Monday, May 6, 2019

Spring kayak vacation

Milford House from the rear
I just got home yesterday evening from the 4-day kayaking trip, it was wonderful and I am tired but happy.

I find it impossible to take photos while out on the water but one of my fellow kayakers thinks she has come up with a solution, so maybe next time.

The place we stayed at, Milford House, is great and the staff very friendly and helpful. Although checkout time is 11 am, we wanted to stay out kayaking in the afternoon. We asked about toilet facilities (the main lodge is closed at this time of year, only the 3 winterized cabins are open and they were all occupied) and we were told that all of the non-winterized cabins were unlocked and ready to go for the summer season opening in a couple of weeks. So we were able to use a toilet in one of those cabins.

Our "cabin"
Our "cabin" was bigger than my house with three bedrooms, two bathrooms, a huge living/dining/kitchen space and a large verandah overlooking the lake. We had ample firewood for the woodstove, but since all of us use woodstoves routinely for winter heat we were not eager to try it out. We did light the fire one evening but very quickly had to open windows and doors to cool off.

Our deck
Milford House is the oldest lodge in the province, in continuous use for almost two centuries in spite of at least three major fires. There are over 20 "cabins" of various sizes all around the lakefront, each one well separated by space and trees from its neighbours. The lodge is situated on a chain of lakes joined by "runs" so there is lots of kayaking to be done exploring the lakes and runs. In the past we have camped on these lakes in warmer weather as there are several campsites and picnic spots around. Some of the campsites have been mapped but there are others only known by word-of-mouth. You only tell special friends of their location as it would not do to have them over-run.

Stopped in one of the runs

We saw a great blue heron fishing in one of the runs, it seemed to have staked out a space along the run as its territory. We saw several turtles sunning on logs and rocks, a couple of loons, several black ducks and a pair of Canada geese. On our first evening we saw one lone goose on the lodge back lawn, it paced back and forth and did not fly away when we walked by. It looked a little alarmed by our presence but seemed to be stuck there. I imagined that it was there for a rendezvous and dared not leave its post. The next day we saw two geese swimming together nearby and I thought that the rendezvous had arrived. We saw them several times over the time we were there. Whenever they took to the air they honked loudly and continuously.

Three of our four kayaks

Picnic stop
One afternoon after a long rainfall the lake was glassy smooth. Rocks emerging from the water were perfectly reflected as interesting symmetrical shapes. Sometimes they looked as if they were floating in mid-air. Very dreamlike.

In the evenings we had wonderful suppers and wine, we talked about what we had seen, our kids, our lives, all the usual stuff. It was great. Cell phone coverage was sketchy, also great. We are seriously thinking of making an annual thing of it. At this time of year there is maybe a day or two between it being too cold and wet and too buggy, so it is nice to be in a cabin rather than a tent. The black fly were out in great clouds but not yet biting, just being annoying. Spring is not Nova Scotia's best season. The autumn however is spectacular: warm, colourful and relatively bug-free. That's the best time to go camping.

I could have brought Hapi along as Milford House is pet-friendly, but she would have to have been locked in the house whenever we were out in our kayaks and a couple of the women were not keen on dogs anyway. I was fine with the break and she stayed home with a dogsitter.


Wisewebwoman said...

Those pics are glorious. What a lovely time you had! Thanks for sharing it.


Joared said...

This looks like a delightful time.