Sunset at waterfront cottage rental on Manitoulin Island, Northern Ontario Canada


Providence Bay,
Manitoulin Island
Ontario, Canada

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Winter Vacations at BBay

Christmas Cottage Adventures

This is a short summary of a recent trip Glenn & Judy made to the cottage in the coldest year in recent history (March, 2003).

The cottage is available for your winter getaway for snowmobiling, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, ice fishing, or just getting away with family and friends.

See BBL's winter getaway outdoor adventure packages.

There is a large tractor with an 8 ft. snow blade for clearing the road from the lodge to the main highway.

If desired, BBay staff can arrange the local snowplow contractor to clear the road just before you arrive.

Alternatively, you can use your snowmobile, sleds, cross-country skis with your supplies loaded on a toboggan.

There is a very active snowmobile trail system on Manitoulin Island that is groomed and open all winter long.

The snow drifts by the generator shed were higher than the car.  Judy & I went snow shoeing for about 2 km down our trails, past the orchard, and along the waterfront.  As we were coming along the waterfront, a winter storm was coming in.  There was nothing to block the wind traveling at 35 km/hr. off the lake.  We could barely see where we were going, and were very cold (as compared to taking off 2 layers while in the woods).

Judy liked the snow shoeing much better than cross-country skiing; feeling much more stable & in control.
Drifts by the Generator Shed

The road plowing worked great.  We were able to get in & out with no problems with 2 wheel drive & All season radial tires on our van.

BBay Waterfront, looking South over Lake Huron, Mar. 13, 2003.  It has been a very cold winter.  All the Great Lakes are completely frozen over.   The drifts at the waterfront  between the trees were over 5 ft. tall.

We had a few nights as low at -25 C.  Fortunately, our big wood stove was able to keep the cottage about 45 C warmer than the exterior (-25+45=+20).  

We had to use jugs of water, as it was too cold to start up the water system*

*   All-weather water well was installed in summer of 2003, providing water year round.

Winter Waterfront
Using my big telescope, I could see frozen bands on Lake Huron parallel to the shore of clear flat ice (suitable for ice skating, about 200 meters wide), followed by a band of pressure ridge pack ice, alternating one after the other  till the horizon.
Skating Ice
The weather vane at the outdoor shower is silhouetted against the frozen Lake Huron.  I took an outdoor shower in 2002, but it was way too cold to even think about it this year.
Weather vane
Feb. 2004   Snow shoed in to cottage to check its status during long hard winter.  Road was plowed by neighbour for the first part.  Second half of road had full winter snow load.

I cut through the woods, sinking into the soft powder by about 2 ft. with every step.

When I reached the beach, the snow was full packed in the bay area.


Snow shoeing at the Cottage for Christmas
I was immediately struck with one of the most beautiful sunsets, looking SouthWest at the beach.

After resting at cottage for 30 minutes, I set out for town before the blizzard hit.  Four hours later, I arrived in town in the middle of blizzard, totally exhausted.

I had made the mistake of taking the shortcut home along the beach.  I was totally exposed to the full force of the wind and snow coming off the lake.  The snow alternated between hard pack and fluffy fill-in between the hard packed drifts.  I repeatedly fell off each hard packed drift as I snow shoed along, landing in the soft drift, face first.

Christmas cottage waterfront sunset

After picking myself up hundreds of times, I arrived in town 4 hours later in the middle of a blizzard.  I was finally safe, but exhausted.

This is the apple orchard with 15 different varieties of apples.  The fence is 8 ft. high so as to keep the trees safe from the deer (deer love sweet apple tree bark).

As of May 24th each year, we plant beans, peas, potatoes, garlic, and onions in our country garden.

The orchard is watered throughout the summer by the water tower (at the far left of the picture).  Drip irrigation automatically supplies 5 gallons of water each week to each apple tree, as well as the garden.

The water tower stores 10,000 lbs. of filtered water.  The deck is 12 ft. x 24 ft. so as to create another wildlife observation tower.

Eventually, we hope to construct a "gardener's cottage on the 2nd floor, and a potting shed on the ground floor (a 4 purpose building; I love it!).


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Latest Update: April 26, 2013 11:24:24 -0400