Cabin, December 2007 - January 2008

We were at the Cabin December 29 to January 2 this year. There was actually snow this year. It wasn't all that cold but there was a enough snow that we had to use the snowmobile to get in and were able to snowshoe and ski.

December 29

We intended to leave early on December 29 from Waterford. Jon drove in from Kalamazoo with the trailer fully loaded. Amelia unfortunately could not come this year. I arrived around 7AM. Jon arrived around 7:15AM. Well in time for out intended 7-7:30 meeting. Foolishly we told Vittoria the correct time to arrive. So we waited, and waited, and waited, .... Finally at 9:30AM she arrived, only two hours late .... Regardless, we were able to get Vittoria, Bill, Abby, Szoci and all their gear loaded into the Tahoe/trailer and started the trek north.

The drive up was uneventful. With the large trailer for the gear and the Tahoe for everyone it was a comfortable drive. There was some snow on the ground, even in the northern lower peninsula. Even so we didn't see that much snow until we got near Grand Marais; such is the nature of lake effect snow.

Jon unloading the trailer at the trailhead.  Notice there
	   is actually snow on the ground and it is actually light out! Unloading the trailer at the trailhead.  Notice there is
	   actually snow on the ground and it is actually light out! Cabin when I first arrived. Bill with the gift Jon brought for the Cabin (large
	   Hersheys kiss). Jon already in bed.

Despite the later start than intended we arrived at the trail head while the sun was still up. Vittoria decided to try to ski in with the dogs. Bill and I took the first trip in. The trail was in great shape. Even so by the time we arrived at the cabin it was already dark. I was able to drive the snowmobile back to the cabin with no trouble. I left Bill to open up the cabin and headed back to the trail head. Here is where the fun began.

On the way back I took a wrong turn from McCloud Grade to Old Seney (I tend to do this at least once a trip it seems). It took me a little while to figure it out. When I did this meant I had to turn around on the trail. This is nerve racking to do on a "major" snowmobile trail particularly with a sled in tow. For some amount of time I was sideways blocking the whole trail; just waiting to get run over by a crazy rider. Fortunately that didn't occur. Instead when I was heading back in the right direction I encountered a couple of conservation officers. When I stopped and talked to them they surreptitiously checked out the snowmobile. Fortunately before the trip I purchased the required trail sticker, and even more fortunately I had put it on the snowmobile. Thus the meeting went smoothly and I got going again in the right direction.

On my way back I encountered Vittoria struggling on the side of the trail with Abby and Szoci. It was quite dark and snowmobilers were out in force. Skiing in wasn't an option. I once again turned around (safely). Vittoria rode in the sleds with the dogs. We took a slow trip out to the Cabin. After dropping them off I went back once again to the trail head. Jon was beginning to wonder what took me so long.

I carried in another load of gear. On my way back to get the last bit of gear and Jon I saw a strange shape on the side of the trail. When I got close I realized it was a sleeping bag! So I turned around once again, or at least I tried to turn around. I overshot and got stuck on the side of the road. I couldn't back out and the snowmobile is too heavy to move by myself. Finally I just "floored" it and was able to drive the snowmobile out. I picked up the sleeping bag, turned around carefully this time, and made it back to the trail head.

We trailered into town, parked the car/trailer, and rode back to the Cabin. We arrived to shots of Krupnik. Jon went to bed early. Vittoria actually stayed up for awhile (to lose at speed playing against me).

December 30

Bill, Vittoria, and Jon having breakfast. Abby
	   hiding under the table. Clear sky and snow on the ground for our first snowshoeing
	   trip. Vittoria ready to snowshoe. The Cabin (while I was waiting for everyone else). The Cabin (while I was waiting for everyone else). Driveway (while I was waiting for everyone else). Bill, Vittoria, Jon, and Abby ready to go snowshoeing. River behind the Cabin. Bill, Abby and Vittoria snowshoeing. Sucker river (Bill near the river). Abby, Jon, Vittoria, and Bill near the Sucker river.

Vittoria and I agreed that we would go out on excursions twice a day, every day. We used to do this (typically with major excursions) and tried to reinstate the tradition. The "morning" (it was before noon when we got up and had breakfast) started late so our first trip was the loop on snowshoes. There was enough snow that using the snowshoes was necessary. The trees were covered with snow and it was a nice trip.

In the afternoon Vittoria and I went out cross country skiing. Unfortunately one of the bindings on my ski broke so I had to use Jon's skis (that coupled with the fact that we weren't able to find any wax for Bill's skis meant that we all couldn't go skiing at the same time). We just went up to the Lucky Buck and came back.

