Updated: Oct 7
Welcome to the first edition of our monthly newsletter, where we share the details of our ministry and adventures living at Frontier Lodge. This has been a hectic month for us, as we’ve been navigating the proverbial class 3 rapids of starting a new life in the middle of nowhere (Nordegg, AB to be precise), going on a short but sweet camping honeymoon to BC in the falling temperatures of September, and of course - getting married! Here’s a quick look at what we’ve been up to:
Tiny Wedding Advice: As many of you will know, Emilie and I just got married on the fourth of this month! We decided to go the tiny, COVID-style route and invited only 25 people to our mountain getaway wedding. The campfire roared and the sun set over Shunda Lake as we said our vows, and the late-season weather suited us perfectly. A huge shout-out to Frontier Lodge’s own head chef Nick for the incredible seven-course (yes, you heard that correctly) vegan feast that left even die-hard carnivores mumbling that the food was “not bad for being vegan” - I’m looking at you, Grandpa Arnold ;). We finished the night off by the campfire, but the real adventure began the next morning when we struck out on a wedding party mountain bike ride. Despite some gaps in biking experience levels, we all made it down Germaphobe (a local flow trail) in one piece. That wasn’t the case the rest of the day, however, as both dads ended the ride with crashes on the Frontier Lodge bike park, my dad going down hard enough on his head to forget the wedding had happened the previous day… But don’t panic, he remembers just about everything now!
As proprietors of a beautiful little wedding, we’d like to offer this piece of advice to
anyone considering a smaller than average wedding: Do it! Just don’t let your dads
anywhere near a dirt jump!
Golden, BC - Pure Gold!: After our eventful bike ride, Em and I hopped in the car to drive out to our honeymoon destination in Golden, BC. We were drawn by the promise of warm September weather, world-class mountain biking, a cozy yurt, and beautiful hikes to check out, and were not disappointed. We stayed at The Ranch campground and from that base camp hiked to the Thompson River Falls, biked the famous canyon creek trail (in which you literally ride alongside a massive canyon), checked out some local shops, and rode the Mount Seven trail system. We’d happily recommend all of these day trips to anyone looking for an adventure, especially Canyon Creek Trail and the flow trail “Premature” in the Mount Seven trail system. Pictures below!!
Wilderness Adventure Ministry at Frontier Lodge: In the last couple of weeks of the month, Emilie and I began settling into our new jobs at Frontier Lodge in Nordegg, AB. Frontier Lodge is a non-profit, Christian outdoor education center that aims to facilitate wilderness experiences for youth and adults that demonstrate the goodness and glory of God, as well as train participants for life with Jesus. In our first couple of months, we’ll have the opportunity to reach and teach dozens of bible college students through outdoor leadership, mountain biking and spiritual focus time. I’ve already been through a couple of skill rotations with our first-year students, and through the context of mountain biking have enjoyed deeply spiritual conversations with them each day on the topics of biblical peace and how we as God’s apprentices should respond to his word and our relationship to him. It’s been a heavy couple of weeks! As for Emilie, she’s been serving the program by preparing our meals each day as part of the Lodge’s wonderful kitchen team. Each day at supper she entertains both staff members and students with wild food stories from her day. Once, an entire 8 liter batch of homemade yogurt went fuzzy and moldy! You’ll have to ask her for the details, but it’s rumored whoever made that batch doesn’t make the yogurt anymore…
If you’re able to and would like to contribute to our journey and ministry here at Frontier Lodge, you can send Frontier a donation via their website (frontierlodge.ca/donate) and let them know you’d like it to go to mine and Emilie’s compensation. Frontier Lodge is a non-profit organization and as a result, a lot of our salary has to come from donations such as this, so the support is greatly appreciated! You’ll receive a tax receipt on your donation to boot!
Thanks for tuning into this month’s newsletter! If you enjoyed it please let us know, and if you know anyone you think would like to receive these updates, let them know they can send us their email and we’ll add them to the mailing list. Newsletters will also be able to be viewed on our blog at https://emilieeperrault.wixsite.com/blog. Thanks again for checking this out!
Cheers, Ariel and Em.
P.S. We’ll have a wedding video out soon for anyone interested, courtesy of our amazing videographer Clayton Jackshaw! Stay tuned for more info. In the meantime, a couple of pictures below!
Golden, BC Trip: