Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Up North

I recently used this expression with some San Francisco co-workers. I don't think they got it or thought it was funny (odd funny).

But for many Canadians (especially those born in Ontario), the meaning is clear - Escaping congested Southern Ontario and going north even for a weekend. But, there is North and then there is North.

My brother-in-law loves the outdoors and has recently written about his latest adventure with family at their cottage, which is pretty far north. (And as usual, it is an incredibly well-written post with great visuals).

I have been up to their cottage numerous times but couldn't do it this summer. But I will never forget the first year I was there - outside propane-fueled shower - it was fun! Really!

A number of years ago I picked up my nephew to take him up to the cottage. I looked at a map beforehand and realized we would be very close to the southern tip of James Bay .... So I planned a slight detour to a lodge near Moose Factory . The only way into Moose Factory is by rail or air so I parked my car in Cochrane, Ontario and we took the Polar Bear Express north. We stayed at Cree Village Ecolodge and had an awesome time. We lucked out and met with some travel writers who invited us for a customized day trip to James Bay and then back for a traditional Cree meal. It was incredible. And it was fun introducing my nephew to some new foods like venison ....after dinner photo:

The few nights we spent there were quiet (I took advantage of that to introduce my nephew to a new game called poker). And one night we were woken up by something outside our window - the northern lights.

I love that my nieces and nephews are experiencing these Northern realities. Very, very cool!

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