A WINTER GETAWAY

 It’s nice to get a break from the normal routine once in while…in any season. A few weeks back we made an escape to the woods and got the stoves going in the cabins at the family hunting camp.

My son’s family stayed in the cozy little log cabin and Pat and I stayed in the main cabin with the kitchen and cook stove. It isn’t necessary to put on hat and coat to walk back and forth, it’s a great arrangement for nap time or if the kids bedtime is earlier than the adults, or if the activities in the main cabin allow for some quite reading time in the other.

It’s a small adventure that grandchildren make into a grand affair. The county plows the road within 2 miles of camp. Some years if there is logging in the area the road may be plowed closer to the property. With two pickup trucks and a trailer we hauled two snowmobiles, a toboggan, a cross-country ski trail groomer, and the rest of our supplies for 2 nights and three days in the winter woods.

This year we got within a mile of camp, however not without 4 wheel drive and tire chains. It was a relief to get the trucks parked and the sleighs loaded for the final leg into camp. Even the dogs running along with the snowmobile expedition were smiling.

The first item on the agenda is to get the stoves going in both cabins. The log cabin warms up rather quickly compared to the larger main cabin that has a concrete floor, but it also has two stoves…

After we got the fires bunting and the gear unloaded Linnea (9) and I took off with the trail groomer and did some sightseeing around the area on pristine snow that had kept a recording of wildlife activities since the last big snowfall. It was a fun time. Meanwhile Jack and the rest of the crew took a snowmobile and the toboggan on a sightseeing cruise north of camp to have a look around and enjoy the beauty of wintertime in remote woods.

For the rest of our time there outdoor activities centered on Cross-country skiing. The vote was unanimous that we had indeed chosen a perfect weekend weather wise! Indoor activities revolved around board games, card games, an old Guilds puzzle that was somehow completed in our short stay, and reading. Also there is wood cook stove cookery down there and with appetites fueled by winter outdoor exercise, good food to eat!

As a child we spent winter weekends at the “cabin”, as a parent, time in the forest was a large part of raising our family. Now fifty some years later it still amazes me how enthusiastically the grand kids embrace some high quality family time it that austere and remote location.

One of the things I like most about that cabin land is the night sky. It is very close when you look up and everything is in super “HD”. That area has to be one of the quietest places in Northern MN…total silence except for the night sounds of wind, wild creatures, and popping trees if it’s cold enough…and you can hear literally for miles if there is little wind. It fills one with peace…it causes one to whisper…normal speech would be much too harsh…

One of the highlights of the weekend was a moonlit ski Saturday night and another was everyone taking off on ski’s Sunday morning during a lovely snowfall…grandpa stayed back and leisurely prepared a “cabin” breakfast for the crew when they got back.

Young man, pulling his family in a traditional rigged toboggan behind his yellow snowmobile

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