January 18, 2015

Cabin trip

To celebrate the opening of Ernie’s latest show, and because we didn’t go anywhere for Christmas, we decided to take a couple of nights and stay at a cabin out the road.  That way we would have a chance to unwind, out of reach of cell phones and work, and also have a tiny adventure.  We decided to go to Camping Cove cabin in Point Bridget state park, because we had never stayed there before.  We thought it might be a little more sheltered than other cabins if the wind blew out of the north, like it often does in winter here.

The cabin. We didn't get around to playing darts (because we were soo busy).

We had hiked the trail to the cabin once before, at the beginning of what turned out to be a long and treacherous trip around the point.  In our memories this section of trail was very short and easy, even in snow.  When we headed out, on Sunday afternoon, the weather was still just below freezing and there was a lot of snow on the ground.  The first half of the trail was in good shape, mostly following the coastline.  Then we veered into the forest, where recent trail work had been done.  The second half of the trail was a little more difficult than we remembered.  It had some steep sections made even harder by the fact that we were carrying things in our hands and couldn’t grab on to roots and rocks to help balance.  Also, my microspikes decided that they didn’t want to stay on my boots.  Overall, conditions weren’t too bad, but we couldn’t remember what had possessed us to keep going that day two years earlier, especially when we had plans for that evening. 

The cabin itself was comfortable and cozy, but we were lucky that it was relatively warm outside, because I don’t think the kerosene heater was very powerful.  We got ourselves situated and started to relax.  We packed heavy, bringing along many things we didn’t need.  Ernie brought his ukulele, and a couple of song books.  We brought a cribbage board, glow sticks, and my new laser fingers.  There were a lot of toys.  And enough food for four.  And some bad, bad whiskey. All of this contributed to the luxurious feel of our mini vacation.

The sleeping area.  It's probably big enough for 6 adults or 14 kids.

The snow that we hiked in on was melting under the heavy rain, so we spent the night and the next day lazing around inside the cabin, playing ukulele, and reading, and doing yoga, and playing card games, and sometimes just staring out over the water.  At one point we used an emergency blanket like a giant tent umbrella and threw the hydrophone in the ocean, but after several minutes of hearing nothing but raindrops (which was still cool), we went back inside to dry off.  After we got home, we hooked up the hydrophone on the boat for a while and listened to the resident seals grunting under water.  There was also (I’m guessing) a distant pod of porpoises that passed by.  I got a tiny amplifier for Christmas, so now I’m ready to take the hydrophone show on the road.

The stove.  The table. The pants.  The ukulele.
One of the reasons we brought so much food was to test homemade backpacking meals.  I made a couple of mixes where we just added hot water to a the contents of a ziploc bag to make a meal.  We also had some backup meals, in case the homemade ones sucked.  The winners were griddle scones and instant burritos (surprise), but there was a tamale-like meal that was pretty bad.  I wanted to make instant pad thai, but it turns out that there is no lime kool-aid in Juneau right now.  Maybe next time.

Look!  It was sunny part of the time! This is the view from the cabin.
The hike out was a lot better, mostly because we weren’t carrying things in our hands, and our expectations were more realistic.  We even managed to hike out during a dry spell, but the trail was all rivers and ponds after the rain, so it was good that we wore our rubber boots.  As we drove back to our boat, we felt a very slight feeling of dread, similar (but much, much less) to heading back into Portland after a hike or a weekend at the beach.  But more, we felt relaxed and happy.

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