Washagami Landing

Northern Ontario getaway

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A Day At the Cottage in Winter

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Winter is, well, cold; yet strangely enjoyable – if you have the right attitude and a nice cabin with warm fire to sit in.

I think we hit record low today… -40 °C with wind chill! Even the part of the water that normally don’t freeze (since the channel narrows and water runs fast) has flash-froze.

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Flash freeze.

But there is still work to do! It’s the day of Yurta maintenance. 2ft of snow on top of the Yurta needs to come down. Even though the structure can handle the snow load, it stretches the fabric which we will like to avoid.

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Got a bit too intense and lost my shovel.

We also made a double glazed (with plastic) frame for the window opening, which has just a mesh covering the hole. We want the view without the wind!

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Much better. Barely notice the frame with plastic.

It’s also the valentine’s day. What a coincidence. Red lanterns for accent.

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A bit of festive spirit!

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Skating on the Lake

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Washagami Landing has an interesting location on Lake Washagami. On one side we have a bay where the water does a 90 degree turn; on the other the channel narrows and gets shallower, which makes the water speeds up a little. The Mossman island to the west also slows down the water for most of our waterfront.

In the winter this means we have a nice patch in front of our cottage where the water is slow enough for the ice to form easily, and a patch to the side that never freezes even in the coldest of days.

This year we are lucky to have such nicely formed ice this early in the winter! I think the temperature swing followed by a sudden dramatic drop must have helped.
And we wasted no time “tilling” it out of the snow.

Making the Rink

Tilling the Snow

The first group of lucky guests to try out the rink! A great way to celebrate the start of a new year!

The first group of lucky guests to try out the rink! A great way to celebrate the start of a new year!

Fall Colour

Colour of Change

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Fall around Washagami Landing is quite colourful. Although there are not as many maple trees that will turned gorgeous red, there are many poplar and birch which blanket the forest with a golden blaze.
I suspect that maple takes longer to establish and the faster growing poplar / birch has taken over for now.

Fall colour

Pass the gate and you are in a “golden shower”

Fall colour

On the way to the lake you will pass by this lovely stream by the old rail bed (which is now used as ATV/snowmobile trail)

Fall colour pine needles

The pine needles are great at blanketing every surface. While it can be quite poetic, it’s sort of a headache for site maintenance.

Fall also means a lot of site upkeep. The pine needles can be quite destructive to buildings as they are slightly acidic when decomposing. They will create weak spots on roofs and decking if left unattended after a few years. And we have trailer loads of them all over the property! Time for some yard work.

Night view by the lake

Mid Autumn (Festival) at Lake Washagami

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Yesterday, Sept 8. 2014, was Mid Autumn Festival, celebrated by cultures in East Asia, including mine.

It’s autumn already. Goodbye summer, we had fun. Soon the colours of the land will change into a golden blaze.

Although we lacked the
1) Lantern
2) Moon cake! (sad faced)

We sure were not in short supply in the moon department. In fact the moon was so round and bright it’s like daytime (while wearing a very good/dark pair of shades).

Like a second sun.

Like a second sun.

Like a giant spot light. Solar powered, perfect for an off-grid property.

Like a giant spot light. Solar powered, perfect for an off-grid property.

Yurta setup

Yurta! Camping in style.

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In partnership with Yurta (yurta.ca) we are very pleased to get a 17′ Yurta for Washagami Landing!

Yurta is an amazing and unique shelter – simple, strong, and easy to set up. It is inspired by, and improved from yurt – the Mongolian round tent – with more modern material and technology. It’s also designed and manufactured in Ontario! (more history of the Yurta – and how to acquire one yourself! Can be found on their website. Their contact Patrick is one very awesome guy).

This structure is both beautiful and very practical. And now it sits by Washagami Lake, secluded in the wood, and becoming part of the beautiful scenery. We want to make this an option for the more adventurous type.
Being inside is a fascinating experience. It’s definitely different from the cottages – you feel much closer to the land. It evokes a more… spiritual experience.

More photos of the interior and exterior setup to come soon.

Check out the video below of the installation. The Yurta setup took two of us just shy of 2 hrs – much shorter than the time it took to build and paint the floor it sits on.



Yurta

Yurta at Washagami Landing. 20 ft to the water and surrounded by blueberry bushes.

Chopping wood at Washagami Landing cottage rental

Lumberjack for the Day

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With acres of mostly wooded land we have a good supply of pine and birch for firewood. Usually we also purchase maple and poplar for the winter.

Chopping wood can be quite an exercise; you have to do it right to avoid straining the wrong muscles. To have a clean chop takes practice!

When the whole place is quiet with the falling thuds and your breathing as the only soundtrack, and your eyes / arms are focused into that one precise split… it can be very therapeutic.

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outdoor living room

Frozen

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One exciting thing about Canada is her defined seasons; and Canadian winter can completely transform a landscape. With the transformation new opportunities are unlocked. Like a skating rink on the wide expanse of frozen lake!

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Ploughing the skating rink on the frozen lake.

Skating Rink

The finished rink. Ready for action!