May 17 - 27, 2002
Hello everyone: Tony started out for the Cabin on May
17th .... here is his recap:
I drove to Joice Island on Thursday, May 16th, grocery shopping on the
way. I got there in time for lunch, part of which I had with me. Two
other members were there, working on chores, and one of them BBQ'd some sausage
from a wild pig that was shot on Joice Island last year. What a treat!
I was up early on the Friday the 17th to drive to Chantry Flats, arriving
shortly after 10:30 am. Jack Shuck (cabin 127) and Arlen Farajian (cabin
49) were just finishing setting up for the Cabin Owners' Breakfast, which will
be Saturday morning.
I packed up my pack and hiked on in. The Cabin looked
great. It was nice and clean and no sign of mice at all. A few leaves
down, of course, but I guess that's what rakes are for. I opened the
place up and made my bed out on the porch. The water in the creek is quite
low for this time of year, but you could hear it!, and there wasn't any water at
all going over the dam below the Cabin.
Saturday morning was the breakfast, so I hiked back out at 8 AM. It was
well attended, and the food was delicious. Cabin 40's donation to the
raffle was a 25 foot (or more) tape measure and in the raffle I won a tray with legs -
perfect Linda says for playing Cribbage when camping.
I tried to talk to the Association leadership about the threatened and
endangered species issue that affects us, but there was no interest. I'd
written two letters and an e-mail in the past few months, but not much in the way of replies. Quite frustrating. (If any of you would
please let me know.)
Anyway, after breakfast (I went through the line twice) I walked back to the
Cabin with a second load of my groceries for the week. This is an eleven
day stay at the Cabin for me, the longest since I was a young boy. I gathered
firewood, started on raking the lot, and wrote a few postcards.
On Sunday a friend of Leonard's (the Cabin above us) came by with a whole flock
of cub scouts and adults too, and ate their lunch at Leonard's. They even had a lunch for me! How nice! I told the group the history
of the Cabin and sent out some postcards with them to be mailed.
I woke up to rain Monday morning. Rain was forecast, and it just felt like
rain Sunday evening, so I put all the wood that I'd gathered inside that I could
and covered the rest. It was a delightful rain, and the Canyon certainly needs it. By 9am the water was going over
the falls below the
Cabin. It rained steadily until early afternoon. Needless to say, I
burned up most of the wood that I had gathered. It was quite cool in the
mornings when I first got there, gradually warming up as the week wore on.
I made two trips down to the spring, which is by the gold mine entrance that is
just up Winter Creek trail, for drinking water to avoid having to boil the creek
water for drinking. It's a nice walk and quite easy to fill the water
jugs. On Wednesday afternoon I walked down to First Water and started
fishing downstream from there. I caught three fish in rather short order,
one a nice one, 12" long. I had them for dinner that evening, along
with some leftover gourmet mac'n'cheese. What a treat!
On Thursday morning I cleaned up the Cabin and hiked out to meet Carol and
Howard. I took my dirty clothes with me as well as the garbage that had accumulated so far. C & H arrived at 9:30 and we set to
stuff for packing to Kim and packing the rest up in our packs and hiked on in.
Oh yes, on this trip I read the autobiography of Lawrence Clark Powell, whose
family built the Cabin in 1917 and who went to the Cabin in his high school years. There was only a passing mention of the Cabin,
guess it didn't have much of an effect on him.
Carol continues the account: As we were hiking in we heard a hello, turned
around, and there was Pete. He had left Pahrump, Nevada, at 4:30 in the
morning. The pack train arrived, carrying our 300#'s of food and supplies
on 3 mules, not too long after we arrived at the Cabin ..... leaving us (that
reads me) to put away all the boxes of groceries. Finally found room for everything after we had our lunch of tuna sandwiches.
Then started in on
the bed making .... made up our bed (6 blankets again) and got out the 6
blankets for Linda's bed. We were surprised how cool it was in the canyon ..... just barely warm enough for shorts with a flannel
Linda arrived at 6:30 or 7pm with Tony meeting her and the doggies at the Winter
Creek bridge. We were ready with dinner - Dirty Rice with hamburger; bag salad and homemade apple pie. Linda and I managed
to get in one game of Cribbage
and fell into bed.
