Which of the following is important to you when you’re planning a family vacation?
- To buy as many souvenirs as possible.
- To vacation with neighbors or friends from home.
- To have every minute of every day packed with busy activities.
- To spend time together as a family.
The answer, of course, is “d.” And we found just the place to do it and have a great time: Canada.
Last summer my family and I enjoyed a fabulous family vacation at Cedar Point Lodge on Eagle Lake, Ontario. Grandma and Grandpa Hutchison babysat my youngest daughter, 1-year-old Becky, while we were in Canada. I was joined by my husband, Jeff, daughter, Kayla, 5, and son, Brian, 3.
To break up the trip, we drove on Friday from Green Bay to Duluth, where we stayed overnight in a hotel.
We arrived at Cedar Point Lodge in plenty of time to get settled and enjoy a good night’s rest on Saturday.
It wasn’t a normal Sunday for the Young family. We got up early and went fishing!
Our guide, Warren Kujansuu, showed us how to catch a lot of walleyes and a few pike. It was a riot in the boat with three adults and two children. It seemed as though when one person got a bite, two people were reeling in fish at the same time.
Kayla caught the most fish in the morning, which was good since we were having a shore lunch at noon. Brian caught enough to keep him interested and excited. I think it says a lot that we spent the entire day on the water and returned to the lodge just in time to get cleaned up for supper.
The weather was changing from summer to fall. The first two days, it was hot and muggy. For the rest of the trip, it was cool and great “jeans” weather.
(left to right): Brian swimming in Eagle Lake. The Youngs getting ready to board float plane.
Ryan Hron, Brian, Kayla, and Janelle Hron.
The kids were excited to participate in “Kids Day” at the lodge or “Fun Day” as Kayla called it. Kayla and Brian stayed at the lodge one day with other kids and two other activity leaders. The kids participated in a treasure hunt, arts and crafts, as well as games, including “What Time is it, Mr. Wolf?”
When we returned from jigging for walleyes with our guide, Kayla and Brian were thrilled to share all of the things that they had done and collected.
That night, we played with the kids in the sand box, went hiking, and then went back to the condo to watch TV and relax with a book. The kids were sleeping by 8:30 pm.
On a cold and rainy day, Jeff went fishing with the head guide, Wayne Lavers. They caught over 20 nice-sized walleyes and a 17″ smallmouth bass. I stayed back at the cabin and played games and read books with the kids. We also put on our rain gear and went out to the dock and caught a few fish.
The next day we didn’t have a guide, but we had a great time boating and fishing with the kids. It was a lot of fun.
We spent time together at the condo as anticipation began building for the floatplane ride that we were going to take after supper.
Wilderness Air works with Cedar Point Lodge to supply the floatplanes and pilots for excursions. Brian, Kayla, Jeff and I boarded the floatplane from the end of the dock along with two other passengers. Jeff sat in the front of the plane (copilot) for the trip.
Brian’s and Kayla’s eyes got bigger as the plane warmed up and reached a peak after lift-off. the deep blue lake was surrounded by a canopy of green trees and shrubs.
“It’s loud,” Kayla yelled to me above the engine noise. Brian hung on for dear life as he grabbed the window frame with both hands. He pressed his face against the glass to take in the fantastic view as the plane became airborne.
As soon as the plane leveled off over magnificent Eagle Lake, it wasn’t so loud. The kids were totally relaxed and excited. I enjoyed watching Brian while he gazed over the beautiful landscape below. This ride turned into one of the highlights of the trip.
(left to right) Brian and Jeff fishing from break wall. Kayla reeling in northern pike.
It was the first thing Brian wanted to tell Grandpa Hutchison when he returned home. Grandpa asked him if he liked the floatplane. With a twinkle in his eye, Brian’s enthusiastic response was, “Yes, I did, Grandpa.” Grandpa then asked if he caught any fish (meaning, later in the trip). Without hesitation, he responded, “How could I, the doors (floatplane doors) were closed?”
Whether it was on the floatplane or just taking a boat ride at night, Canada provided many quiet opportunities to enjoy our family.
During the week while we were at Cedar Point Lodge, we had real “quality time” together. We were away from the telephones, computers, pagers, and other day-to-day distractions. It was a lot of fun being out on the boat together and just hanging around the beach as a family. Cedar Point Lodge offered a family-friendly atmosphere that was very refreshing.
Cedar Point Lodge was founded in 1937. At that time it was called “Cedar Point Muskie Camp.” It consisted of small cabins with row boats that were used for fishing. In the 1950’s, the boats were rigged with 5 h.p. motors.
It would take hours to get across the lake. Now the equipment ranges from 25-200 h.p. motors on the fishing boats.
Even though the equipment, cabins, and the lodge have improved greatly over the years, Canada itself has not changed or lost its mystique and charm.
Canada is a very peaceful place where you can immerse yourself in nature. Just a few of our observations: five bald eagles, an eagle’s nest, a heron, a whitetail buck and two does, a moose, frogs, dragon flies, walleye, pike, perch, seagulls, rock bass, loons, and multiple other birds and insects (which kids love).
On the last day of fishing with the kids, Jeff caught a 27″ pike and I caught a few smaller ones. With each trip to Canada, we are improving our fishing skills. It’s fun to pass the love of fishing on to a new generation.
I was a bit leery about bringing such young children to Canada for a week. I wasn’t sure how they would handle being away from home for so long.
At breakfast on Friday, Jeff and I were talking about packing up all of our stuff for the trip home on Saturday. Brian said, “We just got here. we aren’t leaving already?”
We drove straight through on the way home. We packed a picnic lunch and stopped at Wendy’s for supper. When we were deciding where to eat supper, I asked Kayla if she would like to eat at Wendy’s. We had eaten there in Duluth on the trip up to Eagle Lake. Kayla said, “She makes good chicken nuggets.”
The kids did a really good job of riding in the van on the way home. We made the entire trip in less than 12 hours.
A few days after we returned from our trip to Cedar Point Lodge, Brian asked me, “How many days ’til we go back to Canada, Mom?”
I am happy that my kids got hooked on Canada. Our family is looking forward to our next trip up north.
By Jennifer Young
This article was featured in All-Canada Show’s Magazine – “All Canada Adventures”