Each morning at Mt. Assiniboine Lodge you will hear a friendly voice just outside your cabin door softly saying (really almost singing in an angelic voice), “Good morning, I’ve brought you some hot water – see you at breakfast” and then they are gone and only the birdsong is left in their wake. The cabin and feather duvet you are lying under are toasty warm. There is very cold running water at the sink by the window where light has been drifting in and nudging you for an hour already but it is only this sweet act of truly warm care that will induce you to finally stretch your monumentally tired hiking musculature from such cozy bliss.
A quick trip to the biffy and back to that hot pail of water and then it is off to the main lodge for part one of breakfast. There will be teas and fresh coffee and a buffet of Swiss muesli, hot cereal, fruit salad, orange and cinnamon stewed prunes,homemade granola and yogurt. That is only the first course of a Mt. Assiniboine Lodge hiker/skier’s breakfast. There is always a second course straight from the ovens of this truly remote lodge nestled deep in the Canadian Rockies on the border of British Columbia and Alberta.
After breakfast the daily hiker’s lunch-to-go bounty is laid out on a table for DIY back packing nourishment. Meats, cheeses, vegetables, spreads, an assortment of freshly made rustic breads, cookies, fruits, nuts and little treats are on offer. Guests pick and choose and build a lunch that will fuel the challenge they are about to undertake.
The hosts, Andre Brenner or Claude Duchesne, announce the two guided hikes of the day and groups form based on ability and desire. At 0930 hours they go their separate ways for some serious sojourning. When they return at about 1600 hours there will be lots of fluids, fresh cheeses, fruits and vegetables waiting to help them recover and tide them over till the 1830 hours dinner bell is rung.
What follows are some pictures of the glorious meals one can expect in the most unexpected of all places – deep in the back country of Canada’s pristine Rocky Mountain wilderness.
Anyone who has ever hiked, set up camp, cooked and cleaned up only to crawl into a tiny tent and sleep on the cold hard ground will know what an immense luxury staying at Mt. Assiniboine Lodge is. I’m determined to set aside an annual sum so I can do this every year. It was heaven for me and my family and it was the fulfillment of one of our many adventurous dreams.
Enjoy these pictures and then come and join me in my next post to get some great recipes for the trail and to meet the clever chef behind all this wholesome and delicious food.