Saturday, March 21, 2020

North of 60 : Further adventures at Blachford Lake Lodge

Phew! After the previous night's aurora show, we were all a bit spent. It would have been very easy to just chill out in the lodge, but we decided to get up, have yet another delicious breakfast...

Check the daily events... (somehow it was always Monday at Blachford...)

Head out for a hot tub --

Then Wil "freeze-dried" his swimming shorts. Full disclosure: it worked.

Then we joined some friends and ... WENT SNOWMOBILING!!!

I was so nervous -- would I crash? Would I tip over? Would I steer into a tree? In case you're someone who worries, you should know that it was all fine. If sometimes a bit scary.

We got on, had a quick introduction to the controls, and then took a few slow circles around the lake to get used to holding on. 

Obviously, we looked cool from the beginning. 

So badass.

We went on a loop across a few lakes, and through some portages. I kept worrying about keeping the snowmobile going straight and trying to keep it from pulling into a rut...  so I had an ABSOLUTE DEATH GRIP on the handlebars for the entire time, and by that evening my forearms were super sore. And by the next morning I couldn't grip with my right hand. But on the day ... LOOK HOW FUN!!!

Back into the lodge, faces sorta frozen... so we warmed up with pizza! Every single meal at Blachford was a joy. Nothing fancy, but hearty and delicious and different every day.

In the afternoon we napped a bit, I worked on my embroidery, and we just relaxed in the lodge. We considered joining a painting class, but didn't know A) how we'd get the paintings home and B) what we would do with the paintings at all.

Then -- hooray! Dinner. Another delicious dinner.

How would we tell which lasagna was which? The vegetarian inukshuk, of course!

After dinner we went to the wood-fired sauna, which we had looked forward to all day. Sub zero outside, OMG SO HOT RIGHT NOW inside ... And, yes, that's a crazy hot wood stove.

Every so often we would step outside -- SO COLD -- then hustle back in to warm up. Ahhhh.

Eventually we headed back to the lodge for our last night. It was cloudy, so we didn't hold out much hope for an aurora show.

But we put out our little signs, told that staff that we would definitely love to be woken up, and went to bed. 

Apparently the aurora did too, so we slept straight through and woke up to this lovely sky, here seen from the tiny upstairs deck:

Eventually we went down to the main room and finally took some pictures. Here's the main dining / lodge area. Heated floors keep it warm, woodstoves at either end keep it cozy. This is where we ate, did our classes, and hung out.

Couches at the other side of the main room.

A view from the couches, with both woodstoves in view, along with the bar.

The stairs up to the five lodge rooms:

A glimpse of the upstairs lounge; another comfy couch, lots of sunshine, and the cross country ski shoes, ice skates, and snowmobile helmets. There's a larger balcony off this room, too.

And the view outside from our favorite table. 

And another AWESOME breakfast...

Our awesome cooks -- we love you!

 And, again, it's always Monday at Blachford Lake Lodge. 

We packed up our things and then decided to keep ourselves busy. So we went for a little walk -- note my sweet new Blachford Lake Lodge toque!

And just admired how gorgeous it all was.

We went out to a spot with some snow-covered benches that was a perfect spot to watch the plane come in. It was a nice way to end our visit.

We hustled down to the lake, said goodbye to sweet Liam, who taught me that you could whistle at the aurora to make it dance.

We saw the new arrivals all stepping off the plane and looking a little amazed and stunned. I mean, it IS amazing!

We said goodbye to Chris and the staff, and then piled on the Twin Otter for our flight back to reality.

I cannot tell you how much I LOVE this photo of our fellow travellers!!!

Then flying flying flying...

Ice Road Truckers fan? Well, there it is, the Dettah Ice Road.

Houseboats frozen in the lake, like the Endurance. Okay, not at all like the Endurance...

and then down. And all too soon it was over. We were told we could keep our gear for the rest of our stay if we wanted (so nice!) and then we hugged our goodbyes and left.

If you ever, EVER get a chance to stay at Blachford Lake Lodge, take it. It was the perfect place for us -- a nice balance of being able to join in things, and being able to be on our own. Great staff, great location, great lodge, and overall great experience. And happy birthday to Wil!

Up next : Yellowknife!

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