February 5 - 12, 2002
Greetings from Cabin 40:
Last weekend was spent at the Cabin by Tony, Linda, Carol and Howard and 3 doggies. Actually Tony went up before the rest of us taking the train to Fresno on Monday; staying the night at Linda and John's and cooking dinner for them; getting back on the train Tuesday morning and arriving in Pasadena on the bus and then taking the hotel car to the top of the hill.
Tony had a specific reason for going early - to repair the metal hook that holds the iron pot over the fire in the fireplace. It was getting very loose in the floor. Also some more of the grout needed to be patched in the back and sides of the fireplace. In order to do this he couldn't have a fire and of course we were going through a cold snap! But Tony is a hardy soul and he persevered!!!! (and went to bed as soon as it got dark!) He also raked leaves, gathered firewood and wrote postcards ...... and this is a first - he gave them to a hiker to mail for him .... giving the hiker a souvenir postcard of our Cabin!!
Linda arrived in Van Nuys with Shady and Patty a little after 8:30 on Friday night ... very windy going over the Grapevine. We had dinner and fell into bed. Got up early Saturday and got our act together as fast as possible and got to the top of the hill a little after 10am. We had a 180# load for the pack train which included a new fireplace grate, a Christmas present to the Cabin from Linda and John, and a VERY BIG box of candles from Joe and Lucille. (For those that don't know, Howard and Joe met many years ago in Junior High School.)
Linda was determined to hike in her shorts, so Carol followed suit. It was chilly when we left Van Nuys but by the time we were ready to hike, the day had turned very warm and were we ever glad we weren't wearing jeans! And Howard wished he didn't have his flannel shirt on! The weather had turned and we had delightful temperatures at the Cabin the whole weekend. A little cool at night (six blankets on each bed!) but we were comfy. Well Linda and Tony did go to bed with their stocking hats on .....
Had our lunch, unpacked all the boxes, put away the groceries and made the beds. By then it was time to get ready to go out to dinner .... yes, we had been invited to dinner at Leonard's, the Cabin that is just above us. Leonard has dined with us on several occasions and he has been anxious to return the favor. We had a great time .... he had brought Jerry, a friend that he went to high school with, making for lots of lively conversation. Leonard served us Caesar Salad, Spaghetti, Fried Chicken and Tiramasu for dessert ... and lots of wine. Very good! Leonard has been doing a lot of work and spending a lot more time at his Cabin and has become a very good friend to all of us. We really enjoy him as a neighbor.
We introduced our refurbished foot stool back to the Cabin, by each of us sitting on it. The foot stool was one of the first items that was bought for the Cabin back in 1930. It had fallen on hard times (read pieces) and Hans, Helen and Marianne had volunteered to repair it. They didn't realize how much work this would entail and in the process Marianne taught herself a new trade - how to weave fiber rush
step stool seats. In December I had taken a picture of Mother/Muriel holding it and we put the picture in our Cabin log. It looks really great and just like new. THANKS Hans, Helen and especially Marianne!!!!!
Linda and I decided Sunday was the day to start installing the new curtains that I had made last May from Mother's old drapes. We were tired of moving them from the bedding box to the top bunk and back again! But first we discovered we needed to repair the curtain rods .... well, actually we discovered that the curtain rod holders were only attached with one screw and were very loose, so Tony and Howard reinforced each of them with pieces of wood, adding a 2nd screw. Then we started in on the hunt for all of the iron rings that go on the rods. Emptied all of the coffee cans and the sewing can (taking out all of the unrelated sewing items, of which there were many), looked in the corner shelves and on the dresser and what do you know ..... we found all of them with 3 left over!!! Removed the cobwebs, washed the windows and hung them up. They look sooooo nice........ now, hopefully the mice won't think they taste very good.
We were so proud of ourselves for getting the drapes installed (well it did take us Sunday and Monday to get it done) that when washing dishes on Monday, Carol looked at the blue teakettle and said "Linda, do you think we can get this clean with Simple Green?" She said yes, so I started in on it...... and all the burned on black grease came off and we had a sparkling blue enamel tea kettle ..... we got so excited that we decided to work over the big tea kettle ... we didn't know what color it was! Well it took a few hours of first Carol and Linda and then Tony and Linda scrubbing away with the Simple Green and SOS pads .... but we won .... did you know it is a gray enamel tea kettle? It really shines and seemed to give us more light in the Cabin ....haha ... When I told Mother about what we had done, she said the big tea kettle came with the Cabin and had never been cleaned, other than maybe wiped off with the dishrag. On our next trip we are going to work over the smaller tea kettle that came with the Cabin.
While Linda and Tony were scrubbing away, Carol worked on another project. We had brought up silver spray paint that had a shiny chrome sheen to it ..... I sprayed it on 2 of the very dull lamp reflectors that had been previously painted and were now rusting. First sanded them and then the spray paint. You can't believe the difference!
Howard and Tony worked on getting more firewood and we used all of it! We collected all of our leaves and dumped them on the trail; walked doggies; planted the iris plant that we had salvaged on a walk which had been living in a coffee can; walked doggies; chipped and scraped all of the old candle wax off of the mantle; walked doggies and cleaned mice droppings off of shelves. There were a lot of hikers in the canyon therefore the dogs exercised their lungs! Especially at the dogs that were off leash and thought they should bound up our steps. We had come up with the idea of using some of the plastic under-the-bed storage boxes, so we brought 2 of them to the Cabin. I filled one of them up with the candles from Joe and Lucille. THANKS J&L. We go through a lot of candles!
Sunday's dinner was Linda's famous stew, bread and salad with cookies for dessert. Monday's dinner was a Dirty Rice, bread and salad ...... Zatarain's dirty rice mix (spicy) with hamburger ... very delicious and Tony and Linda said I could make it again. And more cookies. Carol and Linda managed to get in 3 Cribbage games ..... not as many as we would have liked to play but we were too sleepy to stay up any later!
Tuesday we were going to go for a walk but never made it .... it was so nice to be able to leisurely close up the Cabin that it took us the whole time! We left around 3pm. Howard took home the 3 doggies and Carol, Linda and Tony changed into clean clothes and went out to dinner and then on to the Cabin Owner's Meeting.
The meeting was held in a new location near the Santa Anita Racetrack and much easier to find. We were introduced to the new Forest Service Supervisor for our area and it was another lively meeting with many questions directed to the Forest Service and a report from Kim (pack station owner) that Bonnie the burro (or is she a mule?) may be pregnant. Evidently not many burro/mule babies have been born at the pack station so this is an event! The meeting ended with the installation of the new officers and Mike the Fiddler is the new president.
Canyon News: Dennis (previous pack station owner) and Mike have formed a partnership to repair cabins. One of the ones they are working on is just below where Fern Lodge was located and is owned by a lady with 2 chocolate labs and a bird that rides on her shoulder. One of the cabins that is up in the area where Bill and Lila had their cabin was evidently attacked by a bear but the Cabin Owner's Association is unable to locate the owner to advise them of the damage.
The Cabin's next visitors will be Tony and Ernie who will spend the week before the Birthday Party and hope to complete work on the Cabin's underpinnings.
We lucked out - the weather wasn't as cold as we thought it would be. We were nice and warm in a T-shirt and a flannel shirt with perhaps a down or fleece vest when we went up the hill in the evening.
Happy Spring to all,
Love from the Gang,
Carol, Howard, Tony, Linda
and doggies Holly, Shady and Patty