February 2003





February 7 - 11, 2003

Dear Cabin 40 Folks,

Our normal scribe, Carol, is off in the wilds of Oregon, helping Patricia move in to her new house, so I'm taking over for this trip report.  This trip, as in the last few years, was timed to coincide with the annual Cabin Owners' Meeting, which is always the second Tuesday in February.

Anyway, I left Sebastopol the previous Tuesday afternoon and stayed the first night at Joice Island.  No particular reason, I guess, just that I like it out there and it breaks up the trip.  When I got there, a strong North wind was blowing.  Well, by the middle of the night it was a howling North wind, and since our clubhouse is up on stilts (in case the island floods), the clubhouse rocked back and forth in the wind and I didn't sleep much at all.  So I was up early on Wednesday morning and drove down to Fresno. 

 I did a few chores for Linda that afternoon and we did a bit of grocery shopping.  We had a great venison taco dinner (preceded by fried oyster appetizers), and Thursday morning Linda took me to the Amtrak station and I headed for Van Nuys.

I got to Van Nuys right on time, and Howard picked me up.  The Amtrak bus drops me off just a few miles from their house.  Pete was already there and we had a nice visit and a great lasagna dinner.

Pete, Carol and I left for the Cabin right after a reasonably early breakfast.  The gate up the hill was closed, but we got it open OK and shut again too.  (It can be a hassle, but I think we've figured out how to do it with no problems.) Anyway, we were at Chantry by 9 AM, and Kim had the burros ready to be loaded.  We had 145 pounds of stuff to pack in.  As we left to hike in, Kim's new puppy, Tigger, decided to follow us.  Kim had no problem with this, so in we went.  There was absolutely no one in the Canyon, so Holly could be off the leash, which she enjoyed immensely.  She also liked playing with Tigger.

The Cabin looked fine.  Quite a few leaves, twigs, and small branches down, so after opening up, we swept the roof and the front porch.  Not much mouse activity inside the Cabin at all.  Carol brought some great meatloaf sandwiches for lunch.  After lunch we gathered firewood, made the beds and generally got things ready.  It hadn't rained for some time, so the firewood we gathered was dry and ready to burn.  The water in the creek was quite low for this time of year, we thought.

Linda and Howard (and Shady and Patty) arrived about 8 PM. Unfortunately, John couldn't make it this trip.  Carol made a great dinner of chicken breasts in mushroom sauce, over rice.  A real treat.  By the time we finished dinner, got the dishes done, and were in bed, it was nearly 11 PM.  Much later than I am used to.  In fact it was so late that Linda and Carol didn't have time to play their usual game of cribbage.

We had a leisurely B & E breakfast Saturday morning, and then set about the usual Cabin chores.  It was  quite cool and we were using a lot of firewood, but it was easy to come by.  We also worked on raking the lot.  A few of us went up Winter Creek to fill our water jugs at the spring up there, and thus avoid using propane to boil drinking water.  On the hike back we met another cabin owner who had seen a mountain lion as he was hiking in that morning.  Amazing!  It turns out that there have been several sightings of mountain lions recently.  Yikes!!  Carol made her famous Dirty Rice for dinner.  It was as delicious as always.

Another leisurely breakfast on Sunday and more Cabin chores.  Carol was in a "cleaning out" mood and made great progress.  Kim came by with the pack train on the way back from Sturtevant's Camp and we sent out some garbage with her.  Lucky us, as otherwise we would have had to carry it out.  Linda made us a classic dinner:  Cabin Stew!  It was a real hit with all, and in honor of it, I offered a poem:

The Cabin 40 remedy
  for troubles real or phony:
A Cabin Stew, the Cabin view
  and dreams of Rice-A-Roni.

Oh yes, lots of cribbage games (Linda and Carol) and Gin, too (Linda and Howard).  Both games look too complicated for me to play.

On Monday we took a hike to look at Cabin 94 on the Upper Falls trail.  It's for sale, and a long time friend of mine from my Camp Singing Pines days is interested in buying it, so we went up to take photos and look at it.  It's a difficult trail to get to it (no packtrain access) and it has been neglected for some years.  But it is in a delightful location and looks like without too much work it would be made quite livable.  The owners want a bit under $10,000 for it, which in this day and age doesn't seem too unreasonable to me.  We hiked upstream from here and back via the horse trail that goes to Sturtevant's Camp.  Needless to say, we were all pooped after this adventure.

It was overcast all day on Monday and just felt like rain, so Monday evening Pete, who was sleeping outside, decided to move in to the Cabin.  A wise move, as at 3 AM on Tuesday we woke up to rain, and a steady rain for hours too.  The dogs, which always woke us up in the morning to go for a walk, decided that a walk was not all that important this morning.  We had breakfast and leisurely set about getting ready to close up the Cabin and leave.  We said "goodbye" to the Cabin and left in the early afternoon and walked out in intermittent rain.  Not a driving rain, but enough rain that we all had on our rain gear.  We didn't see a single soul in the Canyon on Tuesday.

Pete and Howard left for Van Nuys with the dogs and Linda, Carol and I went to the Annual Meeting.  It was a more relaxed meeting than the past few years.  Mike Pauro (the Fiddler) who was the Association President last year is taking most of this year off to travel, and Steve Burns is replacing him.

Linda and I drove back to Fresno on Wednesday morning.  It was in the middle of the big storm down there and I-5 Southbound was a real mess.  We were glad we were headed north.

All for now.


Tony, Linda, Carol, Howard,  Pete, and Holly, Patty, and Shady.

                                            Last Updated on February 16, 2004