Location + Avocations:
Jessica Lake is 1-1/2 hours east of Winnipeg, lying just north of the 50th parallel. Situated in the boreal forest amid granite outcroppings and rolling terrain characteristic of the Canadian Shield, Jessica is a clear lake that is fed and drained by the Whiteshell River. From our south-facing beach and our dock, fishing, swimming, canoeing, kayaking, stand-up paddling are just some of the activities available in summer. Windsurfing, boating and bike riding (trail and/or road) are also accessible to those with initiative and gear. You are welcome to use our waterskis, life jackets and floaty toys. Hiking (on nearby well-marked trails, see link below), blueberry picking, bird watching and star-gazing are also available.
"37 Manitoba Master Angler Awards have come out of Jessica Lake."
It is that natural place where you can choose from an eclectic menu of activities, including *very little activity*.
The cottage was built in 1950 (without the aid of electricity!) and we completely remodeled and enlarged it in 2005. Original (and newer matching) knotty pine T&G Vee-joint siding throughout, cork floor in living room. 8' wide, tinted glass picture window in the LR and large screened patio door in the kitchen -- all facing the star of the show . . . pristine Jessica Lake. A large wraparound deck comes off the kitchen and faces the lake. There is a gas BBQ and a picnic table.
The cottage is, in current parlance, biophilic. You live in constant contact with nature and natural things like wood, cork, and linoleum. There is ample natural light and ventilation. You smell the forest, you hear birds, the sigh of wind in the poplar leaves, and the wash of waves on the beach. The echoing cry of loons at night will confirm to you that this is the kind of place where we were meant to live.
Each bedroom (Queen, King, Dbl) has operable windows - original, 1950 Douglas fir inswing casement windows - and a ceiling fan, plus the cottage is well-insulated, shaded and has an air-conditioner. The master BR has a screened patio door opening onto the front deck.
Kitchen & Bath:
There is a large SS fridge, custom maple cabinets and SS electric range/oven as well as a toaster oven and microwave. H+C potable running water. Washer dryer.
YES, we have a coffee bean grinder, French press, perk and a little tea pot (short & stout) . . . plus a cork screw, a plethora of shaker glasses and long stem, XXL wine glasses. (We believe in hydration, in all forms and countenances.)
Three-piece ensuite bath. Our clean outhouse provides some "overflow" capacity if the bathroom gets too busy, or if you have a particularly interesting article to read and seek some well lighted solitude.
Neighbours & Property:
The Jessica Lake Lodge is our neighbour to the Northeast (someone is there year-round) and there are private cottage neighbours along the shore on our southwest flank. The cottage is surrounded by an understory of dogwoods and other leafy varieties and mature poplars, white spruce, pine and birch. (The "rushing" sound of night wind in the poplar leaves is the ideal white noise for sleeping.)
The grassy lawn slopes gently to the shore, then continues gradually to a depth of about 8', 35' away from the shoreline. Sandy, loamy bottom. Great venue for toddlers and also a nice place to swim laps along the shore or swim the distance to the island (1/2 mile). The lake is reasonably shallow (15' at the deepest spot) and warms up quickly. Not much boat traffic except for sunny long weekends in summer.
"Like Winnipeg, Jessica Lake averages sunshine on approximately 318 days per year."
Guests are welcome to have a small fire on the beach and roast marshmallows or wieners. The moonrise over the far shore is a (truly) memorable treat!
Facilities & Seasons:
We have a TV with satellite cable and a DVD player.
Woodburning stove. Electric heat (baseboards) and a heated crawlspace in winter. For anyone who has not experienced a Manitoba winter in the wilderness . . . an awesome experience. The lake freezes over by Christmas and becomes a highway for snowmobilers (and my slightly unusual ice-board windsurfing rig) and two feet - or more - of powder blankets the ground, muffling all sounds and amplifying the sunlight. It is often perfectly still at night and the Northern Lights are incredibly vibrant in the thin, clear air (with little ambient light to compete). Hike, X-country ski (we have a mens/ladies set), rent a snowmobile at Brereton Lake and ride the manicured trail to a heated warm-up log cabin, ice fish, explore. Winter is a TRIP, kids.
Our converted boathouse on the shore (the "Mangrove") can serve as a great rainy day retreat; an evening lightning-watching/wine-drinking spot; a card-room or even (with an air mattress) a spare bedroom.
Fairways & Greens:
There are excellent 18 hole championship courses nearby at Falcon Lake to the SE and Granite Hills & Pinawa GC to the NW.
http://www.falconlakegolfcourse.com/ A long-time favourite, owned and operated by the Provincial government.
http://www.granitehills.ca/ A unique and popular new course!
http://www.pinawaclub.mb.ca/public/index.php Challenging and beautiful.
There are floating golf balls available to hit into the lake. Retrieve them with one of the vessels or swim out or hire an industrious beaver. (They are always looking for work.)
This & That:
There is cell service but some subscribers won't get a signal. The province maintains a boat launch just a 1/4 mile away and there is a fish-cleaning station there as well as waste/recycle receptacles.
Smoking outdoors or in the Mangrove only, please.
*Thank you for looking!
We've kept our cottage in the genre of the 50's - the era in which it was built - but enlarged and modernized. Suppose you'd describe it as MID-CENTURY. Both architecture and furnishings. We've really sweated the details - the original carpenter was superb (joints still perfect after 50 years) and we fitted it up with extreme care and precision, using original materials or new replicas. If you appreciate classic workmanship and woodcraft, this IS your huckleberry. The result is - like so many homes built with natural materials and meticulous finishing - a zen kind of place, calm and serene.
Cheers! Jan & Mitch