decided a return trip to the cabin was in order. For real this time.

Day 1: An Old Logging Road

During the winter we typically aim to arrive at the cabin in the morning so we have the full day to get a fire going and heat the place up. Since the weather here in southern Ontario has been unusually warm, we decided to make an exception and drive down in the evening. We arrived at the start of the road leading into the cabin shortly after 7:30p.m. While most of our snow back home has melted, there were a few inches of crusty snow further up north. Since the road leading into the cabin isn’t maintained in the winter, we found a spot to park our car and hiked in with all our stuff. It took us two trips back and forth to haul all our food, water and other supplies in.

The thermostat indicated that it was -6°C inside the cabin when we arrived, which was a few degrees colder than what it was outside. First things first, we got a fire going inside the wood stove. It was then time to have dinner, which consisted of us making mini pizzas in the frying pan. We spent the remainder of the evening by the fire, trying to get the place toasty warm before going to bed, which didn’t quite work out as we had hoped. Instead I had to wake up a few times in the middle of the night to keep the fire going.

The next morning, after making a cup of tea and eating a hot breakfast, we strapped on our snowshoes to go for an adventure. We walked towards the main road and turned off on an old logging road. There were snowmobile tracks along the road and we followed them deeper through the forest.

We saw some interesting things along the way, including old buildings, fallen trees, and animal tracks. It was all about the journey, largely because we didn’t know where the road actually led to. As it got warmer, the snow became slushier. We turned around after about an hour and walked back towards the cabin to eat lunch.

For the rest of the afternoon we stayed indoors and played Pandemic Legacy Season 2, which seemed fitting since the premise of the game is all about working together to deal with the world post-pandemic and bringing humanity back from the brink of extinction.

We ventured outside again later in the day to make a trip to the car to drop off our snowshoes. They were no longer needed in the wet snow. The sun was just starting to set as we got back. So we made dinner and played some more Pandemic Legacy.

Day 2: Footprints in the Snow

The temperature hovered around freezing overnight, which meant we didn’t have to wake up as often throughout the night to feed the fire. We woke up to another beautiful balmy day. The sun was shining and the snow was even slushier. We got a late start to the day as we played another round of Pandemic Legacy before packing up. I made a couple trips to the car to get some fresh air and exercise. Along the path there were several animal tracks through the snow, including from these big animals.

K’s dad came up later in the morning. We made a late breakfast and lounged around. After eating lunch, we moved some wood from the outhouse inside the cabin to restock the wood supply, cleaned up and headed out. The hike back to the car was a bit of a slushy mess with the warm weather and melting snow. It’s been a very unusual winter.


102 thoughts on “The Cabin – February 2023

  1. Diana says:

    Oooh the big ones look like cat tracks! Not sure about the others (I’m not at expert at all, but I’m starting to be able to recognize feline vs. canine tracks at least)

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      That’s what I thought too! I know there are cougars in the area. I’m not the greatest at identifying animal tracks though. It was a bit creepy to see all the animal footprints in the snow when we were walking into the cabin in the dark on our first night. Especially since they looked fresh.

  2. kagould17 says:

    Always good to get a rustic break at the cabin. While the weather was beautiful, it can certainly wreak havoc with your footing for both snowshoeing and hiking. Love the animal tracks in the shadow and light shots. These are our favourites on our walks. We wonder where they are all going. Have a great day Linda. Allan

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      You bet. It’s always nice to get a change of scenery. Thankfully it wasn’t too cold otherwise the first few hours at the cabin can be pretty miserable as we get the fire going and try to heat things up. We haven’t seen too much wildlife at the cabin, but the nice thing about the snow is that we could tell they’re here from all the footprints. And they looked pretty active! Have a wonderful Easter. We’re actually heading back up to the cabin tomorrow. Take care. Linda

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      Thanks for reading and leaving a comment. The cabin feels like our second home in many ways. I’m glad we found some free time in the winter to visit and enjoy the snowy scenery.

  3. wetanddustyroads says:

    Another enjoyable weekend away in your cabin! That last photo of your first day – is that the lake that’s frozen? Love the footprints in the snow – are they those of deer (hopefully not bears)?

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      The cabin is beautiful in the winter with all that snow and I love how peaceful and quiet it is. You’re right, that one picture is of the frozen lake. Our side of the shoreline is quite shallow, so it freezes over pretty quickly, but across from us we could see some water, which was pretty neat. We don’t see much wildlife, besides birds, at the cabin, but clearly they are out there from all those footprints in the snow. The only tracks I recognized were from rabbits. I think the bigger ones could have been a cougar or bobcat.

