February 2 - 6, 2001
Hi everybody! What a fantastic trip to the Cabin! Pete and Tony went up on
Friday, February 2nd, and Carol, Howard, and I, plus Shady, Patty and Holly,
went up on Saturday. The parking lot at the pack station was almost full, but
both of us found a spot. I met our neighbor, Leonard Torres of cabin 38, who was
ready to head down, so he could tell Tony we were on our way - an important
matter since Carol was carrying the lunch!
To say that the weather turned, from our previous freezing mornings to balmy
spring weather, is an understatement. We were so lucky. Had a fire
morning and evening but didn't have to keep it going during the day. Even
the little flies and mosquitos decided to come our and see us! But did the
weather even change as we started to hike out. We could see a little gray
cloud in the distance as we started to leave, and by the time we got to the top
of the trail the mountains were covered in clouds, it was windy and was it cold.
I looked at the thermometer by the scale at the pack station and it said 40 deg.
There were lots of hikers on Saturday, so we kept the doggies on the
leash. Also they were having a run to Mt.Wilson and back, so there were runners
on the road, plus the bicyclists. Tony met us at Robert's Camp where he was
waiting on the bench. We reached the Cabin and had our tuna sandwiches sitting
outside since the weather was so mild. The hike in had warmed us up, so it felt
good to sit and rest. There isn't that much water in the stream but we could
hear it. Pete and Tony had started the raking and Tony had been gathering wood
already, so we could see that they had been busy guys. Carol and I made our beds
after lunch, piling on plenty of blankets in case the temperature dropped as one
would expect in February.
Leonard was in working on his cabin so we peeked inside to see the new skylight,
which leaked in the last rain but makes the inside so much brighter. Leonard has
moved all his kitchen stuff (stove, refrig, sink) onto his porch and he's now
redoing the floor in the kitchen area. We talked Leonard into sharing dinner
with us - Tony's the cook - since he is staying over. Tony cooked a wonderful
dinner of venison chops, fried potatoes and bachelor salad, with a nice wine -
very delicious! Leonard offered the after-dinner drinks of apple martinis, which
are apple schnapps and vodka (he has quite a liquor cabinet in his old
phonograph cabinet) and he brought those drinks over in tall stemmed glasses
from his 10 year high school reunion - quite impressive! The drinks were yummy
and we sat around the table and talked and relaxed. The mascot of his high
school was a burro which was etched in the glasses and we thought most
There was a beautiful moon out and the canyon was bathed in moonlight when
Howard and I walked the dogs - almost didn't need a flashlight! It was also
surprisingly warm, and we didn't need all the blankets that we'd piled on the
Sunday was my day to cook, so I made breakfast of sausages, scrambled eggs,
quick bread with streusel and fresh oranges from the Fresno tree. We invited
Leonard to join us, which he did. Carol and I
focused on clean-up, and we wiped off all the counters, moved dishes,
etc. Found plenty of acorns in the bread box, plus the sponges there had been
chewed. We had also found acorns in the outside bed on the
down-stream side! Pete, Tony and Howard raked the lot while we were
working and we ended up with a very nice looking place. We had stew for dinner
and were happy to fall into bed.
On Monday morning Pete headed down the hill, but we enjoyed the quiet canyon. We
had been reading the Cabin Log, and inspired by the cleaning that was noted in
it, Carol and I polished the silverware - it looked so very nice when we were
done! Carol was the cook, and we had pancakes for breakfast and a wonderful ham,
pineapple and sweet potato casserole for dinner. Unfortunately we had a
calamity so to speak. Carol had been reading the Cabin Log to us and all
of a sudden there was a loud noise .... the bottom had fallen out of the
beautiful green glass Auntie Pat oil lamp. Of course lamp oil was splashed
everywhere. We cleaned it up the best we could and the next morning we
moved the bookcase outside and washed it in soap and water. Don't know the
last time that was moved and the area behind it cleaned!
Carol mended the braided rug - well actually sewed it back together -
that she had donated to the Cabin, so that we could put it down. The only
way she could have room to work on it was to lay it across the outside bed, that
Patty was sleeping on, and sew away .... as she was holding it across her lap,
an acorn rolled out of the rug (we had brought it in last time, but didn't get
it mended, so we left it rolled up on the outside bed). A few minutes
later I spotted a very dazed looking mouse which we did away with. We
thought maybe it was sick, but after thinking about it, I think it was being
suffocated in the rug. When we unrolled it all the way to put it down,
sure enough there was spot where it had been starting to chew on the rug.
So, who knows how long the rug will last, but it looks nice in front of the
fireplace for now.
We leisurely packed up on Tuesday, patching a hole in the fireplace and steps to
the potty and washing our hair in cold water as the last
activities. Then we headed out the canyon and had a nice hike out. We put Holly,
Shady and Patty in C&H's car for Howard to take home while we went to the
Annual Meeting. We had talked to a few other cabin owners while in the canyon,
and all said that this was an important meeting.
The meeting room was packed! Just about SRO - but not too big a room. They took
roll and Tony spoke for us - we are of course the longest family-owned cabin up
there. There were some up there for 25-30 years, and some brand-new cabin
owners. Most of the business was standard stuff - Treasurer's reports and the
like (most of the money goes to canyon patrol which is done by Kim Kelley and
Mike Pauro) and a bit of money to maintenance of the phone line.
Then it was time for the Acting District Ranger to speak - and the whole place
livened up. There is lots of concern about the pack station as well as leases
and appraisals and the lack of trash cans. The Ranger explained about the paper
trail that has to be followed - the pack station needs a conditional use permit,
and the application for that has just been filed. It will take at least 6 months
to review the permit, and an environmental review may be required. He also said
he couldn't stress enough how important it was for us to respond to all requests
for input when it is requested. So we will have to wait and see, but
meanwhile the pack station is operating and Kim did pack us in. When Kim
gave her pack station report, she said that Ho Ha is gone for good. There
was a general sign of relief from everyone in the room!
Since there are no trash cans except at Robert's Camp (pack-it-in,
pack-it-out signs posted everywhere) there was talk about trash clean-up by
volunteers and forestry technicians. Some very unhappy cabin owners, too, but
the Ranger didn't budge on the issue. Spruce Grove was mentioned, and evidently
the pit toilets there are full, and there is no possibility of digging new
toilets, so how to empty them became a topic of discussion. The poor condition
of the trails was mentioned and the Ranger agreed that the Forest Service hadn't
done its part in maintaining them.
The Forest Service has been sued because they had not been doing the
appropriate planning, and that brought up leases and appraisals. There doesn't
seem to be a problem getting leases, but they are trying to get all of them on
the same schedule, to expire in 2008 (that's when ours does). The lots have been
reappraised, but we don't know for how much. Appraisal is based on lot size, not
the condition of the cabin itself. The biggest issue for cabin owners will be
the lease fee, which is expected to increase, we just don't know how much.
Barbara, the president, finally cut off the Ranger's question and answer
session, or we would have been there all night. There were discussions of the
phone line, a report by Kim on the cabins for sale and the patrolling that is
being done. The meeting finally wound up at 10pm and we headed home to Carol's.
I was very glad that we went and heard all the voices - we may need to do some
letter writing, but we'll keep you posted on that.
It's cool and windy - we were so lucky to have such wonderful weather on the
Love, Linda Lue