When my girlfriend sent me the Airbnb listing to a tree house at the end of the summer, it looked like the perfect lil getaway amid a never-ending pandemic.
A private forest on 300 acres away from humanity? Yes please. Adorable tree house overlooking a peaceful meadow? Give it to me. S’mores by the fire? Slap it in my face.
Juggling vacation days and other commitments, we booked our first vacation together over the Halloween weekend. The countdown was on.
To keep the excitement going, we created a joint playlist on Spotify for the drive up. Having something to look forward to was a welcome change to the unending work-sleep cycle we’ve found ourselves in since work from home started in March.
Port Perry, Ont., can be a two-hour drive from Hamilton depending on traffic, but we were in the historic downtown after an hour and a half.
After checking out a bookstore and a few other spots around town, we got a text from the property manager that our tree house was ready.
Andrew met us at the main house, hopped on an ATV and led us through a series of trails to where we would spend the next few days. As the tree house emerged through the foliage, we let out an excited shriek. We had found the perfect place to unplug, get high and enjoy nature.
The air was full of blissful silence.
Once we got a rundown of how everything worked, Andrew pointed out the beginning of a hike, and with the words “follow the signs and it’s almost impossible to get lost,” he was gone.
Rebecca and I dropped our things off on the second storey — the bathroom was on the first and the bed in the loft — and found a lovely welcome gift in the form of a bottle of wine and postcard. There was also a small stereo, loveseat and chair, kitchenette and a chest that doubled as a table. Once I set up my cannabis accoutrement, it felt like home.
Ours was the only tree house on the property, though host Frank also rents out a nearby cabin.
The property was gorgeous and once we started exploring, it was clear there was plenty to take in. Ponds dotted the area along with places to sit and reflect. The crispness of the air offered a nice balance to the pot cookie I ate before we left.
Something about autumn gave the place an eerie feel that intensified the more we saw and the darker it got. There was a notable absence of wildlife.
We came across an ominous deflated basketball in the middle of a trail. What does it mean, we wondered.
A warning from a forest dweller to turn back? Perhaps a comment on our deteriorating collective consciousness? We scanned our surroundings, but they revealed nothing. I kept my eyes open for creepy signs.
Later that night we attempted a fire, but with the