Sometimes, in the dead of winter, you get 2, 3 or 4 really kick-ass days that let you know that the world isn’t freezing you to death. You know the ones; where, after a week or more of relentless snow dumps, rotated with ice storms and more snow dumps, you get a forecast of “Holy Shit, it’s gonna be 7° C (which in real terms is almost 45° F), so we should go to the cabin and chill and stuff”.
It’s like falling in love, or seeing Guided By Voices play live as often as you want, hanging with Bob, Doug and the lads. It’s pretty freaking amazing.
Side-note: Nobody asked me if I wanted to switch from Imperial to Metric, and I’m still traumatized by the whole event. Would you prefer to hear it’s 17° or 64°? I know which I prefer. Metric blows goats. The warmer it is, the higher the numbers should be, FFS!!!!!! Anyhow.
This weekend is one of those wickedly brilliant times. Family Day weekend, 19 Feb 2017.
We had originally thought of taking the dogs with us, spend the night, have a blast. But what we did not know was the condition of the way into the cabin once we got to the end of the cleared road. It’s a 2km hike in, once you stop at the school bus turn-around circle. In lots and lots of snow.
Sure, it’s sometimes packed down by ski-doos or ATV’s, but ya never know. So we left the amigos behind today, and made a half-day trip of it for us. Just to see the Burrow, tell Her we loved Her, and to attempt a few challenges.
Don’t get me wrong here; the cabin is just that, a cabin. Not a beach house with hydro and running water. It’s completely off-grid, as are the other cabins around us. It’s a brilliant adventure, even when we can drive in via the goat paths that lead to Her. But today, after all the crazy weather of late, we did not know if the dogs could actually walk through whatever snow was there. A Bassador, short and stocky, a Lurcher with long, spindly legs, and a Spanish Galga; same legs as the Lurcher. It might have been a total disaster.
We hit the road, drove for an hour, with a coffee pit stop, arrived at the stopping point for wheeled vehicles, geared up and headed forward.
Another side-note: I’m recovering, still, from a mis-diagnosed broken ankle from over 2 years ago. 2 surgeries later, I’m just recently at 8% Dorsi-flexion….which is at the bottom level of normal human walking range. My PT consists of (trying to) walk like a normal person; without limping. Fun. Not. Snowshoes however, make life a whole shitload easier.
We managed the entry hike in 45 minutes (I think it’s mostly more downhill than on the way out).
Once we actually made it to the cabin proper, we stripped off snowshoes and jackets, and got down to the fun task of shoveling the accumulated snow from the steps and part of the deck, so we could actually get to the door and open it. Trust me, it was a bit of a chore!
Once enough snow had been cleared away, we greeted the Burrow as we usually do, with compliments and expressions of love.
We chatted with a few neighbours who either skied in or walked in, and got the 19th century cook stove going….after I had to dig out the chopping stump to build up our firewood supply for the day, dig out the fire pit for a couple of really cool and uncommon fire-starting challenges (more on that in part 2) and my partner snow shooed a path to the outhouse. Good times!
We had lunch, a first test of a real dehydrated meal (we have made jerky, dried apples, kale chips, dried peppers, etc; but never anything substantial). It rocked. Dehydrated ground pork, corn, chickpeas (garbonzo beans), rice and separate salsa to add flavour.
Yes, the video I watched showed how to make everything together in the dehydrator, but I didn’t totally trust the presenter on his YouTube channel. No I won’t name him, or others who give shit or dangerous info, in this post. That is a totally different blog post. Just be careful what you learn from YouTube. Lots of dangerously stupid people have computers……
Lunch consisted of 2 home-dehydrated beef jerky (bottom round roast) flavours, spicy and curried, dehydrated Mexican, cheese, dehydrated apples, trail mix, chocolate and water. Nothing spectacular, but frigging amazing.
As it’s February in Canada, water for dish-washing was provided by melting snow in the over-sized kettle. Gotta love simplicity. Dishes were washed in the main room, where the stove is, giving us a bit more warmth. Water was disposed of outside in the snow, away from the cabin, and certainly not down the sink as we do in good weather. No point in messing around with a frozen septic bay, is there?
With the fire dwindling in the stove, we got dressed again, to head out and commence our fire-starting challenges, which will appear in A day at the Cabin (part 2). Prepare to be amazed and amused, folks, because now is when everything gets pretty damned wicked.