snowshoes and a cabin

A bunch of us gals loaded up the pulks with food and firewood and strapped on snowshoes to spend the night at a public use cabin on the shore of Byer’s Lake in Denali State Park.

Ingrid the Norwegian foreign exchange student graced us with her presence (as my mom said, she was a pleasure to be around) and was very very annoyed when the drinking tube of her borrowed Camelbak backpack froze solid immediately.

Angie and I towed the bigger pulk and only wound up tangled and wallowing in a snowbank once.

It was pretty cold and windy on the trek there. Thankfully, it was only a mile or so to the cabin. Some guys we met in the parking lot had us a little worried. They stayed in one of the other cabins the night before and they’d burned through so much firewood trying to stay warm, they’d had to ski back to the car and run for more wood. Turns out, they should have just raided our cabin — someone had left behind half a case of Duraflame logs! We were toasty warm all night long. A little too warm, in fact, thanks to my overzealous fire-feeding. I kept waking up and seeing the logs were burning down and so I’d hop up and add another duraflame to the stove, worried we’d wake up freezing. Turned out, Angie and my mom were roasting and cursed me silently everytime I stoked the fire. If they’d only said something… I was hot too and didn’t use my sleeping bag all night.

Here’s Ingrid in the reflection, getting ready to knock down all those icicles. Because they’re dangerous — they could fall and pierce your skull. Plus, it’s fun to smash icicles.

Also fun: snowangels. We admired her fine form and remarked on the fact that you can barely see where she climbed out of the angel. “It’s an artform,” she assured us.

Past campers left behind a ginormous bottle of whiskey on the window sill. There was nary a sip left. Bastards.

Bird footprints on the porch rail of the cabin:

Our canine companions:

Notice the awesome porch rail has huge wood burls carved out for seats. Angie & Ingrid out on the frozen lake:

Sunset at (ahaha!) 4:30 and (double ahaha), there was no lantern in the cabin, as we expected there would be, so we old-timed it by the light of the woodstove, candles, and some small LED lanterns I brought.

A sod roof under lots of snow:

It wasn’t planned but I took an almost identical photo when we stayed at this cabin in August:

Taking a very chilly sunset stroll before holing up in the cabin for a long winter’s night:

We had potato soup for dinner. And hot chocolate spiked with peppermint schnapps and marshmallows. And finals week was approaching fast so Ingrid did a little homework by headlight by the woodstove:

And because it’s nice to take a craft along, I brought paper and scissors and patterns and we cut out paper snowflakes to decorate the cabin.

There are some beautiful patterns to be found here. And I brought along some spooky silly ghost stories to tell in the dark. Good ones by the dozen can be found here. Hairy Toe is my personal favorite.

Packing up to head home:


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