  4. Thattamma C.G Menon says:

    So wonderful places full of snow falling beauty of earth 🌏 and the explanations so interesting 🤔
    The foot pictures so scary , thinking bear 🐻 went that way ,and always careful 👏👍🏻
    The nature❄️ breath taking 😯 grace wishes dear friend ,thank you for sharing 🌹🙏♥️🌹

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      Thanks for reading and leaving a comment. The forest looked like a winter wonderland with all that snow. It was neat to see so many different animal tracks in the snow. Thankfully we didn’t actually see any of the animals though!

  5. ourcrossings says:

    A cabin break can refresh the soul. Simplicity is key to a cabin stay and while few of us go the full Thoreau, retreating to a spartan, isolated setting is more appealing than ever. I am glad to see you had a wonderful time in the woods. Thanks for sharing and have a good day 🙂 Aiva xx

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      For sure. It’s funny how you don’t even realize that you need a break sometimes until you take one. It was nice to get away for the weekend and leave our cell phones behind. It definitely helps you appreciate the simple things in life, like staying warm! Thanks for reading. Have a wonderful Easter long weekend. Linda

  6. Bernie says:

    Pandemic legacy hey –sounds like an interesting game. Seems like the weather was spot on for a weekend away. Gosh darn I wish it was -6 here instead of -19 this am. I am never fond of slushy snow walks but it is what leads to spring. Glad you had a weekend away. Bernie

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      It’s funny because the Pandemic board game was popular even before the COVID-19 pandemic, but now it has a whole other meaning that we can all personally relate to. The legacy version is neat because the board changes based on whether you win or lose a match, which keeps things interesting.

      I enjoy visiting the cabin in the winter when everything is so peaceful and quiet (and there are no pesky bugs around). But it can be tough to deal with the cold, especially since the cabin is heated by a wood stove. Walking in slushy snow is such a slog. You also learn real fast whether your winter boots are any good. We’re actually planning to head back to the cabin today for a few days. Enjoy your Easter weekend. Linda

  7. Flowerpoet says:

    Oh, I am so delighted with the photos and journaling in this post! My former husband and his Dad built a rustic cabin like this in Northeastern Ontario wilderness near an uninhabited little lake we called Lost Lake. We heard wolves at night, saw moose tracks in the snow, ate what food we could backpack in for several km. walks, and once watched a large owl follow us back to our car. You have evoked such wonderful memories and inspired me to dig up an old poem and pics to post. Thank you so much! 🤩😁

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      Thanks for your lovely comment. It’s pretty cool to hear how your former husband and dad built their own cabin in the wilderness and that you had to walk in too. When you have to carry all your food and supplies in, you learn real fast what you actually need vs want! There’s something nice to be said about being able to disconnect and live off the land, even if it’s only for a couple of days. We have seen a bit of wildlife near our cabin, but mostly just smaller animals like a fox, beaver and porcupine. Glad to hear this brought back fond memories. Have a wonderful weekend. Linda

  8. Little Miss Traveller says:

    Those animal tracks are intriguing. Once you had got the cabin warmed up it must have been nice and cosy but a bit of a shame you needed to stoke the fire occasionally during the night. The sun and snow combination looks gorgeous but slushy conditions are very messy. Happy Easter!

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      It can take a few hours to get the cabin all warmed up when we visit in the winter. The colder it is, the longer it takes. It sure makes you appreciate heating! But it’s all part of the experience. We’re actually heading up to the cabin today for an extra long weekend. Happy Easter to you as well. Linda

  9. Mike and Kellye Hefner says:

    Your cabin is the exact image of what I imagine when I think of a cabin in the woods! What a great place to relax for a weekend and do exactly what you want to do. I’m glad you had cooperative weather.

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      It’s definitely a lot more work to visit the cabin in the winter when you have to trudge through all that snow. And then you have to spend a few hours feeding the fire to get the place warm. But it’s one of my favourite times of the year to visit. And yes, it certainly looks like the woodpecker found something he liked in that tree!

  10. Lookoom says:

    You were lucky to have this beautiful sun during the day, it makes the winter more bearable. A little rusticity should put the comfort of the city into perspective.

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      Oh I know. We had a very drab and dreary winter, so it was nice to take advantage of the sunny weather and spend time outdoors. It made walking in the snow a bit more challenging as it became slushy later in the day, but we just put our boots by the fire to help them dry. Spending time at the cabin always makes us appreciate the small things in life.

  11. Lynette d'Arty-Cross says:

    You did a beautiful job of photographing the footprints. A nice light composition. Your weather was great too although slushy isn’t the best for hiking and definitely not for snowshoeing. Is the stone cabin yours?

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      Thanks for your lovely comment. It takes a lot of trial and error to figure out the best angle to capture the sun and shadows sometimes! Even though we didn’t see much wildlife when we were at the cabin, all those footprints were a good reminder that they’re out there. Neither of the cabin structures are ours. The stone building was actually used to store explosives when this area was once used for mining over a hundred years ago. There are a few other ruins from the mining buildings nearby as well.