Bill and Jon.  No, I don't know.  Yes, alcohol was
	   involved.  But they are just posing.  No, really, just posing. The wood stove. Craig in a rare picture.  Here with the Moose and wine bottles. Some of the rafters in the Cabin. An empty plate, a common occurrence at the Cabin.  It was
	   probably refilled with food shortly after the picture was taken.

The evening was the usual Cabin experience: wine, great food, wine, dominoes (Jon won), and wine.

Jon snowshoeing. Abby and Szoci enjoying the outdoors. Abby waiting for Vittoria and Jon to catch up while
	   snowshoeing. Abby waiting for Vittoria and Jon to catch up while
	   snowshoeing. Snow covered pine in the woods. Sucker river. Bill and Abby snowshoeing. Sucker river. Sucker river. Bill and Jon taking a break while snowshoeing.  Vittoria
		being Vittoria.

December 31

The next "morning" we went out snowshoeing again. This time we went on a longer trip. We took the branch of the road off to the right from our normal loop. This takes us along the Sucker river. There is plenty of beautiful scenery along this path.

Vittoria and Jon cleaning up from breakfast and preparing
		for a late lunch. Bill and Jon relaxing near the woodstove. The cubbies in full use. Vittoria, Jon, and Bill playing Risk. (Bill won.) Bill working on the Hersheys kiss.  It being the Cabin he
		"improvised" on his tool of choice.

We came back for a relaxing, late lunch. We played Risk (Bill won) and took it rather easy.

Bill watching Jon shoot the gun. The slightly shot up beer cans and the barely shot up
		target from Bill and Jon's "target practice". Bill and Jon carrying in wood. Vittoria taking a nap.  Abby standing guard. Jon, Bill, and Abby relaxing before dinner. Vittoria preparing dinner. Woodpile near the stove (just about all the wood we had left). Szoci in a very warm place near the wood stove. Dinner table. Bill and Szoci before dinner. Vittoria, Jon, and Bill having black beans and rice. Jon and Bill talking after dinner. Vittoria preparing for New Year's Eve. (No, don't look at
		the time stamp in the image.  It was dark out, that counts!) Vittoria preparing to celebrate New Year's Eve. Bill in a "festive" mood. Vittoria and Craig celebrating New Year's Eve.

Vittoria and I again went out skiing. Again we went to the Lucky Buck (and a little past it). Bill and Jon stayed behind and shot the gun. I cannot say they were target shooting because that would imply they were actually hitting something. They did go through a box of shells.

Dinner was a Cabin staple, black beans and rice. Always something to look forward to. Once again we had a ton of food and plenty of wine.

We celebrated New Year's around 10:30PM. In past years it was always Vittoria who would be tired and want to go to bed early. This year everyone felt the same way. The party accoutrements brought up in previous years were put to good use, albeit a little earlier than intended. Regardless we welcomed in the new year (perhaps in Newfoundland time?).

It finally started to snow that night and came down steadily for the few hours before we went to bed.

January 1

A large pile of chocolate truffles cut up for use in pancakes. Jon making chocolate truffle pancakes. Jon flipping a chocolate truffle pancake. Bill and Szoci waiting for breakfast.

As had become the habit we again started slowly in the morning. This morning, however, Jon made decadent chocolate truffle pancakes. There was a lot of chocolate in them!

Cabin in the snow. Creek near the Cabin. Around the Cabin in the snow. Scenery around the Cabin. Creek near the Cabin. Creek near the Cabin. Creek near the Cabin. Creek near the Cabin. Creek near the Cabin. Beaver pond behind the Cabin. Beaver pond behind the Cabin. Beaver pond behind the Cabin. Scenery around the Cabin. Sheds and wood pile. Kitchen door to the Cabin. Bunk room and kitchen. Bunk room. Bunk room from the side. Bunk room and front door to the Cabin. Front door to the Cabin. Scenery around the Cabin. Driveway up to the Cabin. The Cabin as seen as you first see it when you come in.

We awoke to fresh snow on the ground and more snow falling. All told we received about a foot of fresh snow.

Vittoria and Bill taking it easy. Ready for our last snowshoeing trip. Jon, Bill, and Abby ready to go snowshoeing. Jon, Bill, and Abby ready to go snowshoeing. Bill and Jon snowshoeing.

Everyone again went snowshoeing. By this point Vittoria was getting sick (probably a cold I brought with me and I got over the early in the trip, everyone else seemed to catch it in turn). Regardless, she bravely treked on through the trip. We did a trip around the loop again admiring the freshly fallen snow.

Vittoria, Jon, Bill, and wine at dinner. Vittoria, Jon, Bill, and wine at dinner. Craig, Vittoria, Jon, and wine at dinner. Craig, Vittoria, Jon, and wine at dinner. Vittoria, Bill, and Jon toasting our last night at the Cabin.

January 2

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