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  • Writer's pictureThe Roving Route

Isolating for 8 Weeks on Lake of the Woods

The Adventures of The Roving Route #30

Hello Everyone!! 

We want to welcome you back to our newsletter! We have been having some serious déjà vu writing this. The last time we sent out an update we were just returning home from Vietnam and were preparing for negative degree weather and quarantine. Today, we have just lifted our boat out of the water as we once again prepare to be completely isolated for the next 8 weeks as Canadian winter hits us hard!

As with many of you, we hoped when we returned in March, Covid-19 would have been controlled enough to maybe start a form of travel again come late Fall 2020. Well, fall has come, and as we see by the numbers around the world, that is not the case. Starting in 2019, we set off on our path to completely avoid Canadian winters and explore new parts of the world while trying to make an impact locally and globally.  With the world as it is we are not able to explore new areas, so instead have taken the window of opportunity to do something we have both dreamt of accomplishing in our own backyard.   

In all the years of Derek's family owning property on Coney Island, no one has stayed for the 8 weeks when the ice forms causing the property to be inaccessible by boat or car. This year is also very special as it is the 60th anniversary of the family owning the specific cottage that we are living in! For the next 8 weeks, the Northern Ontario weather takes a turn for the worse, and Lake of the Woods (LOTW) will steadily get into the deep freezing temperatures that it is famous for. By mid-January, the ice is at least 16 inches thick in most parts which allow for ATVs, cars, and eventually semi-trailers to drive on it. LOTW has over 14,000 islands and during the heart of winter, a network of ice roads are plowed that snake their way between and over hundreds of islands and even make their way into the US. An extension of the main ice road makes its way to our cottage which allows access by car from Mid January to mid or late March. 

Photo from Google

During these next 8 weeks, we are not completely cut off from civilization as the city of Kenora installs a floating bridge connecting the far side of Coney (and its few year-round residents) to the mainland. Our issue is that bridge is several kilometers away, over rough and hilly terrain, where bushwhacking is common practice. Knowing that we started to stockpile food and supplies to help get us through the weeks of isolation. We are happy to fill you in more about our preparation in the coming weeks if you are interested.

Covid-19 changed not only our travel plans but the entire travel industry in general. With the way that the virus spreads it is incredibly important to try to limit the number of people you come in contact with each day. Each travel day, you interact with more people than you would at home so it's tough for us to promote travel while we feel it is best to stay put? That said, how do we just ignore the tens of millions of people who rely on those tourists for their livelihoods? In recent years it has felt like travel consisted of experiencing the most you can of a place in the shortest amount of time. As a society, we will have to find a balance with travel and because of that, travel planning will likely become more important than it has ever been. We want to assist as many as possible with travel planning and inspiration but feel it is important to not undertake the trip until it is safe - both for you and the host country. Though we would rather be on the road we are super excited about this opportunity and cant wait to keep people filled in on how LOTW changes through the seasons. 

Though it has been a long break since we last sent out an email, we are going to be making it a more regular thing so keep an eye out for our next newsletter. We are not sure how it will be tweaked to not involve as much travel, so we want to hear from you all! Do you have any questions about travel? Do you want to hear more about our winter adventures? Let us know by replying to this newsletter or contacting us on any of our social media platforms. Make sure to follow us on Instagram for tips, inspiration, and photos from our past travels. You are also welcome to head over to our website at for destination guides and/or to read past weekly updates.

During this time, keep the old Chinese Proverb in mind - "The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now." While you move through the new landscape that Covid-19 has caused, try something that you have been meaning to do for ages!

Cheers from Coney,

The Roving Route


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