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      It was nice to get away for the weekend and spend time in nature. I’m really into board games and we typically bring a few with us whenever we visit the cabin. Pandemic Legacy is a lot of fun and it’s neat how each game is different and how the board is set-up depends on whether you won or lost the previous game.

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      Oh I know. The sun can have such a huge impact on our moods, especially in the winter. It was nice to take advantage of all that sunshine and spend time outdoors. It was exactly what we needed.

  12. Ab says:

    It looked like a lovely weekend out at the cabin, Linda – and nice that you got to spend it with family too. While it was just a month ago, it feels like a while ago with all that snow. So nice that we’re getting away from that weather.

    Pandemic is one of my favourite board games and I love playing it with friends. We’ve never beaten it and haven’t played it since the actual pandemic happened. 😆 I haven’t played the Legacy expansion. It looks like there are unique elements like the stockpile. Will have to give it a try.

    I also love Settlers of Cattan. Have you two played that one?

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      We couldn’t have asked for better weather for visiting the cabin in February. It was nice to take advantage of all that sunshine and spend time outdoors, even if the snow became slushy later in the day. Our boots got a bit wet, but we just put them beside the wood stove afterwards to dry them off.

      Pandemic is one of my favourites as well. I really enjoy the cooperative types of board games where we’re all on the same team working together towards a shared outcome. The Legacy versions are a lot of fun as how the board is set up each game depends on the outcome of the previous match. The board also expands and there are new objectives, which help keep things interesting. You’ll definitely have to give it a try!

      We’ve actually never played Settlers of Catan before. But everyone I’ve heard that’s played it speaks highly of it. We should give it a whirl sometime and pick it up. Thanks for the suggestion!

      • Ab says:

        I will have to check out the Legacy edition – thanks for the overview. And yes, you’ll need to try Cattan. It is excellent!

        Enjoy the sunny 20s weather this short week ahead!

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      It’s always nice to escape from the world around us and spend time at our cabin to enjoy nature and the simple things in life. It’s kind of nice not having access to the internet every once in awhile. It’s a lot more work to visit in the winter, but it’s always so peaceful and pretty with all that snow. Plus there are no bugs around.

  13. Rose says:

    It’s always fun to read about your cabin visits – to see weather changes and any new things you discover. We also have a Pandemic game which weirdly enough we got at a garage sale just before the actual pandemic. We’ve only played a few times, it’s an interesting game.

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      Thanks for your lovely comment. It’s always nice to visit the cabin. It’s a lot more work to visit in the winter as we have to forge a path through the snow and wake up throughout the night to keep the fire going. But it’s always worth it. I just love how peaceful the forest is in the winter. Pandemic is one of my favourite board games. I used to play it a lot before the COVID-19 pandemic. It now has a whole other meaning whenever we play it now! I’m such a fan of the cooperative style of board games where we play on the same team towards a shared objective.

  14. travelling_han says:

    Beautiful! And Pandemic is our favourite game – we’ve done all the legacy seasons and every other Christmas we play them all again. I find the legacy editions much better than the base game 🙂

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      Pandemic is one of our favourites as well. I’m with you on the Legacy editions. It’s a great way to keep the game fresh and exciting. Plus who doesn’t enjoy opening all those sealed packets and boxes!?

  15. leightontravels says:

    Sounds like another relaxing and restorative weekend at the cabin, minus all the fire trouble on the first night. Could you tell which animals left the footprints? We are not into board games, but tried playing cards over the winter, and abandoned it after a few nights. I blame The World Cup. But I am quite intrigued by this Pandemic Legacy, would be curious to give it a try.

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      It’s typically more work to visit the cabin in the winter as we have to forge our own path through the snow (and the area around the cabin tends to get a lot of snow) and keep the fire going overnight. But it’s one of my favourite times of the year to visit and it gives us a good excuse to play some board games. I’m a huge board game-er. I actually used to organize a board game club at work prior to the pandemic. It can be a bit of a grind to learn all the rules, but it’s a great way to keep the mind engaged. The Legacy version of Pandemic is a lot of fun as how you set up the game depends on the outcome of the previous game you played. There are also sealed boxes and packets that you get to open depending on the stage you’re at or whether you won or lost a match.

  16. usfman says:

    You Canadians do have a way of beating the endless throes of winter in some creative ways. Your Pandemic Game idea looks like fun.

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      You bet, otherwise winter can feel even longer! It can be a lot of work to visit the cabin the winter with the cold and all that snow, but I find the forest so peaceful and quiet. And there are no pesky mosquitoes around. The downside is that the days are shorter though, but that just means we have more time to play boardgames. Pandemic Legacy is one of my favourites.

