Tea and Travel

Tea in the Great Canadian Wilderness

We just spent a vacation week in a relatively remote area of Northern Ontario’s lake country. It’s an annual escape to see the sun set on the longest day of the year in the northern hemisphere. Known as the first day of summer here in Canada, it is referred to in England as mid-summer solstice. The birds sing into the night with the whippoorwill and loon having the last say.

I enjoy tea in the canoe, on the granite rocks and in the 1930’s log cabin where we stay. Here is a log of photos from the vacation.

log cabin, barely visible seen from the lake, through the trees
Found the little campfire just as we left it on an island in a remote lake last fall, now inhabited by a spider (I relocated him before building the new fire)
Waiting for the charcoal to heat up
The tea (a golden Yunnan) was worth waiting for. You can see the wetlands full of beaver dens in the background.

Our dog Roger loves the canoe and can’t wait to get out on the lake. It’s bliss to paddle into the middle of the small lake and let the canoe drift with the wind. The breeze keeps the bugs away. They can be ferocious at this time of year. Black flies are just waning while mosquitoes and deer flies are abundant.

A very happy boy, Roger would let me paddle him around the lake all day...
Enjoying a spot of tea while drifting on the lake in the canoe

Not all of my tea enjoyment was al fresco. Sometimes we were forced to stay inside when the bugs were bad or it was just too windy to canoe. It is always fun to set up a tea table in a home away from home.

The Darjeeling steeps and the fig and ricotta salad awaits
Fig and ricotta salad with basil and red wine vinaigrette

The light in the north at this time of year is spectacular. At dusk a mauve glow imbues the landscape with Tom Thomson-esque beauty. And the sunsets are zenlike in their pureness.

We’ll return in September when the bugs have retreated from the cold nights, but the days bring bright sunshine and a chance to explore the forest, harvest some woodland gems such as wintergreen and cranberries.

End of day mauve light immortalized by the Group of Seven
Solstice Sunset