As my husband and I approached the front door to Skoki Lodge, we paused for a moment to take in some familiar and inexplicably comforting smells.
This is something that bonds us. The smells of the backcountry, a fire crackling in a stove, the “eau de log cabin” – they make us feel at home. I have never been able to put my finger on it, that influence of a cozy backcountry lodge, but upon entering that door I immediately began to relax and return to my roots. Reading by candlelight on a cushy, window-side settee, I immediately zoned out and into my book, free from the distractions of life near the phone, email, people. The rest of the world was an 11-kilometre ski away.
But the distance from the demands of every day life is only a part of the equation. There are some places on the planet that are simply magical, and Skoki is one of them. Compared to the rest of the world, this cabin has a recent history, but it is one filled with rich stories, hilarious adventures and colourful characters. I love looking at the fireplace and thinking of all the people that have sat there before me, including one of my distant relatives, who stayed at Skoki back in the 40′s (Mr. Lawren Harris, of the Group of Seven fame).
The lack of distractions and amenities returns you to the simpler times of a bygone era (though it’s worth mentioning that Skoki takes good care of you with comfortable beds and famously delicious meals!). In a world that moves way too quickly, it really soothes the soul to slow down and live in the present moment. I try to live in the present moment in my everyday life, but feel that I’m often multi-tasking. By spending time in a place like Skoki, or any of the other places that call my soul on this planet, I allow myself to just be.
We all have those places that tug on our heartstrings.
I encourage you to do yourself a favour and go visit them once in a while. We could all use a little bit of soul soothing from time to time.
Where are your favourite “soul soothing” places? Please share them in the Comments – perhaps you’ll inspire someone else to visit.
Skoki Lodge is a National Historic Site located in Banff National Park (made even more famous when the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge stayed there on their honeymoon getaway in 2011). It is only accessible via an 11-kilometre ski in the winter or hike in the summer. Find out 10 Things You Never Knew about this historic lodge in an article I wrote for Highline.