We would love to own a cottage. Much as we still love cities, over the past couple of years, Junkii and I have both really started to develop a real appreciation for nature – through hiking, snowshoeing – and it turns out that cottages are kind of ideal for getting away from the urban sprawl. Unfortunately, it’s not a luxury we can afford right now. But we’re lucky enough to have generous friends.
This weekend, we had our first taste of winter cottaging – something that, a few years ago, I probably wouldn’t have thanked you for. Cold and snow in the middle of nowhere?! No thanks!
But with Junkii’s help, I’ve come around a bit on the winter front. It will never be my favorite season, but I can at least find ways to pass the cold months without the hate and dread I used to feel. I guess I’m finally learning to accept the things I cannot change – and as a result, we were both super excited to try winter cottaging.
We had a blast. Monday was a holiday in Ontario – Family Day – so we didn’t get back until last night. But the weekend started on Friday. After work we sat patiently in the rush hour traffic until we got to Renfrew, where we met up with our friends for dinner. After a quick bite we traveled in convoy to the cottage (about 5 hours from Ottawa), arriving at 11:30 for our first adventure! We all strapped on our snowshoes, piled on our backpacks, and with headlamps on our foreheads, we lugged all our food and wine to the cold cottage – about a 5-minute walk through the forest from where we parked!
That was the worst part of the trip, really – we all wound up with tired arms (from carrying heavy bins of food) and cold feet (for those of us who neglected to bring slippers). But we cranked the heat, started a fire, and weren’t too long getting to bed. Once we got the covers warmed up, we were fine, and woke to a warm house overlooking a beautiful frozen lake and two deer making their way across.
The rest of the weekend we alternated between outdoor activities – like snowshoeing (we even crossed the lake on foot) and tobogganing (something I haven’t done since I was a kid, and Junkii hadn’t ever done before!) – and indoor activities like reading, playing board games, eating, and drinking. On a cold day, there’s nothing quite like a cozy couch and a good book in front of a warm fire with a glass of scotch (or wine, or beer, or cider…).
It’s too bad the cottage is so far away from Ottawa. The owners don’t use it in the winter, and if it weren’t 5 hours away, we’d be happy to keep it occupied on weekends throughout the winter months!
Junkii got to exercise his creative side too, playing with his camera in the snow. Not only did he take some good people shots, he also got a few frameables along the way. Check’em out below.