Canadian Travel Press
Issue Date: Feb 08, 2021
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Leave 2020 in the ashes and light the torch for 2021


(Isolating in Blind Bay and working in St. Catharines as an independent travel consultant for Vision, a Direct Travel Company; contact her at [email protected])

We don boots and woollies, put fresh and frozen foods in tubs; park the truck at the top of the hill of the driveway and take a packed sleigh down to the cottage.

First order of the day is to bring in wood to heat the cabin; fill buckets with water from the lake and put the portable potty in place.

Temperatures hover around zero which means we don’t have to dig into ice to get drinking- and washing – water from Georgian Bay.

Nearly a foot of snow turns Blind Bay – two hours north from Toronto – into a magical winter wonderland. No neighbours in sight; a few lights flicker across the lake.

Rick Mercer is the New Year’s Eve host on CBC TV and brings guests from across the country into our cozy living room, where doors don’t need to be locked, where we are surrounded by the simple pleasures of life: books, music and wine.

On January 1, 2021, the sun peaks through the clouds giving the evergreens a golden glow; a noisy red headed woodpecker drills a whole in the white pine. How ducks survive the polar cold water bewilders us. Herds of deer dance their fluffy white tails in the distance; squirrels, a partridge and a raven keep us company in the silence of a promising new year.

We strap on snowshoes – our wheaten terrier Barley runs and rolls in the fluffy snow. Snowmobiles had left evidence of their passing on the covered road before we turn into the woods.

My partner’s backpack is filled with the ingredients for a meal over the fire. We gather wood and build a fire. He sharpens some branches on which we stick Wiener sausages and Italian buns, we boil a tin of Mexican beans and add the French mustard, bringing the world closer to home.

May your year be filled with adventures near and far …