After hanging out at the cottage, we decided to go to the end of the island for a bit.
I was really surprised at the lack of fishing huts. Last time I came out here on the ice, there were probably around five just in this area.
You can only see one lone fishing hut way in the distance with a snowmobile parked in front of it.
Here’s a video that the husband made of our walk to the end of the island. It’s amazing how much more wind there is in the winter – not anywhere as much snow as there has been on previous visits though.
We actually stayed at the cottage for a lot longer than we planned. We didn’t have anywhere to sit down on the porch, so instead of digging for the nice porch furniture and cushions that are hiding in the spare bedrooms for the winter, we found some of the outdoor plastic furniture and we set that up on the porch so we could all sit in our usual spots.
To warm up, we decided to turn on the propane and make some hot tea out of melted snow. We found out that there actually is a lot of air in snow. We were surprised that we only got a few mugs of tea out of all of this snow.
Though we were still a little chilly, we realized that life on the porch is the same year round:
Once we made it to the island, it was good to see that there weren’t any fallen trees and that the buildings appeared to be in good shape.
No big trees on the cottage this winter:
Even the outhouse was holding up well. It looks like some fishermen used in during the fall (and perhaps recently too), but they kept it looking nice for our visit. I had to smile, when I found the door frozen open showing the sunny day on the bay paint job that we gave it last summer.:
A video – pardon the mess in the cottage. When we close the cottage for the winter, we have to put all of the porch stuff inside. That makes for a very cluttered cottage.:
After convincing the roommate that the ice was thick enough, we decided to head out to the island by foot. There’s something really weird about walking out on the ice. My perception is five feet off because I’m used to sitting in a boat when I see all of the usual landmarks, not standing up. Plus, it’s just weird walking on what should be water for over a mile.
We tried to stay in the snowmobile lanes as much as we could because the ice is thicker in them compared to the rest of the ice on the lake. This is because when the snow is compressed on the ice because of the weight of the snowmobiles, the snow loses its insulating qualities, making the ice easier to freeze there.
After the fire tower, we went down to the shore for a closer look at the ice. I figured we’d be fine walking out to the island, but our roommate wasn’t so sure of the ice’s thickness. After seeing so many snowmobiles pass us while we were hanging out on the town dock, he started to feel a bit more confident about our trek out on the ice.
After a few hours of broken sleep at the hotel due to some miscommunication about our hotel rooms when we checked in at 3am, our first stop was the Parry Sound fire tower on Tower Hill. We figured out would be a good way to check the weather and how strong the ice looked. Here’s a few pics and a video of it. Sorry for sounding half asleep on the video. That’s just the lack of sleep talking.
Not since Harold and Kumar went to White Castle, has there been a trip as epic as Sadie and friends going to Sobeys. You might wonder why we would drive to Canada just to go to a grocery store – honestly, I even asked myself that a couple of times as we drove almost 500 miles through a blizzard to get there. It all has to do with margarine. Yes – margarine. The Becel with Olive Oil to be exact. It is so good and it’s not sold in the states. We’ve been out of it since November or December and we needed to stock up. Of course we hung out in Parry Sound, hiked to Action Island, had dinner with friends and did some other fun stuff while we were on our way to the grocery store, but we always kept our eye on the prize. Three small tubs of Becel. We should now have enough to get us at least through June. Since returning to Ohio, I’ve had grilled cheese sandwiches twice already. This trip was so worth it.
Unless the weather is absolutely unbearable, I try to climb the fire tower on the Tower Hill whenever I go up in the winter. The fire tower is almost 100 feet tall and it sits on an already steep hill. From the top of the tower, you can get quite a view of the bay and of Parry Sound. Below are a couple of pics to show you what I mean.
To keep up with the February countdown, here’s another pic taken from my December 2002 trip up north. Here I am sitting on the pier in town. You can see the Island Queen hibernating further down the dock. Looking at the footprints, I think that there were only a few people that made the trip out to the end of the pier that day.