Bondi Resort Blog

Come on into our Blog for a look at the wonderful world we've got to share! With over 240 hectares (600 acres) of wilderness woodlands surrounding the resort, just ten minutes from Algonquin Park, we feature over 400 metres (1200’) of waterfront and beach; boat rentals; summer hiking trails winding through fields and woods; 20 km. of groomed cross country ski trails and snowshoeing in winter; access to nearby snowmobile trails for sledders, and a toboggan hill for the young at heart.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Getting the Family Together

Is this frosty windy winter turning your thoughts to summer?

Got a crowd? A family reunion?

We have a week open in the big LODGE, which can accommodate up to 18 people, June 27 to July 4..  Got more than that? We can add in a cottage...

Not only can you all get together to have a fabulous week, but the Lodge is big enough you can all get apart, and have private space as well. 

So, got too many kids and grandkids to stuff into your own place?  Come on over... We've got your summer waiting.

Orion Archer Packs

nice balance
You never know who is reading your Blog... really, you never do.  I'm always taken aback when the Stats indicate that some 6000 or more people drop by this Blog every month. Thanks for that, first of all...  But ... well... Wow!

Anyway, before this so called Polar Vortex rolled in on top of us (we used to call it Winter, back before Toronto forgot that in Canada it snows every year)  I was contacted by Jeremy, who has apparently been riffling through the Bondi Blog.

He and his partner Matt produce really funky items for deep country skiers and boarders, under the name of Orion Packs.  And he'd spotted a lot of ski activity featured here.  "Would we be interested in looking at one of these packs, and giving feedback?' 
Sure. Why not? 

After all, although we are not exactly high mountain country, both Dave and Mike are avid downhill skiers, and Mike has worked at Grouse Mountain and Snow Valley and skied a whole bunch of other really big mountains.  So, bless 'em, they sent us a pack to try out.

easy to adjust with gloves on
The one we tried was called the Archer, it allows the skier to carry the skis angled across the back, which provides a well balanced load, and is critical in deep country where skiers may need to hike in or up to the appropriate start point.

 Carrying skis in a vertical fashion causes trouble, especially if you have to clamber downhill at any point, because the skis dig into the snow behind you.  Even angled, if the snow is deep, downhill is tougher, but uphill is just fine.

Dave and Mike both gallantly rose to the occasion to try this out, and give me their feedback. Which was all positive.

The pack is well constructed. Has a useful back pouch, and two great easily accesssible pouches on the front to let you carry essential items securely.  Those, we hasten to add, are easy to adjust while wearing bulky gloves, which is another bit plus.

The snowboard version carries a small shovel and beacon for avalanche rescue -- which would not be a big issue here in Ontario.  That in fact was the only suggestion that the boys had -- perhaps a loop that would allow a shovel to attach, and definitely a ring on the front where a whistle might be fastened. But that is pretty minor.  You could loop one around the chest strap.

They both felt the pack was well built, well designed, easy to put on and take off, very simple to load and unload skis and poles, even easy to attach a helmet. 

They were, in a word, impressed.

Go check them out. If you ski big mountains, or hike into deep terrain with nordic gear, these would be a great addition to your gear.

Thanks for giving us the chance to take such a closer look at these Jeremy and Matt!

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Happy Birthday Sliding

 Happy Birthday Michael!   He rolled in today to our toboggan hill with a bunch of friends and an assortment of sleds and toboggans.

Not to mention Mom and Dad, who made sure that there was a good supply of hot chocolate on hand, and some very chocolate brownies from Erika's!

They had so much gear in fact that Brian drove them up to the hill with the snowmobile (not the kids -- they hiked. Just the gear and the hot chocolate!)

 Taffy got into the act when I went up to snap some pictures.

We joke about that hill... we say that the kids go from the very top. The adults tend to go from the middle...

These kids were quite happy to go from anywhere at all on that big slope!

There was some jostling, some racing, some vying for position...

And there was just a whole ton of fun going on.

Which is how a birthday is supposed to be celebrated. We think.

It was great to have you and your friends here to enjoy the hill, Michael!  See you next year!