Our main projects on this trip, as the leaves had been cooperating by staying on
the trees and as Tony had raked the few that had fluttered down, was 1) to build
some retaining fences to help stop the rocks from rolling down the slope behind the outhouse, and 2) to
start in on our planned
cement retaining walls to help slow down and re-direct the rain water from going
under the Cabin .... well, we are always hopeful that we
will get some rain!
As we had made arrangements with Kim to pack out the fence pounder on Friday
afternoon, Howard and Tony started out early Friday morning before breakfast, pounding in the fence posts (that Tony had
scrounged from his
property) using the heavy fence pounder. We were all amazed at how fast
that part of the project was completed. After breakfast, Linda proceeded
to wash the dishes and clean off the mantle and Carol and Pete went out to see
about putting the hog wire (more scrounging by Tony) to the posts. Took us about 2 hours and it was done, even back
filling the wire with all
the loose rocks we could find.
After lunch, Linda and Tony walked back to the mine at Winter creek for some
more fresh spring water. Filling the bottles is accomplished by using a
leaf as a guide from the drip of the spring to the water bottles. Mike the Fiddler is the one that told us how to do this
and Tony and Linda
say it doesn't take the long to fill a bottle. While they were
getting water, Carol, Howard and Pete took naps!!! For dinner we had ham
slices with au gratin potatoes, cole slaw with pineapple and cookies. One game
of Cribbage for Carol and Linda and then we fell into bed!!!
Saturday after breakfast Pete volunteered to tie the fence pounder onto his pack
and take it up to the car as the pack string had not arrived on Friday. He
also took out the empty cans and bottles and the flattened cardboard boxes that were used to pack the groceries
in ... so I can reuse them
next time. While he was gone we started in on our cementing projects.
Howard and Tony had screened four buckets of sand on Friday. The first
thing was to repair the steps that lead from the trail up to the Cabin .... then
I got the leftover cement to start in on the rock retaining wall on the slope in
front of the outhouse. Howard and Linda brought me rocks and I cemented
away .... all went fine until we got to a
steep part of the hill ... we needed something to put behind the rebar that we
had pounded into the slope to help hold everything in place, a la Uncle Larry.
After lunch Linda and I thought of the exact thing we needed at the same time
... the two old, worn out, fire grates that were in the basement plus an old
cast iron pot lid .... worked like a charm!!!
After lunch Tony, Pete and Linda walked to the spring at Winter Creek to refill
our water bottles. Saturday's dinner was Linda's stew with dumplings, bag
salad, vanilla pudding and cookies. No Cribbage tonight -
too tired! We did Linda in hauling buckets of rocks from the stream.
Sunday the guys gathered firewood, Tony stirred me up a batch of cement, and
Linda brought me more rocks. This time I worked on cementing the rocks in place over by the fireplace where water is pouring over the side and under the
Cabin. Dinner was a canned dinner (we were out of ice) composed of canned tamales, chili beans, canned corn and olives all heated
in the big pot and
topped with cheese. This was served with tortilla chips, bag salad and
Monday morning we were up early as the dogs wanted a walk and we also needed to
finish off the postcards and the entries into the journal. Did pretty good
in getting breakfast completed and the Cabin cleaned up in record time and we
were on the trail around 10am.
The weather remained cool throughout the trip and 6 blankets on our beds was
just right! We hand picked up all the leaves we could see as we wanted the Cabin
to be perfect for the fire inspection ..... which this year is a self-inspection
where you complete a check-off list and mail it in ..... if the Forestry Service
does not receive your check-off list, then they will come into the canyon and
inspect your property for compliance ... and your Cabin. We feel confident
that our Cabin is compliant in all respects as we have not changed it from the
original lease... but many Cabin owners have made numerous changes such as
piping in water which
probably is not shown on their lease therefore making them out of compliance.
Canyon News: As previously reported Bonnie, one of the pack mules/burro's
is indeed pregnant and expected to have her baby any day. She is still packing
but only with light loads. Kim states that if it is a girl, the baby's
name will be Lila. As I stated before, mule/burro babies are a rare event
at the pack station.
It was a good trip - Tony, Linda and Carol hope to return for the Cabin
Progressive Dinner in July.
Love from all of us,
Tony, Pete, Linda, Carol and Howard plus doggies Patty, Shady and Holly