"There is more to life than increasing its speed." Mahatma Gandhi
Even people who already live in the woods need a break now and then. Despite our relatively remote location, we are still bombarded with the noise of the world, and demands on our time. Phones, computers, livestreaming programs, Zoom meetings. Of course, our own choices led to this.
Just as easily, we can make different choices. And so it was that, at the end of March, Spousal Unit and I went to Owl Creek Cabin for some isolation. Recreation.gov offers relaxation at over 3,600 facilities and 103,000 individual sites across the country. Browse the website -- you might be surprised what is available near you!
We checked in at 2 p.m. (read: opened the door with a combination) and were impressed with the condition of the cabin. As I would learn later by reading the guest book, the cabin was renovated during 2019. We nibbled snacks while playing Scrabble. The deep concentration of Spousal Unit paid off with a win!"A cabin with plenty of food is better than a hungry castle." Irish Saying
As we went for a walk, it was snowing steadily, adding to the romanticism. We strolled down a road that leads to a number of homes, which are occupied only in the summer. It was easy to imagine the shouts of children at play, and envision parents sitting in deck chairs, hand-in-hand while watching the sun set over the lake. This day, the silence was absolute and we saw not a soul. Most of the homes appear to have been here for decades, with varying levels of maintenance. I loved the classic mountain cabin construction of this residence.
We spent the evening reading. I don't read nearly as much as I would like; when I am at home I am pulled to my 'task list', and reading rarely rises to the top of that list. What a pleasure to read without thinking about what I "should" or "could" be doing!
The next day, fortified by breakfast courtesy of Head Chef, we set off for Holland Falls. (He was impressed and pleased with the cookware available in the cabin.) We made this hike before, with my younger brother and his wife (some photos are in this post from October 27, 2017). Quite different in the snow, but no less stunning.
"The world's big and I want to have a good look at it before it gets dark." John Muir
The 3.3 miles, round trip, was miniscule by our standards, and we found ourselves at a loose end with hours of daylight ahead. We meandered south on Highway 83, seeking out possible snowshoeing routes or intriguing side roads. You might find it hard to believe, but even then, at the end of March, many of the roads were impassable. We took a back road around Seeley Lake, another popular summer destination. If you're looking for a cheap fixer-upper, this might be for you!
Back at the cabin, the fire pit beckoned. We had brought some firewood with us, but we were also grateful for a stack of firewood nearby. The guest book noted that, in the "good old days", the cabin had a wood-burning fireplace. It was replaced with a propane fire because it is safer, but also because the Forest Service no longer gets the summer staff it needs to replenish the wood piles. Sad.
"I had daydreams and fantasies when I was growing up. I always wanted to live in a log cabin at the foot of a mountain. I would ride my horse to town and pick up provisions. Then return to the cabin, with a big open fire, a record player and peace." Linda McCartney
The guest book also mentioned barred owls calling the distinctive "who, who, who cooks for you", but none were about that day. Plenty of Oregon Juncos, picking at the dirt road for seeds. In the brush, chickadees darted about in their typical fashion. I am quite accustomed to the Black-capped Chickadee and the Mountain Chickadee that frequent my birdfeeders. But this little bird was different - it had a distinctive dark brown back and sides. When I returned to a cell phone signal, I would identify it as a Chestnut-Backed Chickadee. You learn something new every day!!!
That evening, we played Kings in the Corner, and once again, I was defeated. But nothing could deflate my bonhomie.
"Wilderness is not a luxury but a necessity of the human spirit." Edward Abbey
All too soon, our mini-retreat came to an end. In an attempt to delay our return to reality, we popped in to Echo Lake Café for brunch. Not too busy. Socially distanced. And oh, so tasty!
Welcome to Mosaic Monday, a weekly meme
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Please include at least one photo mosaic/collage in your post.
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