1st Weekend Of Summer

When I got out of work last Friday we threw our stuff in the Jeep and away to the cabin we went—I hardly set foot in the house.

We unpacked for the weekend (unpacking basically means hauling the cooler out of the jeep and inside) and then Forrest headed back down to show our neighbor April and her daughter Olivia the way up to the cabin. While he was gone, I read the newspaper on my Kindle (best thing ever) and was surprised to see Jim and Krista come up the driveway for a visit. We sat outside and enjoyed the view and I bragged a little bit about “our” moose. Just as I was saying that, the moose made an appearance for a couple of minutes before heading down the hill. Continue reading “1st Weekend Of Summer”

The Cabin, First Day of Summer 2012

We drove in for the first time this year on June 20, the first day of summer. Sounds quite perfect but it was really a bit late for our tastes.

June 20, 2012

We forgot the camera so I don’t have a nice family picture on the first day of summer like this one from last year:

The Family at the cabin, start of summer 2011

But there’s certainly a lot less snow this year!

The cabin, first day of summer 2012

Cabin Evening

Friday when I got home from work, I suggested we head up to the cabin for the evening. We still can’t drive in (what happened to the first week of June?!) but we can get close. Before heading up to the top we took care of a huge mountain hemlock that had fallen across the road.

The tree was too rotten to count the rings…but it was OLD. The bark was about 3″ thick!

Up at the cabin, I took a piece of plywood outside and put Sprocket’s blanket on it. Voilà, yoga area! I did the P90X yoga video outside while Sprocket nosed around in the snow and checked out the fresh elk and moose tracks and F started putting together a burn pile for the evening. It felt so good to be outside in the sunshine!

After my workout, we opened the Elysian Idiot Sauvin IPA I’d found in Coeur D’Alene. It was pretty good but not stellar. For dinner I whipped up a cabin special: canned spaghetti sauce garnished with a can of sliced mushrooms and another can of olives. We lit the burn pile and took care of a bunch of limbs and branches that had been laying around as we watched the sunset over Sunset Peak.

Saturday morning we decided to head up Cooper Pass and see if we could go to Thompson Falls, Montana. Unfortunately, there is still a bunch of snow on the road up that way and we didn’t even make it as far as Glidden Lakes before being turned around by now. Instead, we hiked up Military Gulch until the road dipped over into Sonora Gulch  which is just below our cabin.

We’re supposed to have people over to the cabin next Saturday. Hope for snow melt!!

When Will We Be Able To Drive In? A Contest

At the end of March I jokingly took bets on when we’d be able to drive into the cabin this year. As it turned out we were still two weeks away from the snow peak for the water year (it looks like it was April 8). I took a look at last years data and started to feel rather hopeful. (Unfortunately the snow water equivalent and snow depth aren’t on the same axis for you but you get the idea.)

Water Year 2011 through May 19th
Water Year 2012 through May 19th (projected)

As it turns out we’re still about a month ahead of last year. We were able to drive into the cabin last year three days after this graph went to zero. It took 3 weeks to get to o” from 15″ SWE (snow water equivalent). The cabin’s located at about 5,700′ and this station is located at 5,100′ so it’s not an exact proxy but it’s close.

I also looked at the chart for Mullan Pass (elevation 6,000′). As of today we have 35″ SWE and were able to drive in last year when it was down to 21″ SWE. It took about two weeks to melt from 35″ to 21″ last year.

First Day of Summer 2011

As far as those bets go? Trisha guessed we’d be able to drive in the week of May 28th, going to have to be more specific now!). That’s going to be darn close. (Caitlin, you were just being nice with April 27th. Guess again!)

With all the snow data, my guess is June 3rd. Anyone else care to hazard a guess?

I think we might need a prize for this…I’ll get thinking.


Mother’s Day Hike

When I heard that Sunday was supposed to be pretty (as in 70 degrees up at 6,000′) I decided that it should clearly be spent at the cabin. Unfortunately Forrest had to work so it was just Sprocket and I off for adventure. We did use F as a ride up to the substation at Burke though.

The melting beginnings.

We started up the road at about 7:00 and by the time I reached the slide (about a mile) I was quite warm. The snow was also showing signs of warming up and I was sinking too far into the slush for my taste so we paused for me to put on snowshoes. Sprocket took this opportunity to play in the creek and the mud. I was pleasantly surprised to find that once I cut off the road to head up the ridgeline (it’s not much shorter but it seems sooo much faster!) that there was only patchy snow in the trees and most of the way up the ridge was clear. (Until of course I hit the snow that was 3′ deep.) I was pleasantly surprised to see how much of the road was starting to melt out although there is a lot of melting to do before we can drive in.

I arrived at the cabin at about 8:20, promptly grabbed a Gatorade and a chair and headed outside. I basically sat there basking, reading, and napping until 12:30. I got a horrible sunburn. Not very responsible. The sunshine felt sooo wonderful though. Finally, I roused myself, made some lunch and cleaned up the food storage area. Sprocket was quite happy when I shouldered my pack and started heading uphill. Apparently the puppy got bored.

We arrived at the top of East Grouse Peak about a half hour later and then began our long descent into Mullan. I really dislike walking downhill without a trail. I guess I need different shoes since I hate it mostly because my feet feel like they’re constantly smashed against either the toe box or one side of the shoe. It’s pretty uncomfortable… I only had to walk on snow for a really short chunk at the top, most of the way down was clear. However, the “pretty woods” F had promised me on top of the M hill was FULL of downed timber. It made for some unfun walking.

In the end though, it was a beautiful day outside. I can’t wait for more.