May 28 - 31, 2004
It was a wonderful week-end at Cabin 40! So nice to have three
nights, and I could have happily stayed longer.
John and I were able to leave by 2:30pm on Friday and had an easy trip down to
SoCal. We were fortunate to miss most of the traffic and even didn't have
problems on the 210 until almost to Santa Anita Avenue - most lucky! The gate is
still open at the base of the road, although it says it's closed, and we arrived
at the pack station by 6:30 and were on the trail by 7pm. Not too many cars in
the pack station lot at that point, although quite a few in the upper parking
lot by the ranger station.
It was a nice walk down the hill and Patty and Shady were delighted to be out
and I think they sniffed every inch of the trail. We were able to walk in
daylight, which was very nice, but really couldn't see much as it was overcast.
When we went past the cabin with the oar buckets (just past the green bridge)
Patty started sniffing the air and pulled me over to edge of the trail where it
looks down to the stream. I had no idea why, but found out after we reached the
Cabin that a bear had been sighted there in the afternoon. When we went by Cabin
#37 I could see that his Tiger Lilies were just starting to bloom.
We arrived at Cabin 40 by 7:30pm and were happily greeted by Carol, Howard,
Pete, Christopher, Tony, Tina and Holly. It was so nice to have dinner prepared
for us, our bed already made and a cold beer thrust into our hands! First order
was to feed Patty and Shady, though. Carol made a lovely dinner of chicken in
mushroom soup, with rice, French bread and bachelor salad. We had tapioca
pudding with freshly baked cookies from Tina for dessert. Carol used the oven to
heat the bread and it came out perfectly. Right away we saw the Cabin's newest
present ... a large ice chest that is supposed to hold ice for 5 days, and
certainly is large enough to hold the food for the crowds that we are bringing
up ... a wonderful addition!
On Friday Tony, Pete, Carol, Howard and Chris had repaired the top step of the
stairs where it reaches the landing. The big boulder with the piece of angle
iron (old bedstead piece?) had pulled loose and was quite dangerous. Saturday
breakfast was pancakes, bacon, eggs, canned pears (from Carol) and juice, cooked
by John and Linda. Then Tony, John and Pete, with help from Chris and Carol,
added a step at the bottom by the trail where there was just dirt and we'd been
having problems. Chris continued on his firewood project, cutting up alders that
he had brought from the stream. I started raking up by Jericho ... the yard
looked like we had never, ever raked before! The catkins were down and they were
everywhere. I spent all morning just working around the potty! Our tiger lily is
holding its own - not very tall, maybe 18 inches, but it's not giving up,
either. We watered it, and the one to its left that is even shorter. We also
have one iris, that we found in the path up by Cabin 76 a year or so ago.
On one of my breaks I took Shady and Patty for a short walk up the trail and we
stopped so they could get a drink of water. I looked across the canyon, and
there were tiger lilies in bloom! I had never seen these before, in fact I
thought that there weren't very many in the canyon, but a large oak fell there
about two years ago and now these are exposed to the sunlight. There are at
least three groups of plants going up the hillside and we could see many
splotches of orange - so pretty! Fortunately they are far enough away from the
trail that I don't think anyone will pick the blossoms, so hopefully they will
spread. Leonard and Patrick showed up, and headed up to Sturdevant's for a
salmon dinner. From Leonard's yard we could see across the canyon, and
just below the cabin with the blue tarp we could see several tiger lilies in
bloom. Patrick says that the ravine between that cabin and Bon Accord is filled
with lilies, but we never did get over there to check on them.
After lunch of quesadillas, I went back to the raking. Howard had taught Chris
to play gin, and those two, plus John, played many games in between raking and
cutting up wood. In the late afternoon, Tony, Chris, the doggies and I headed
down to the Mine Spring to fill the water bottles. I wanted to see if the tiger
lilies were blooming there ... and, my were they! There are about thirty plants
and they were just covered with open blooms and more to open. I took pictures
and I hope they turn out. Such a pretty sight in the dappled shade! Tony had no
problem filling the water bottles, as the spring is flowing well, in spite of it
being a dry winter. Winter Creek is down already, as is our stream, but it still
manages to sing merrily at night.
Dinner on Saturday was venison stew made by Linda, plus dumplings, bag salad and
a fresh youngberry cobbler brought from Fresno. I still need to work on the
dumplings ... just don't have those down as well as I'd like yet.
Sunday breakfast was scrambled eggs with cheese, Hilshire Farms sausage, fresh
fruit and juice. Then we worked on the yard more, especially on the upstream
area that George had identified as a problem. The top of an old oak had broken
off and fallen down the hill, but we left the large branches as they were quite
out of the way. John chopped up all the little branches ...a rather large pile,
while I pruned all the bay tree growths that are at the base and Pete and Howard
raked and raked. We also cleaned all the leaves out of the vinca and pruned the
vinca back. We will have to do a more frequent job of cleaning and pruning in
that area, as that was a very tedious job. Carol worked on the vinca on the area
where we chop wood and it looked much, much better by the time she was finished.
We worked all day on the yard, and by 5:30 we were mostly happy with it. There
were still a few areas that needed attention, but those would have to wait until
Monday. Dinner was "gourmet" macaroni and cheese with added tuna,
cheese and peas, french bread, bag salad and cookies ... we devoured it as we
had worked hard all day. Carol and I managed to get in two cribbage games before
bed, and Chris and Howard played a couple more gin games.
We were up early on Monday, as Holly was ready to get up. So I walked the three
dogs for a bit, which is tough because Holly walks much more slowly than Patty
and Shady. But we managed and then enjoyed coffee and pastry on the front deck
before we started in on closing up the Cabin and packing up. That process always
takes a while ... about three hours when the Cabin is as full as it was. We left
Tony at the Cabin to finish raking and closing it up (most everything was done)
and left by 10am. It was already warm, so the hike was lovely until the green
bridge, then became quite hot and we stopped in almost every shady patch there
was on the way up. We noticed that there were not nearly as many hikers as
usual, as some people must think the road is still closed, but it was still busy
and there were cars everywhere along the road down the hill.
It was a wonderful trip!
Love, Linda Lue