Alberta’s North is filled with winter experiences you should know more about. Why? #SkiNorthAB with us this season, search the tag and use it to show off what you find!
Channelling good energy with skiing, natural therapies and fine spirits
Having a tuning fork vibrating on your chest as you lie awash in yellow light, as Sandra Kathnelson is currently experiencing, may not intuitively sound like a way to reconnect to nature. But it’s all about good vibrations.
“What we’re doing is moving the energy in your body, so instead of it being kinked like a garden hose, it’s flowing properly,” explains Amber Howard, proprietor and therapist at Lighten Up Therapy in Vermilion. “When our bodies are at a low energy level, disease and illness can affect us. When we raise our energy and we are vibrating at a higher level, those things don’t affect us as much.” (Lighten Up also offers more traditional forms of therapy like massage.)
You'll feel like your a million miles from the stresses of the world out on the trails at Vermilion Provincial Park.
From the relaxed pace of main street to the smoothly groomed trails of Vermilion Provincial Park, there’s little in the way of obstruction or distraction. Like a tuning fork, it has a way of un-kinking the energy within.
The unencumbered experience of gliding through the mixed aspen and pine forests at Vermilion Provincial Park, on the ski club’s groomed trail network, can certainly generate energy flow within the body when done right. The full-body motion of cross-country skiing requires a certain coordinated effort, but without stress or tension.
Nordic skiing is a narrative thread that runs straight through the lives of Kathnelson and her family. They’ve been skiing these trails since her boys were little.
Sandra Kathnelson and her son, Sam, wax their skis before heading out on the Nordic ski trails.
Now her eldest, Sam, is 18 and a member of the provincial Nordic ski team. Looking back, they laugh about the days when he was little and she would bribe him with M&Ms to get him up the final hill back to the Beckie Scott Nordic Centre.
These days, Sam outpaces his mom, but the incentive for both remains much the same after a couple of hours on the trails: a reward of good, hot food at Red Brick Cafe. And as usual, Vermilion’s chicest eatery doesn’t disappoint: today’s specials include a gorgeous pork bao, garnished with thin slices of radish, and a beautiful chocolate crepe with whip. A pair of red, vintage skinny skis leans next to the fireplace.
The Red Brick Cafe has an impressive menu of worldly flavours.
A little way down main street, there’s yet another way to indulge and relax. Vermilion’s newest addition to the scene, Copper Cork Distillery crafts intricate flavours of vodka, gin and moonshine with a decidedly local spin. Inside the distillery, where co-owner Todd Ree gives tours, the stills are named after the owners’ grandmothers - Nellie, Helen, Shirley and Gertie. Their Rhuby gin is named after two of the owners’ mothers (and flavoured with sweet rhubarb).
You can sample some tasty spirits at the Copper Cork Distillery, such as a rhubarb gin.
“We had another spirit, a raspberry gin, and it’s called Vi’s,” says Ree. “She was a fanatical raspberry gardener and we were lucky enough to inherit all her raspberries.”
It seems almost too good to be true the way things align here in Vermilion, but the community has channeled some sort of good energy that seems to flow through everything here. Maybe that tuning fork really works.
When You Go
It's very Vermilion to love winter. Find out why here.
Like this story? Make sure to Tweet it.
Learn more about what Northern Alberta has in store for you this winter visiting our #SkiNorthAB page, where more stories and videos will be coming out all season long.