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
See BBL's winter getaway outdoor
|There is a large tractor with an 8 ft. snow
blade for clearing the road from the lodge to the main highway.
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.
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
We had to use jugs of water, as it was too cold to start up the water
* All-weather water well was installed in summer of
2003, providing water year round.
|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.
|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.
|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
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.
|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
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.
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
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