The Perfect Escape
The Perfect Escape
NOVEMBER 20, 2020 • WINTER JOURNAL • BY ALEIA WYLIE
I ran away into the backcountry this summer.
It felt like it happened overnight: the panic which swept over us all and sparked change in every corner or the world. Feelings of stress and anxiety rose at the thought of carrying out everyday tasks. I was less concerned about getting sick myself and more worried about passing it on to someone more vulnerable. The weight of responsibility pressed heavy on my shoulders and caused me to retreat from society.
And so every opportunity I had, I ran. I hiked, and paddled and biked my way into the far reaches of the Kootenays and the Canadian Rockies: actively seeking places, parks and trails where I might stumble across fewer people. Whenever the world and the news cycle became too overwhelming, I sought solace in the quiet of the mountains. There, I could breathe a little deeper, move a little freer, think a little clearer and return to a state of quiet simplicity.
But summer is over now. With the temperatures dropping and the snow beginning to fall, there comes a reminder that the backcountry is a much less forgiving place in the wintertime. I can still head out on a weekend trip with some snowshoes or skis strapped to my feet, but the prospect of spending the night in a frozen tent isn’t as appealing; not on a regular basis anyway. As much as I love character building, I also love being warm.
So as winter slowly crept in and then suddenly took hold, I began to wonder where I could make my next escape. I didn’t have to look too far - Logden Lodge.
Nestled on the side of a mountain in the BC Kootenays is the hideaway I had been longing for. If you’ve ever driven between Nelson and Salmo, you’ve driven past Ymir. A small town with fewer attractions than Nelson, it is often passed by and overlooked. Well, as far as I’m concerned, it is one of many hidden gems in our province waiting to be explored.
I was amazed to find myself in a different world, only a short detour from the highway. I stepped onto the property to see four beautifully handcrafted wooden cabins along with the owners’ equally stunning home. I breathed deeply and my body relaxed.
The cabins, each individually outfitted and decorated, are a compromise between a backcountry hut and a rental house. They are ‘cabin chic’ or ‘luxury hut’, if you will. The balance between rustic, homey decor and modern conveniences makes the space very comfy and liveable, while being the perfect size for a pair or a whole family.
I cozied up with a steaming mug of coffee next to the crackling wood stove, looked outside and dreamed up the possibilities for my day. I could have easily made my way to Kootenay Pass or Whitewater for a skiing adventure. Or, just outside my door lay 42 acres of forest and snowshoe trails, begging to be explored. On the other hand, a day inside spent soaking in the tub, stoking the fire and enjoying a board game or turning the pages of my book was just as satisfying.
Back home in my small apartment in Nelson, staring at a white windowless wall, I am already dreaming of when I can visit again. Perhaps the memory of neatly stacked firewood, cozy old armchairs and filling my days with walks, books and games; will encourage me to slow down and live a little more simply.
And in those moments when the world gets too much, I just need to remind myself, that the perfect escape is not so far away.
Photo credit: Bex Dawkes