6 Friends, 4 days, -30 degrees, 84 miles, billions of stars, countless memories, an incredible end to one year and start to the next.
Zack and I, along with some friends, embarked on the journey to Anishinabi Lodge by snowmobile. None of us are "experienced snowmobilers", but we managed to put together the equipment necessary to make the trip. Zack was the only one in the group that had done this trip before so he was our "tour guide". We only had 3 machines between the 6 of us and one was too small to carry two people, so one person had to ride in "The Pod" at all times. This fully enclosed sleigh is definitely not the smoothest ride, but it did the trick and was good for some laughs along the way.
Having one person in the sleigh meant that we had to take it pretty slow. We also took many breaks along the way and made the trip in a record-breaking 4 hours... my parents were worried about us as the trip should have only taken about 2 hours... oops! It may have taken us twice as long, but the trip in was very enjoyable and safe.
We spent 3 nights in the Lodge at Anishinabi... our entire trip was focussed on adventure, sight-seeing, spending time in nature, relaxing, enjoying the good company, and of course... really great food. We were not there to fish like most people would be, but we did throw a couple lines in on one of the portage lakes, Cat Lake. My two girlfriends each pulled up a couple of small Northerns, which was really just a bonus.
Day One was about seeing the sights. We did a trip around the lake and visited the cave, the ice wall, William's Narrows Outpost Cabin, the Ranger Cabin, the "garage", and all sorts of neat shorelines, ice formations, and other scenery. There is so much to explore around that area and the sparkling snow and ice makes it that much more beautiful.
Day Two was the most beautiful and sunny day, which again we spent mostly outside. This is when we took the trail back to Cat Lake and tried our luck at Northern fishing. We set up the pop-up Eskimo Shack for warmth, built a fire on the ice, and spent most of the afternoon basking in the sun. We did not venture to the other portage lakes to fish for Walleye because we weren't sure what the conditions would be like with the lack of snow.
Day Three was of course our trip home, which thankfully went very smoothly and we even shaved an hour off our travel time! The quicker pace and less stops could have had something to do with the extreme cold warning issued that day. The temperature had fallen below -30 Degrees Celcius so we were anxious to get back to our warm vehicles.
Each day that we were there, we took full advantage of the wood-burning sauna, we had outdoor campfires in the evenings, played games inside by the fireplace, and even had our own private firework show on New Years Eve. We were fortunate to have the most beautiful and clear night that night to enjoy the stars and a hint of the Northern Lights.
To say this trip was amazing would be an understatement. I would say it was the trip of a lifetime, but I'm really hoping that we can make many more trips like this in the years to come. Next time, we will have to go after Trout Season opens (January 1st) so that we can show our friends what it's like to pull up trophy Lake Trout through the ice! To some, it might seem crazy to head further North on a winter vacation, but Anishinabi is something to experience in winter. It's hard to explain or capture the charm and beauty of this place, but I hope our pictures can help. Please enjoy the awesome photography, mostly done by Zack and our friend, Jordan.
The Crew... Mike, Nicole, Jordan, Sam, Zack & Myself (Meagan)
A small snippet of the beautiful, 42-mile snowmobile trail.
Arriving at the the lodge on the island on Anishinabi Lake.
Exploring "The Cave"
Finding some cool icicles.
Mike camouflaging into the "Mountain".
Arriving at the spectacular "Ice Wall"
Checking out this amazing display.
Mother Nature's beautiful work.
Jordan in front of the Ice Wall.
My favourite photo from the trip... not sure if anyone else will find the humour in it...
maybe if you know my friend, Nicole (far right).
The beautiful, Samantha, checking out the William's Narrows Outpost (also beautiful).
We decided after seeing this cabin, that we might have to stay here on our next adventure.
Admiring the beautiful scenery.
Jordan peeking into the old & original "Ranger Cabin".
This is one of the two "Garages" on Anishinabi... in summer you can drive your boat under it. We didn't make it to the other "Garage", but it's on the list for next time.
Really cool ice formations that looked like a set of teeth.
The girls xo
Enjoying our hang-out on Cat Lake.
Couldn't have asked for a nicer day to enjoy the outdoors.
One of Nicole's catches!
And her shirt was 100% right.
Celebrating New Years with sparklers, champagne, and fireworks.
Our own private firework show... so cool knowing we were the only ones to see it.
When the firework show was over, we turned around to this sight... what more can you ask for.
Enjoying the final few moments of 2018 with my best friends.
And here we are... onto the next!
Leaving this paradise was not an easy thing to do... until next time!