Winter Arrives [NOV2019]

I have two “cover” photos I use for our cabin rental listing at airbnb.ca/h/off-grid-retreat which I alternate depending on time of year. I switch to the winter photo when that is more likely what guests will experience when they book. And I usually end up switching to the summer version when I finally get tired of looking at snow and start pining (excuse the pun, it’s in a conifer forest!) to see green and growth around me.

Winter may not officially arrive until December 21st, but it arrived here the evening of October 31st and the pictures on this page are what we awoke to the next morning. I have… slightly reluctantly… changed over the rental listing cover photo today. The snow on the ground will come and go over November but I know from ten years experience we have passed the weather precipice from autumn to winter up here in the snow belt.

Sauna in cold and temperate weather (inset) modes.

After a bit of online work switching the listing to winter mode, I got moving on a few remaining outdoor winter prep tasks. One of them was installing a curtain made of two wool blankets on the outside of the sauna porch. The sauna is a delightful, peaceful experience any time of year. (And healthy too! Research the benefits of sauna use to body, mind and spirit.) But during the colder months being ensconced in deep warmth feels particularly amazing. Add in some humidity (optional, the sauna can be “dry” or “wet”) by ladling water–perhaps scented with an essential oil–onto the stones atop the wood-fired sauna stove and the heat seems to reach your core through every single skin pore.

The blanket curtains create a cozy transition zone between the warm sauna and the cold outer world. And for those of us inclined toward a refreshing post-sauna beverage, it is the perfect spot to enjoy it 🙂

Winter is undoubtedly the most peaceful time of year here. The snow creates delicate visual patterns and a calming hush over all sounds. Animal tracks abound. And it’s “real” winter… fluffy and white, as compared to slushy and grey in the city and ‘burbs. Usually by late November or early December snow is on the ground to stay, and by sometime in January there is a good base of at least 12-18″ or more! We loan snowshoes to visitors to enjoy trails on the property. There are also several great cross-country ski areas in the vicinity.

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