Winter at Wabatongushi Round Two #2

Happy New Year!

I’m back up north and back to skiing, snowmobiling, fox-spotting, and more!

Before getting into my winter adventures, I want to announce that we now have two live webcams at Camp Lochalsh! We received our second Starlink satellite Internet system and it has been installed at Camp Lochalsh, allowing us to stream higher resolution footage with more cameras. To access these cameras, all you have to do is click on the “View Live Lake Webcams” link at the top of any page in the banner.

You may see myself or a fox pass in front of Cabin #1 every once in a while, so keep a lookout!

Now, back to the bush…

A few days before Christmas, a wave of exceptionally warm weather passed through. Temperatures were several degrees above freezing and some regions saw rain. Heavy winds led to downed trees and power outages. I’d already been skiing and snowmobiling for weeks…then most of the snow melted. I was cut off from town. I packed my luggage and snowmobiled out to the 48 Road, which was impassable because it had melted down to gravel. Roger was kind enough to pick me up with a trailer to take me the rest of the way into town. From there, I drove down to the Sault to visit relatives and catch a flight south to see my family. The return trip wasn’t much easier; there were flight delays and cancellations all around, and Highway 17 was closed for a day due to snowstorms once I returned to the Sault. I finally made it back up here at the end of the first week of January.

Andy and Jim were up in Lochalsh for a few days to look after the house and have their own snowshoe adventures. It was extremely cold in early January, with overnight temperatures around -30 to -40 C (which is about the same in Fahrenheit). The three of us broke trails and ventured out on the lake but I couldn’t see half of it because my glasses and eyelashes were frozen! Those almost were the coldest days I’ve seen yet up here…last year’s record was -42 C overnight. When the weather is cold enough to almost freeze your eyes shut, that’s when it’s time to stay indoors by the wood stove!

The red foxes were quite social and came right up to us while we were sitting out on the front steps. Foxes are very curious and like getting all kinds of attention. Every time they hear a snowmobile approach, they think that someone has arrived with snacks. Sometimes this is the case and sometimes they are disappointed.

Checking out your snowshoes. They are not edible.

 

The foxes keep dropping by each day even in icy temperatures. One caught a partridge out on the trail and carried a partridge feather to my deck, then left it there after I gave her a treat. When I turned back to the window several minutes later, there were more feathers left in the yard. I’m not sure if I was being given a gift, but I did feel honoured. Now, if only they would be going after that squirrel…

Staredown in the snowy corral

I do have other ways of keeping myself occupied. It’s that time of the year again– hiring time! (If you or someone you know wants to apply, see our ads up on Indeed.ca or contact us on our Careers tab; you must already have a Canadian citizenship or visa). You wouldn’t think it, but I can’t escape Zoom calls even out here in the wilderness! I’m praying and hoping for an “ordinary” season unaffected by COVID. It’s strange to think that it’s been two years without a full staff and a full schedule of guests. It’s been an odd experience all around.

Hair-freezing temperatures

 

I’ve been enjoying my cross-country skis lately. The bonus over snowshoeing is that most routes are downhill on the way back to my house! Breaking trail is great exercise.

A dim mid-afternoon ski

 

I also have been doing some reading. I received an interesting book for Christmas. So far those Bigfoots have stayed on the other side of the Manitoba/Ontario border but I’m prepared to see one around here any day now! 😉

This past week there was a decent snowfall of at least a foot of snow overnight– in some places more like a foot and a half! I’ve only managed to get the snowmobile stuck twice so far, both times in my front yard somehow. When I had to travel out to Dubreuilville to get my booster shot on Thursday, it was -25 C and no one had been on any of the trails to town yet since the snowfall, so it was a powdery ride!

The most fun way to get to the vaccine clinic

 

It looks like the weather will be turning somewhat warmer in the upcoming week, which I look forward to. I received a GoPro for Christmas, so I’d like to start filming some of my activities to show you all a different dimension of winter at Wabatongushi.

Thanks again for reading!

If you missed my last blog from Winter in Wabatongushi Round Two, read it here!


My name is Elorah. I do a little bit of everything all over the place between Loch Island Lodge & Camp Lochalsh. I’ve been on board since 2014. In my spare time I like to fly, write, and bake. I’m looking forward to the 2022 season and more adventures in Algoma!

10 thoughts on “Winter at Wabatongushi Round Two #2

  1. Brad Saunders

    Glad you are enjoying it. Thanks for the update!

    Reply
    • Elorah

      Thanks for reading! It’s still pretty fun up here.

      Reply
  2. Joe VIZZI CAMP TOLEDO

    Thank You for all that you do to keep us informed

    Reply
    • Elorah

      Thanks for reading, Joe!

      Reply
  3. Alan Janik

    Greetings from Windsor, Ontario!! Always great to read your blogs and view those beautiful photos. Thanks so much for doing this. Those foxes look well fed!! Can’t wait to see you and the rest of the staff when Dennis and I arrive on May 28th. Stay warm……

    Reply
    • Elorah

      Hello Al. They are extremely well fed…too well fed, as they haven’t gone after the squirrel hanging around the yard. May will be here before we know it!

      Reply
  4. Dennis Bondy

    Hi Elorah.
    Nice to hear from you and read your blog updates.
    I check out the webcams daily.
    Have never been able to see you or any wildlife.
    Thanks for sharing your adventures.
    Be safe and stay warm and take more pictures.
    Looking forward to seeing some wilderness videos.
    “The Great Outdoors” a blog video by Elorah.👏👍🦊

    Reply
    • Elorah

      Hi Dennis! I am staying warm by the wood stove as I write this. Sadly the foxes aren’t allowed in here with me. The snow is quite deep now and I’ve noticed that the foxes aren’t venturing around camp that often; I think they’ll wait until the snow hardens up and they don’t have to swim through it!

      Reply
  5. Scott Borg

    You’re a great story teller and enjoyed your report very much! We’re originally born and raised in Minnesota, now in Ohio, and oh, how we miss the snow and cold, cold weather! We’ll be staying with you this summer, in July, and very much looking forward to it! Blessings!

    Reply
  6. Joon

    Elorah, keep up the good work. We enjoy reading about your adventures.

    Reply

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