July 10 - 15, 2001
This week was spent at the Cabin by Tony, Linda and Carol as we were going to attend the Cabin owner's Progressive Dinner on Saturday the 14th therefore no dogs or husbands/wives accompanied us this time. Actually Tony arrived on Tuesday the 10th via car to Fresno; train/bus to Pasadena and taxi to the top of the hill .... Carol and Linda arrived on Friday around noonish. Tony met us at the top of the hill with an empty pack back to help us carry in the supplies.
We were really looking forward to the Progressive Dinner so that we could see the interiors of the other Cabin's .... and also because the last time Carol had hiked on the Winter Creek trail was 29 years ago!!!
Luckily for us, Southern California was having a cool spell, so hiking into the Cabin in the middle of a summer day wasn't too bad ..... but we knew that a swim in the stream was going to feel really good. After lunch, unpacking, a short nap for Carol while Linda started in on the raking, we headed for a swim ... even talking Tony into going with us. The water was still going over the top of the check dam that is just below our Cabin and is our swimming hole. The water was surprisingly cool but felt really good. We thought the stream looked pretty good, but by Saturday morning the stream had stopped flowing over the top of the check dam. While swimming we noticed a fishing lure or two stuck in a tree branch, which we thought Howard had lost while fishing last time, so we decided we would retrieve them for him on our next swim .... hahaha .... keep reading .....
Got our beds made and Linda made us a delicious dinner of chicken and ricearoni, salad and french bread. Got the dishes done and Tony fell into bed while Carol and Linda managed to keep their eyes open long enough to play one game of Cribbage and fall into bed at 10:30pm. A late night for us!!
Saturday we had leisurely cups of coffee/tea and then Carol made pancakes, bacon and eggs for breakfast .... yes a big breakfast, but as it turned out it was a good thing!
Got ready and headed out for the Progressive Dinner which we had been told was to start at 11:00 am down Winter Creek at Cabin 3 ..... arrived a few minutes after 11 and no one else is there and they were still raking the yard and preparing to set up the appetizers ..... so Linda and I headed off to pick up trash in the stream bed ... well I point it out and Linda picks it up.... arrived back around noon and the appetizers were just being set out .... now we had been told that they were all hiking down from the pack station at 10:30 Saturday morning (those that were just spending the day, which was most of them - we were one of the few that spent the night at their Cabin!), but evidently they changed the time and didn't tell us!!!!
Side note: On our hike down we noticed lots of fish in the stream ... and Tony had caught 3 fish for his dinner before we had arrived.
Cabin 3 wasn't too noteworthy other than it had a shower in the kitchen .... running water, from a spring up on the other side of the mountain on the other side of the stream, and electricity ..... Barbara, the owner, said she previously lived in the Cabin for 7 years ... we couldn't figure out how she could get in and out, in high water, as you have to cross the stream at least 3 times and there are no bridges.
We finally moved on to Cabin 7 for salad. Patricia I think this is the Cabin that you, Ernie and Tony visited once. It had a hanging oil lamp over the kitchen table and a hanging candelabra in the living room. A lovely stone cabin with very tiny rooms and sleeping loft, reached by an entrance from the outside (climbing through a window!)
So far, we have seen two cabins that are smaller than ours ... and we didn't think that was possible!!!
The main course of fried chicken, corn and coleslaw was served around 2pm and was held at Cabin 17 .... a big cabin with inside bathroom ... although it had a sign that it didn't work and to use the outhouse! Big yard - reminded me of how big our front yard used to be before the floods rearranged it. Big living room with a piano and of course the running water and electricity. Even a big tool shed. Very nice.
For dessert we moved to the Cabin next to it, Cabin 16. WOW, my favorite. This cabin used to belong to E. B. Gray, a noted photographer and many of his photos have appeared on postcards. Again, very tiny rooms .... but oh, the decor. Ben, the new owner, had purchased it in December. He had, what I thought, was the most fantastic junk art I have ever seen. It was all through his yard and house - little knick knacks, momentos, items from the olden days, were everywhere you looked. He just seemed to have the knack for displaying them and to me it looked like it was something you would see in a magazine! He also had indoor plumbing .... but it was an indoor outhouse if that makes any sense!
For dessert we had a fresh fruit compote and a big cake and champagne to celebrate Kim's one year anniversary. Kim, the new owner of the pack station, has been through a lot in her first year of operating the pack station but she is still smiling and enthusiastic.
By 4pm the party was finally winding down and we headed for home and to finish our trash pick up. Linda found a dog collar, but no dog. (We have called the telephone number and left a message but so far we haven't heard from the owner.) Linda and Tony picked up at least 4 bags of trash - they get a GOLD STAR!
Arrived back at our Cabin and realized we really do have an ideal floor plan - you can cook and talk to someone at the table, sitting in front of the fireplace, or taking a nap on the bunk ... something that couldn't be done at the other Cabin's we visited. And none of the other Cabin's had a screened sleeping porch ... or were close enough to the stream to listen to it while you are falling asleep.
Linda and Carol started in, furiously, to rake the lot as we didn't have much daylight left. Tony was the picker up and dumper of the leaves. By 7pm we had finished raking and were more than ready for a swim ... and remember the fishing lures? We had a plan to use one of the dog chains to throw it over the branch and pull it down so we could get the fishing lure .... hahahaha .... Carol fell in the water, falling over the rocks she couldn't see .... After many attempts, Linda flung the chain one last time and landed on her back in the water and the dog chain went flying to the bottom .... and we had stirred up the water so much we couldn't find the dog chain .... then we realized we should have brought the pole pruner ... well we did have a cooling swim and got some of the dust from raking off of us! We went back and had leftovers for dinner as we weren't very hungry, did the few dishes and Tony fell into bed. Linda and Carol were determined to have one more game of Cribbage which we did.
Linda had vowed to return Sunday morning and get the chain .... which she did at 6:30 am, using a rake to pull it out of the water ... and the pole pruner to cut off the branch ..... but when the branch fell in the water, the lure fell off and went out of sight ... so we brought Howard home a hook that was on the branch ..... I don't know how Linda ever got warm again, as the morning was a chilly 58 deg .... cold for Southern California !!!!!
I had heard noises in the night in the vicinity of the water bucket but couldn't wake up enough to check it out ... just as well, as there was a dead mouse floating in the water bucket in the morning .... guess I heard him trying to do the back stroke!
Our plan was to leave early Sunday morning ... but we hadn't written any postcards, a must says Tony and we hadn't written in the journal. So we took an hour and did that while having our coffee/tea. Since the morning was so cool, we didn't think there was any hurry and we finally got underway by 9:45. It was basically a cool, sometimes breezy hike out, unusual for this time of the year.
All in all it was a very interesting weekend ... meeting other Cabin owners' and seeing their Cabins. We also learned that George Geer, the forestry person that checks our Cabin to be sure we are in compliance for fire suppression and who has always been very supportive of Cabin 40, is on light duty due to his bad knees and isn't working in our canyon any more. They haven't assigned anyone to fill his position at this time.
We had a great time but were glad to get home for a swim in the pool and lunch, before Linda and Tony headed for Fresno. Tony is continuing on to Tuolume Meadows for 11 days of horse camping with Barbara and friends.
Carol, Linda and Tony