What to do at The Cottage in Winter

Did you think I’ve gone missing? Dragged off into the forest by a coyote maybe? Nah … it’s just winter at the cottage! This is the time of year when the snow blankets the ground and hushes the trees. Winter gives us a chance to rest, reflect and restore our bodies and minds. The cold keeps you tucked inside your cozy cottage, waiting for spring. That is if the cottage is still open at all.

Most Cottages are Closed for Winter

Most people close up the cottage for the winter. They stay in the city and busy their lives – probably to distract themselves from the sadness of not being at the cottage! Many cottages aren’t built to be comfortable in winter and many cottage roads aren’t even maintained this time of year.

I remember going to my Godparent’s cottage one winter when I was a child. Dad packed our cross country skis into the car and away we went. I was delighted when we parked at the end of the road and had to slide our supplies in on a toboggan! It felt like we were sliding that toboggan for hours over the ridge and down to the cottage. It was probably a 5 minute hike but when you’re a kid everything you anticipate seems to take forever to happen. Back then it was a great adventure; now I’m not sure I’d be so thrilled by it.

Anyway … back to present day winter at the cottage …

Making the Cottage Winter Ready

This is the first time in a long time that we’ve kept the cottage open through winter. Some of our first investments when we got the cottage were new windows, doors and a propane fireplace. Oh the place sure could get cold at night when we first got it – even in the summer! Between then and now the thing that deterred us most from keeping the cottage open all winter is the road conditions to get there. We must have had some scary rides that winter because it’s taken us many years to choose to do that again.

In fact, we’ve had a pretty great winter at the cottage – so far! Thankfully the weather has cooperated and we’ve only missed one weekend. That missed weekend wasn’t even due to weather … it was work. We have had some nice quiet days inside due to the bone-chilling cold or rain. Overall though, our time hasn’t been boring at all.

So what do we do at the cottage in winter?

Mostly I’ve been reading, working away at a monster crochet bedspread project, and perfecting my pizza making skills. I also get to carry on with my work from the cottage so there’s been some of that too. Brian’s been researching and engineering ways to mount his new video camera on the boat to record some of our fishing fun.

We’ve been out hiking …

winter hike at the Grotto


And snowshoeing …

Of course over the holidays we were able to have some great visits with family, friends and cottage neighbours. (Oh! I guess they’re friends too!)

We even had a chance to have my sister and brother-in-law over for a night of games and a holiday themed round of Beer Olympics. We haven’t been playing many games lately, but we have discovered this one. As soon as we saw it we knew it was made for games night with these two!

Brian and I played a few times together to get familiar with the rules before inviting my sister and brother-in-law over. Trains is a completely different game when played with two people vs. four. It’s an enjoyable game either way. The only thing I don’t love about it is how much room it takes up on the table. At our table there was barely room to set your cards or a drink. I suppose that’s a small price to pay for the fun we had!

As for Beer Olympics, we called this round the “Special Olympics” and limited it to seasonal brews only. The clear winner in this round was Lake of Bays Pumpkin Ale (insert picture). Personally, I think that entry was pushing the limit of “seasonal” because it’s more of a fall brew than a winter brew. I’m glad it was allowed since it is one of my favorites … and I’m extra pleased that it won!

Lake of Bays Wild North Pumpkin Ale
I’m also glad I took a picture of it in the fall!

And how could I forget SHOVELING!!! The Great Canadian Workout!

shoveling at the cottage
We have a snow blower as well … thank goodness!

Well, that’s winter in a nutshell for us I think. I’m hoping to post my pizza creations and more of Brian’s video creations soon!

Stay warm wherever you are!

The Cottage Wife

In addition to hiking, biking, reading and writing, I like to focus on making as light an impact on the land possible, while still living a modern life.

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