Saturday, January 22, 2011

Emigrant Springs Cabin & Snowshoeing!

For the past several years, Jed has flown back to New Mexico around MLK holiday weekend, so Rick and I haven’t taken our winter “get away”.  But both Jed and Mom Mac flew home last weekend, so we had the Monday off to play.  We decided to head back up to Emigrant Springs State Park and the inexpensive cabins for rent.  This time we splurged, however, and went for the deluxe cabin rather than the tiny little Totem Cabin with its concrete floors and filled holes reminiscent of the former restroom that it once was!   
Reservations were made and a hugely busy week at school ensued.  Everything looked great for a weekend away, but…..the weather did NOT cooperate.  Forecast was for rain, rain, and more rain!  Flood warnings even in places!  And then the Steelers were on TV for a playoff game on Saturday afternoon, so we didn’t even hit the road until nearly 5 pm.  (Fortunately in good humor with a victory!).  Rick paid the price for his faithfulness, however, as he fought the darkness and a downpour on the highway to drive the hour up to the top of Meacham and the state park. 
We found a cozy little place to hole up for the weekend and HOPE we might get out for a little winter exercise.  (The fast that I ran a heavy table over my foot at the Spanish party Thursday night and it hurt to put my boots on might limit that endeavor anyway!)  We brought both snowshoes and cross country skies in anticipation…  The cabin sleeps 5 with two double beds and a bunk single above one of them.  A small table with four chairs, a heater, and a fridge round out the interior.  On the covered porch outside there is a gas stove and oven and bench for sitting.  Also available is a picnic table and fire ring, but we didn’t make use of those!  We had brought Luke’s college microwave to help with our cooking.  Only downfall?  There is NO “facilities” – a walk down the hill to the restrooms provide the only accommodations! 
Saturday evening we enjoyed our typical weekend retreat meal of sourdough bread, fake crab, gourmet cheese, and a bottle of wine!  And a chance to really talk for once!  I couldn’t believe I forgot to bring any games, but Rick was armed with books and puzzles and I had a pile of drawings to do.  We did eventually find one deck of cards in Luke’s side of the back bins in the van!  They worked for rummy on Sunday evening! 
And it rained and rained!  The cabin has a metal roof and we loved the sound of the rain!  It put us both to sleep soundly for over 9 hours! 
Sunday morning dawned……WET!  Very wet!  A very lazy morning of breakfast, books, and drawing.  I completed the Sharpie part of six Sermon scribbles!  Plus the powerpoint test for a class (we had the laptop with us which we used mostly for music). 
Around 1pm the rain had died down to a drizzle between storms, so we drove down the road the mile to the entrance to Westminster Woods, parked, and took off on snowshoes.  My snowshoe straps cut into my injured toe, so we only tromped around for about 45 minutes.  Rained hard midway, but that was the LAST rain we saw for the rest of our visit! 
Fun time visiting the new chapel and other landmarks from our two mission trips at the Woods.  No one was around, although we did see other old XC ski trails and snowshoe tracks.  Seems like I could tell that they lost a lot of trees over the past few summers.  My regret?  I forgot and left the camera back at the cabin, so no pictures! 
Our little cabin in the woods gives off its warmth at night. 
Back to the cabin to head down to the showers and warm up a little!  Then dinner time – no cold dinner for us tonight.  I had splurged again and bought little steaks and two microwavable side dishes, plus a little peach pie to microwave!   More sourdough bread and wine and we were in heaven!  The skies are clearing, the stars are beginning to shine.  A beautiful evening.  I went outside at one point and took a picture of our little cabin in the woods. 
Another 9 hours of sleep and Monday found us heading down to Pendleton to the Honda dealer to test drive the Ridgeline truck.  We are thinking of purchasing one but needed to take it out for a spin – and to make sure my legs would reach the pedals!  It was smooth! 
Home to Baker City around 3 to find a beautiful sunshine day!
Rick & Ging and Gunsight Mt. at Hoffer Lake
Rick winds around Anthony Lake. 
So….where is the rest of the snowshoeing?  Well, that happened the NEXT weekend, today on the 22nd of January!  This morning the sun was absolutely glorious, and the temps were even above freezing.  Rick and I took off around 11:30 to drive up to Anthony Lakes for a snowshoe up to Hoffer Lake.  I discovered if I moved my foot about a half inch forward in my snowshoe, the straps didn’t bind on my recovering, but still sore, toe!  Hurray!  We were able to snowshoe in shirtsleeves, soaking up a little of the Vitamin D the sun was giving us!  I found the climb up to Hoffer still worthy of a good sweat, but not nearly so hard as when I was carrying 30 pounds more!  We were later in the day, so we didn’t have much time in the Hoffer basin before the sun went behind the peaks.  Cooled things off quickly, but also resulted in some spectacular pictures!  Fun time!!  Good exercise!

View of the Wallowa Mountains driving  toward Anthony Lakes.  We love our valley!!