By Alex Armstrong
October, or as the Sea to Sky locals are affectionately calling it, Aug-tober, really kept the summer vibes flowing well into fall with sunny days and high temps. When I got the call from Abby Cooper, the ultimate purveyor of adventure, to join her and some like-minded pals at Ancient Cedars Lodge in Pemberton BC it was an easy yes. Ancient Cedars Lodge is the epicentre of nourishment- both in adventure access for those that crave it and in the form of the perfect environment to slow it down and connect to one’s self and others. Life rule, never turn down the opportunity to visit Ancient Cedar Lodge - so I packed up the bike and the RUX and got on the road to Pemberton.
Though I’ve driven the 99 through Pemberton many times on my way to the Duffy or beyond, I can honestly say I never would have thought a grove of cedars existed only meters off the highway. As we made the turn off to Ancient Cedars Lodge marked by a proud cedar round with the Lodge’s logo on it, I was instantly transported into a forest oasis with the lodge front and centre.
The plan for the trip; bike, hot tub, stretch, work out, make pizza and be merry - and maybe sneak into the cozy office quarters for some emails if my inbox exploded. Just a few activities to pack into a day but always worth the effort. I brought my RUX 70L which more than took care of my packing list - especially because the lodge had all the bells and whistles - cozy robes included.
When packing I like to think about getting ready for each activity so as not to forget any essentials. Here are the goods:
- 1 Bike Helmet (for safety)
- 1 Pair of Bike Shoes
- 1 Fanny Pack (the Pemby grinds are real, snacks are key)
- Bike Clothes (pants and a tee)
- Knee Pads, Gloves, Glasses, Socks (all the fixins’)
- Bathing Suit (for the outdoor hot tub at Ancient Cedars Lodge)
- Flip Flops
- Cozy Gear for Lodge Life (Sweater, Sweat Pants and Down Booties)
- Yoga Gear (Tights, Top, the lodge has mats)
- A Good Book
- A Couple of tasty Coast Mountain Beers
- All the toppings and dough for homemade pizzas
With that all squared away conveniently in the all-in-one RUX 70L, the unpack and the fun began. From Ancient Cedars Lodge’s doorstep, the Mackenzie bike trails are less than a one-kilometre pedal away. We snuck in an afternoon ride and hit the ever-classic, Cream Puff which boasts amazing views of Mt. Currie, the massive peak that presides over Pemberton.
With a little sweat equity in the bank, we made it back to the lodge in time to catch the sunset from the hot tub with a little Coast Mountain brew to quench our thirst. As the light faded through the big grove of cedars that surround the lodge, we all migrated inside to enjoy some cozy lodge time. The crew gathered in the kitchen to assemble pizzas. With a few bakers and chefs on hand, they came out perfectly and our 12-person crew indulge at the larger-than-life table followed by a food coma.
Early ups let us soak up the last little bit of lodge life. Emails by the fireplace for those work remoters while the rest of us headed to the geodome aptly called the Nest with coffees and mats in hand to get in a little yoga sesh. This wood fire-heated dome was the perfect space to get a little limber.
It’s an easy place to work from or base your play out of. It’s just as easy to spend a night or a week here with my preference being the latter. Although we didn’t have time on our side this go, we pack up and say goodbye to this home away from home, can’t help but be thankful for getting into this Sea to Sky hidden gem. As we pull out of the driveway and back onto the busy 99, it’s hard to believe that little slice of paradise, Ancient Cedars Lodge is so close but feels so far away.