  17. TCKlaire says:

    What kind of footprints did you find? I know it’s fun to find them, but it can sometimes feel eerie too. Old logging areas are interesting places to visit. They have a surprising amount of history

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      Despite spending a lot of time outdoors, I’m pretty terrible at identifying animal tracks. The only footprints I recognized with certainty were from a rabbit. It’s funny because we don’t see a lot of wildlife at the cabin, but clearly they’re around! It was actually a bit scary because we were walking in at night and all I kept seeing were all these footprints. I have such mixed feelings about logging. But agreed, it is interesting to hear about its history. This area also has a history of mining too, which is pretty fascinating. Some of the furniture from the cabin actually came from the old mining buildings when they were shut down in the early 1900s.

      • TCKlaire says:

        I have mixed feelings and some moral issues with logging and mining as well. But I can still like the history part. I understand what you mean about footprints. I remember my first sighting of bobcat footprints

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      For sure. I don’t realize how addicted I am to my phone sometimes until we go away to the cabin and don’t have reception. And it turns out that I don’t really miss having it and find other ways to spend my time, like playing board games.

  18. Bama says:

    I can imagine the snowmobile tracks made it easier for you to go through the forest. Pandemic Legacy seems like a very interesting board game! I had never heard of it before but now I want to play it. Your last statement about the very unusual winter unfortunately sounds like becoming more and more common these days.

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      It definitely helped to follow along the snowmobile tracks as the snow was compact so we didn’t have to forge our own path through the snow. Pandemic is one of my favourite board games. I enjoy the cooperative style of it where we’re all on the same team working towards the same objective. The Legacy version is neat as how we set up the board depends on whether we lost or won the previous game. There are also various packets to open depending on what stage you’re at in the game too, which helps keep things interesting. And yes, it seems like these weird weather events are becoming more normal. It’s not good.

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      Thanks! It can be a lot more work to visit the cabin in the winter, but I just love how quiet the forest is with all the snow. Plus there are no bugs around. And once we get a fire going in the wood stove, it can get quite comfortable and cozy inside.

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      I feel so fortunate that we have the cabin to escape to and spend time in nature. It’s kind of nice not having reception there and being able to fully unplug from everything. It certainly makes us appreciate the simple things in life, like having heating.

      • brandib1977 says:

        That sounds amazing. I haven’t been able to unplug for more than a few hours a time since coming to this job ten years ago. A weekend in the woods with no service sounds fabulous even if you do have to keep feeding the fire!

        You are quite fortunate indeed!

      • WanderingCanadians says:

        Sorry to hear that you’re not able to fully unplug from work. That’s one of the reasons why we love visiting the cabin is that we’re forced to disconnect and decompress. Plus it’s just so peaceful being by the water. Having to wake up every few hours in the winter to feed the fire does get a bit annoying. But at least the winter is now over!

      • brandib1977 says:

        It sounds like paradise!

        I’m the social media manager for my company so my phone buzzes all the time. It’s kind of a big deal when I take a trip and get away from it. But not too far! Otherwise my folks think I’m dead in a ditch! Lol.

      • WanderingCanadians says:

        With a job like that, I totally get why you’d have to always be available and be connected to your work and team. That can be tough though, but it sounds like you find other ways to get some rest and relaxation that doesn’t always involve taking a vacation.

      • brandib1977 says:

        I do try and my boss is good to pick up the slack when I take PTO. Problem is that I’m still aware that things are happening even if I’m not responsible at the time. Oh well! At least I am employed!!

      • WanderingCanadians says:

        That is true. I get that it’s hard to let go sometimes, especially when you’re very involved (and attached!) to a project. We all have things that we need to work towards. I know I need to do a better job of balancing my work-life balance sometimes.

      • brandib1977 says:

        My work either consumes my every thought or I keep it completely contained from my real life. There doesn’t seem to be anything in between!

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      It’s funny because we don’t encounter much wildlife when we visit the cabin, but clearly they are out there! It’s too bad I’m terrible at identifying animal tracks. But maybe I’ll pick up a book about it from the library as it would be neat to know what’s roaming through the forest here (or maybe it’s better not to know!)

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      We had a very unusual winter here in southern Ontario with periods of warmer weather, but more frequent and severe snowstorms. The area around the cabin typically gets a lot of snow. Even though the melting snow was a bit challenging to walk through, it was nice to enjoy some fresh air and sunshine. The Pandemic board game was actually quite popular even before the COVID-19 pandemic. It’s one of my favourites. It’s a cooperative style game where we’re all on the same team working towards the same objective, which is to save the world from a pandemic.

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      Thanks for your kind words and for commenting. The cabin is very cozy, especially in the winter when we have a fire going in the wood stove. I love that it’s located in the middle of nowhere. It’s a great spot to just enjoy nature.

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