Thursday, March 19, 2020

North of 60 : A perfect day at Blachford Lake Lodge

**I've just read that, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Blachford Lake Lodge is closing early for the winter season and reopening for summer in June. I wish all of them all the best!**

Woke up on day 2 at Blachford Lake Lodge to a glorious, clear morning. We went downstairs and had breakfast -- so good.

In all seriousness, the bread was amazing. #carboload

Then we decided to bundle up, go outside, and make some serious SNOW MAGIC. What's snow magic you ask? Well, it's this:

You take boiling water, put it in an open cup, and then throw it into the air on a very very cold morning. It instantly turns to snow and falls to the ground. And in the sunlight it's perfectly GORGEOUS.

After our snow magic high we almost -- almost -- just went back inside. But I said, "We're already bundled up -- let's go for a hike!" so we headed out. And again, it was perfect.

We headed out to the trailhead and decided to walk on Tessa's Trail.

The trails -- especially in the snow -- were really easy to follow.

And soon we were alone...

The trail was only 3.7km, but with the snow it took us quite a while to get around. And it was glorious. 

We think these are snowshoe hare tracks:

After a while we were on a trail without fresh footsteps... an obvious trail, but the previous night's snow had smoothed it out. 

We stopped at a few nice lookouts along the way -- snow and ice and trees were all we could see.

Except and Inukshuk Lookout...

Where we saw the Inukshuk...

And met one of the volunteer staff who took our picture. Note how bundled up we were:

And how frosted my hair was:

Eventually we headed back to the lodge for a little warm-up. 

But did we stay in the lodge? Oh no. We went back out for a hot tub:

What a view!

I bet you're wondering... how does one get out of a hot tub into sub-freezing temperatures? There's a reason there are no photos of this! Basically, you get your shoes lined up and keep your bathrobe handy -- and then you step into your shoes, pull on your bathrobe, and walk as quickly as you can to the lodge while trying not to slip on the ice you have just created with your wet body!!!

But we went in, and then -- hooray! -- it was lunchtime. 

There was a lively discussion of what to call the veggie meatless balls ... but whatever you call them, they were very tasty! Notice the amazing bread, too...

We thought about napping -- as you know, we are BIG NAPPERS, especially on vacation. But the sunshine and snow were calling, so we went down to the lake to go cross-country skiing. Neither of us had tried it for decades, so it was a bit funny watching me try to get into the skis. But we set off along the groomed trail on the lake, heading for the nearest island.

There are three islands on Blachford Lake, and there are trails that loop between them. We decided to stick to the shortest trail for our trip.

Note that despite the fact we're working out, we're still TOTALLY BUNDLED UP!

A bit later, back in the lodge, we went to a class on making arboreal salve ...

We heated olive oil and black spruce pitch, gathered from trees around the lodge. And, yes, we all took turns stirring.

I think I look perplexed because I thought the pitch would somehow melt, but what we were doing was just steeping it in the oil to transfer as much of the essence as possible. Or something.

We strained out the pitch, and then added a bit of beeswax so it would "set" -- and then poured it into little pots.

The result? Super nice, lovely smell, and it did wonders on our cold, chapped faces and hands!

After class -- and happy hour, where we had HOT BUTTERED RUM --

-- was another great dinner.

Our awesome chefs made a special "mexican rice and beans casserole" for us, too -- they were always so thoughtful!!!

Next up : AURORA NIGHT!!!


  1. It sounds like a perfect adventure!

    1. Thanks Renee -- it was, honestly, one of the most magical days of my life. I've just posted about seeing the Northern Lights that night, too!