Geordie and I help a lot of customers find a cabin get-away. These clients are seeking a place to be in nature, to get away from their cell phones and computers, and to spend more time with their family. I come from a cabin culture. When I was growing up, our family had a cabin on a lake in western Ontario. This area created many fond memories and helped shape my love of the outdoors. Here are some of those memories.
The sun shines its last rays across the water as it slips down below the opposite tree lined shore. The sky holds the orange color in a softly fading glow. The water turns from yellow to orange and finally to an inky black. The haunting call of a loon echoes across the lake. The crickets start their nightly symphony and the mosquitoes begin their evening feast. A typical night at Echo Bay on Lake of the Woods, Ontario.
Lake of the Woods, Ontario
My family owned a small cabin on this shore. My dad bought a forested lot with his cousin, Rick, when he was 20 years old in 1967. The waterfront lot was .89 of an acre with a steep drop off to the lake. After clearing a spot, the young men bought the lumber in Winnipeg, and hauled it out to the lake on a Thursday night. On Friday they started transporting the lumber in their 15' tin boat across three bays to the lot since there was no road. A fellow at the landing took pity on them and lent them his barge allowing the rest of the lumber to be carried over in one load. The following week the two men with the help of Rick's dad, framed, sided, and roofed the 20'x24' structure. The cabin was born.
Initially, the cabin was a rough structure with one big room. My dad cooked and heated the cabin on a coal & wood stove. Later propane was brought out and a stove, fridge, and lights were added. Over the years the interior configuration of the cabin changed, ending up with two bedrooms and an L-shaped living room/dining room/kitchen.
My first trip to the cabin was Aug 1978 when I was 2 months old. From then on, I made the 2 ½ hour journey from Winnipeg every weekend from May long weekend till Sept. long weekend.
Our cabin at the lake
My dad’s best friends had cabins on either side of ours, and their kids were roughly the same age as me. This provided fellow participants in all our adventures and schemes. Namely made up water games or catching frogs to put in the moat around our sand castles.
The lake was a place of firsts.
First time blueberry picking. The blueberries never seemed to get above a certain level in my ALL detergent bucket, but my belly was always full and my lips purple.
First time water skiing. After a few turns around the bay, I felt confident enough to try dropping a ski which I tried repeatedly for an hour. The only thing I succeeded in was falling repeatedly and giving myself such a stiff neck the next day I couldn’t move it.
First time watching the northern lights dance across the night sky. I can still picture the faint glow of the dying sun and the green whisps of light gently pulsating overhead.
The first time paddling a canoe with my dad.
The lake was a magic place that occupies a special corner in my mind. A brief thought recalls the wind in my face as we speed in the boat towards the cabin or the smell of the morning forest.
My memories are all of family time spent together. No television, no phone, and in the beginning no electricity. Just us hanging out on the dock, taking boat rides, playing games and having campfires.