Icicle Eyes!

 This little 'Artic Explorer' is James. He was here today to help celebrate his big brother's birthday.   Under that furry hat, are lovely rosey cheeks -- and icicles on his eyelashes!

Undaunted by the big hill, he was keen to come down from the very top!  

There was a wide variety of sliding devices on hand to try out, from magic carpets, on up.

The hill was fast. And it is a long one!

James got a little coaching advice from Dad, as he experimented with some different sleds, and with lying down or sitting up. The falling off to the side he had pretty much mastered.


Of course, what goes Down the hill must come back up in order to repeat the process.

And Dad came in pretty handy there as well.

 This is a great hill for kids of all ages, because it is so sheltered. The wind simply cannot reach its icy fingers around the hill and through the trees that frame the site.

 Although cold weather had a job to do if it was to reach in past James really wise choice of winter wear!

Snow Much?

 Here's where you can get a good idea of how much snow we have lying about on the ground.  This is the first target on the Frisbee golf course.

And yes, it does get played in the winter, on snowshoes, but we recommend that you don't use a white frisbee.

The snow is right up to the base of the basket!

And this summer shot will show you the baskets, without the snow (but with Brian Slattery tossing the fris!)

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

More Mariners Making Merry

 Helen, one of our guests who comes with the Ancient Mariners Canoe Club, was kind enough to send along this assortment of photos from their week here in mid-January.

The weather might have been chilly, but the spirits were glowing like a blazing fire.

They were out every day, snowshoeing, skiing, or just hiking.

 The ice on the cliffs is always a great photo opp. And the snowbank makes a handy place to pause and catch one's breath.
 Looking back to Bondi from the Port Cunnington Rock Cut.
 A little bit of snow... the view from the dining room window.

 Dressed correctly for conditions, it's not that cold. Especially when you get out of the wind, like here, along the bottom of the gravel pit on the Hidden Lake Trail.

 But of course, you can never spend ALL your time outside!  Coming back indoors to the fireplace, and the good food, good times and great company in the dining room is always a big part of their getaway!

 This great shot just speaks for itself!!
 Mossy lichen and snow on stark granite makes an interesting photo composition

And no trip up here is complete without at least one foray into Algonquin Park, and another to Dorset to visit Robinson's Store.  And a trip to Robinson's always provides Top Model opportunities -- this time, in headgear.

Friday, January 17, 2014

A Place to Nap, a Place to Walk

 Deep snow makes it tough for the deer to move around.  This is particularly true when the snow includes an icy crust that can scrape legs, and let the deer 'almost' stand on it but then drop away underneath them.

That can make life tiring, so this doe took the chance to snug down near Beaver cottage this morning after a snack of cedar twigs to rest up.  Snow is very insulating, and with the deer's thick coats and hollow hairs, is suprisingly warm.

The deer, not stupid, will tend to follow established trails in order to make it easier to get around. Much as we do, following shovelled paths or beaten trails.  Or ski trails. The deer love the ski trails, which make it simple for them to move around within our 20 km. network in the woods.

This is one of the Deer Highways, coming down right across from our entrance to the Lodge.  It's a good shot of it, showing clearly the well defined trail that makes scooting up that hill easy!

Painting the Town White

January 31 to Feb. 2, Huntsville fills the Main Street with Snow, and then heats the place up with the Winter Comedy Carnival

 Combining headline comedic performances with winter sports and demos, the event will cater to everyone from adult comedy fans to outdoor adventure lovers to families and children seeking fun outdoor activities to create lasting winter memories.  You can laugh your a** off with Brent Butt, or ski down the Main St. Or just shop.

 Huntsville’s main streets will  be snow covered and magically transformed into a winter playground. Jackrabbit ski races will take place on the Main St. and will be open to the public for skiing and snowshoeing. Algonquin Outfitters will be offering free demos including snowshoeing, Nordic skiing, fat bikes, and igloo building. AO will also be featuring ski and snowboard terrain features on Main Street and in River Mill Park, and a Burton Riglet Park designed for kids under 10 to experience snowboarding.

