Sometimes in life there is an experience that bonds itself to your soul and you want to share it with the rest of the world, perhaps motivating others to step out on a new journey or outdoor experience in their own lives. That was the case with me several years ago. I have traveled to many places across several continents, but I had never had an experience that affected me as much as my first trip to Bluffy Lake Lodge in Northwest Ontario.
It’s not just the camp, but the people who run the camp. Bluffy Lake stands on its own as a mystical and sacred place, graced with the beauty of the pristine north woods, where the trees touch the sky, the clouds dip into the mirrored lake and the bald eagles want an up close and personal relationship with you. The beaver send you a welcome message with the slapping of their broad tails, and the loons call you quietly with their hypnotic cry to gaze upon their waters.
Just as welcoming are the owners Keith and Ms. Debbie. I have never met two people who are so in tune with accommodating you any way they can without crowding you. Both of Canadian ancestry, they are ambassadors of the great northern outdoors. Their lives are virtually focused on the protection of the environment and respect for its inhabitants. Calling them true woodsmen is an understatement. They live and breathe Bluffy Lake. Treating the environment like a young child, protecting it from mistreatment by any intruding adult. Giving back more than you take is daily routine and second nature to them. Their awareness of the animal and fish movement is uncanny, unlike anything you’ve ever read about. Watching Keith in the bear woods is like watching a weathered artisan at work. Knowing and feeling air movement, wind, wet moss that has been disturbed just moments before, fresh bark and claw marks, territorial signs of a monarch’s presence before human appearance. Keith transforms himself into the “bear mode”, knowing full well what he will most likely do next or what he will react to.
Traveling up and down the lake with either of them is like looking through a looking glass: you see things that you might never notice otherwise. While in camp, they are watching you without you knowing , ensuring that you are getting the full value of your experience, treating you like old friends that you would have over on a Sunday afternoon. Perhaps feasting on a fresh game harvest, or just to talk about what you need to talk about. Part of the Bluffy Lake experience…you bet!
They allow you to feel as though your discoveries are on your own, but if they feel you are running short, they will help you along, after all, you are in their front yard, their space, and they welcome you, and they learn from you, as you do from them. Guardians of Bluffy Lake, perhaps, but also guardians of that wealth of experience that the great outdoors has to offer: keepers of the natural instincts of man. He sometimes does not realize from where he came. Bluffy Lake brings him home!