Each Labour Day weekend for about five years a group of us would flee Vancouver to escape to a chain of lakes called the Shuswap. The agenda: three days of low-key, fun-as-heck cabin time. The chain of warm, clean lakes were ideal for fishing/boating/ kayaking/swimming and were a major draw for vacationers from B.C. and Alberta. Unlike, say, the Okanagan, the Shuswap area hasn’t been completely developed and polished. There are still trailer parks and gas stations that also pose as liquor stores/bakeries/ andgrocery stops. The chain of tiny lakeside unincorporated towns that fringe the north shore of the Shuswap are rough around the edges: they have volunteer fire departments, dusty community halls, karaoke-filled pubs and not a time share in sight (for the most part).
One such gem of an area is Celista, where my friend Lindsay’s family owns a cute little two bedroom cabin that’s straight out of the late 1970s/early 1980s. To get there, you have to drive through some tiny towns, past must-stop bannock seller, across some salmon bearing rivers and around a few hectic narrow turns to arrive at one of the best cabins I’ve ever hung my hat(s) in. Every Labour Day weekend, Lindsay’s family would let a gaggle of us carouse at the cabin while her and her then-partner James would play host and boat captain(s).
Staying there was like a giant adult sleepover. We’d dress up, wear ridiculous hats, drink too much cheap beer and play all weekend long. Some of us would end up dancing or strumming a guitar or knitting. Some of us would go fishing in rain storms. Depending on the weather, we’d sit out on the cabin’s huge deck or the bobbing dock reading books, playing board games, throwing balls into the water for our canine companions.
Eventually we’d all end up in the lake – rain or sun – and on good weekends, we’d go surfing/tubing/water skiing behind Lindsay’s parents boat (again, thanks Mrs & Mr J). Cabin time always meant a lot of food and gut-busting laughs amongst a bunch of city folk who just wanted to leave traffic, jobs and noise behind. At night we’d play some kind of game, stoke the wood stove and all flop down on the living room floor or in bunk beds to form a salmagundi of boozy breathed, happy humans. Our Shuswap cabin weekends were fun, relaxing, cheap and comfortable. The way cabin hangouts should be.
Our friendship group has changed a bit since that run of long weekends at the cabin. We’re still great friends but babies, marriages, break ups, moves and a lot of adulting whittled down the Labour Day tradition a bit. When I think back on all my cabin nostalgia, I realize how lucky I was. Other than Lindsay’s cabin, I grew up hanging out in others- cabins at summer camps, family cabins in the Okanagan, a cabin on my parent’s cattle grazing property, creaky old uninhabited cabins on my grandparents ranch.
Now that I’m a mom, I can’t wait to introduce my little dude to cabin fun times. I’d say my cabin expectations are pretty chill. All I need is some drinkable water (bonus points for a lake to dunk in), a sleeping platform of some kind, a view of wilderness and some kind of cooking apparatus (gas stove, fire pit, BBQ) and a menagerie of people that I love surrounding me to make me laugh, entertain my attempts at stupid games and break bread/clink my glass with.
Over the past couple couple of falls, without the requisite escape to the Shuswap cabin I find myself yearning for some cabin time. So I thought I’d share my yearning with y’all. I recently discovered a sweet rental website called Glamping Hub.
Their mantra is ‘Explore Wildly’ and the searchable, pretty website is sort of like an outdoorsy, glamping version of Air BnB. They have properties across North America, Europe and Australia. Naturally I went searching for glamping cabins in Alberta (more on in a later post), but I also discovered some gems around North America.
As the snow starts to fall and you think of a winter getaway cuddled up by a fire with a spiked hot cocoa or if you’re already fantasizing about escaping for some cabin time next spring/summer, maybe you’ll check these cabins out and report back. Or maybe, if you’re lucky, you have a Lindsay in your life and your next cabin adventure is all plotted out.
Looking for more cabin inspiration? Check out my Cabin & Trailer Fever Board on Pinterest. You can find pins that link to all of the Glamping Hub cabins above and below.
Do you have a cabin that you like to spend time at? Where is it? Why do you love it so?
** A giant thanks to Lindsay for the top three photos and inspiration for this post. **