Lake Simcoe is a happenin’ place these days and it’s fun to watch the comings and goings of the ice-fishers. Our neighbours up the road are perfect examples of the unique winter lifestyle of small town folk.
Werner and Erne are a retired couple who rise and shine at about 6:00 in the morning, enjoy a hearty breakfast, jump onto their snowmobile and head out onto the lake. I love watching them buzz by our beachfront, all bundled up in snowmobile suits and matching helmets, Erna’s arms wrapped around Werner’s waist, lunch packed, thermos filled with hot coffee and coolers pulled behind them. They don’t need to follow the trail of old Christmas trees that show the way to the fish huts, in case there’s a blizzard – they have their routine down pat. They own their own fish hut, which is about a fifteen minute snowmobile ride out past Thorah Island toward Georgina Island and when they arrive, they sit in their hut, drill two holes into the ice, drop their lines in and quickly catch their limit of Perch. You sure can’t do that in Toronto! It’s a great way to enjoy the outdoors and fill your freezer with fresh fish!
What else is unique in small town winter living? On weekends, the sounds of boats and other watercraft have been replaced with the occasional snowmobile buzzing past our house just a few feet off shore. Further out, they become silent; their sound dampened to nothing from the snows on the lake. Snowmobiles are joined by ATVs, tracked Bombardier transport vehicles that the Ice Fishing operators use to get their customers out to the huts, and even the odd pickup truck can be spotted miles out there (an unusual and discomforting sight). Chris likes to point his telescope toward these vehicles or to distant fishing villages to see all the action.
Early February, The Beaverton Winter Carnival comes to life and the community gathers together to enjoy a variety of interesting events, the highlight of the day being the Outhouse races. Take a peek at this year’s schedule.
8:30-10:30am Pancake Breakfast at the Golden Friendship Room (in the town hall building)
9:00-11:00am Mini Golf in parking lot by the library
9:30-11:00 Snow Sculpture Contest at the Old Mill Park (Skateboard Park)
10:00-2:00pm Horse Drawn Wagon Rides
11:00- 12:00pm Scavenger Hunt at the Old Mill Park
12:00-12:30pm Tug of War at the Old Mill Park
12:30pm-1:00pm Outhouse Races at Simcoe Street (Mill St. to Main St.)
The best part of this carnival is when Chris and I head to the church basement and sample a variety of wonderful homemade pies and breads!
Chris and I love living here and we are slowly, but surely trying to figure out how we can get involved in some volunteer work in our community. Maybe we can build some outhouses??
Such is life in a small town.