Shoppers will have the unique opportunity to ski and shop downtown, all while enjoying live music and food vendors. There will be a licensed area complete with a custom carved ‘ice bar’. Participants will also want to check out the “Craftsman Challenge,” supporting Habitat for Humanity, where some of Muskoka’s best carpenters and builders will be donating time and materials to charity.

Comedy fans will not be disappointed by this year’s line up. Friday night will feature Canada’s own Brent Butt, of CTV’s Corner Gas fame, live at The Algonquin Theatre. A stop on his “Almost a Movie Star” stand up tour and hot on the heels of the release of his feature film “No Clue”, the Saskatchewan native Butt brings his signature style and outrageous humour to Huntsville.

Saturday night, headliner Jim Belushi and the Board of Comedy will be performing at Deerhurst Resort!

Huntsville’s Winter Comedy Carnival will celebrate the best that winter in Muskoka has to offer. From outdoor adventure and fun, sporting events, demos plus headline comedic performances, January 31 to February 2, 2014 is a weekend to mark on your calendar.

Come stay with us at Bondi, and enjoy our Third for a Quarter Special
  -- book two nights at the regular rate, and you can stay the third night for just twenty five dollars more!

Ancient Mariners Forever Young!

 The first day of their stay, snowshoes with bear-claw grips were in order, but we were able to fluff up the trails for them for the rest of their stay!

These happy faces belong to one of our fav groups, The Ancient Mariners Canoe Club.

This picture was taken in our back field. They are standing right about where the alpha male wolf was standing when he howled at me in the dark two years ago!

Whatever the snow conditions, when you get to Devil's Drop, snowshoes are the preferred mode of  travel!

Thanks to Helen for sharing these great photos with us!

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Here Fishy Fishy...

Mike has completed (and deployed) his new fish-hut.

It is available for rent. For up to four people. Comes with a propane heater, and a minnow bucket.  And a hole in the ice through which you can peer downward.

Strategically located on a shelf of falling rock, it's a popular place for the fish to gather.

Not to mention the Legendary Lake of Bays Sea Monster.  Or so we are told.

Price depends on the number of people, so call or email us for details!

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Making Tracks

Today was perfect for the snowshoe enthusiasts!  Our guests from the Ancient Mariners Club were out all day, enjoying trails.  When conditions are icy, snowshoes are a great option. The bear claw grips on the modern style make for very sure footed travel.

They weren't bear claw tracks, but Ralph found tracks that he is pretty sure were left behind by a bobcat. That's pretty exciting!

And now we've got a skiff of snow, with more falling tonight, so the ski trails will be back in good shape for tomorrow!

Going Downhill Fast

 Thanks to Ian, who sent along these wonderful photos of the Baillie Clan having a blast on our toboggan hill last weekend.

It's a big hill.  We joke that the kids go from the very top, while the adults go from the middle...

Last weekend, it was a fast hill, too.  The weather was a little too mild -- we got rain on Saturday, and we hate rain in winter.

The family was able to get here early on Friday, however, so they got in a lot of sliding time then. And Sunday was fabulous.

Enough tobogganing time that apparently at least one of the kids was tuckered out...

how many people can you get on one slidey???

Is it at all necessary to see where you are going?

I love this shot!  AIR TIME!

that great moment just before the wipe out!

Starts with Two, and 29 years later...

  Nancy and Bill started coming to Bondi in 1985.

We've been privileged to host their "Family New Year" (a little late, so as not to interfere with the business of the actual New Year season)  for 29 years now.

And look how the family has grown!!

Wow!  How wonderful for the whole family to have the chance to spend time together like this.

Tobogganing is at the top of the list of activities. Most years, the parking lot becomes a road hockey rink too, but this year they hit a nasty day of melt on Saturday.   There was still lots of opportunity to hit the toboggan hills though on either side of that melt.

Nathan and Phoebe spent some time in the barn, playing with the pony and the hens.

And Tris spent time creating a throne on top of the snowbank.  Which he found himself sharing with Taffy...

But at every opportunity, it was off to the toboggan hill...

Happy Bondi New Year Baillie Family!