Tag Archive 'cabin in the woods'

Sep 18 2023

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Otter Creek Retreat

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Judy misses camping on a mountain stream now that her backpacking days are behind her. So last week we did the next best thing. We secured a cabin only steps away from the Otter Creek, a few miles outside the western boundary of the Adirondack Park. It turned out to be quite the place: a nearly new cabin with all the amenities. Quite comfortable. A lot better than camping, that’s for sure.

Judy left the cabin only to walk down to the creek and groove on it. A pair of Adirondack chairs just outside the cabin was the best place to be, with a full view of the stream. She spent considerable time there. I, on the other hand, explored the area – restless soul that I am. On the second full day of our stay, I walked the nearby Independence River with a fly rod in hand. For several hours I saw no one or any kind of development. Caught and released a couple trout in the process.

The fishing was pretty good for this time of year, but I opted for a one-day license since I was more in the mood to hike. I scouted a couple trailheads in the Independence River Wild Forest. Oddly enough, I ended up hiking at Whetstone Gulf State Park instead. I figured that way Judy wouldn’t worry about me. “State park” sounds safe, doesn’t it?

Whetstone Gulf turned out to be a bona fide canyon. A big sign at the trailhead says you must be 18 or be with someone who is in order to hike it. I hiked the North Rim Trail out, and the South Rim Trail back, completely circumnavigating the gulf. Five and a half miles altogether. Most of the time I was no more than a couple feet from the edge of the precipice. Some fantastic views along the way. A lot more than expected.

Our last evening at the cabin, we enjoyed a campfire in the fire pit down by the creek. With temps cooling off fast, thanks to a wide-open sky overhead, we sat close to the fire. Once again in comfy Adirondack chairs. The amber stream rushed past as the campfire crackled. It was a good finish to a very pleasant getaway. We’re already talking about doing it again next year.

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Aug 24 2015

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Cabin in the Woods

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NicholsonCabinOnce again my wife Judy and I took our grandkids to the Nicholson cabin in Stowe. We all had such a good time there last year that it only made sense to go back for seconds.

Once again we had the two-acre pond at its base all to ourselves. That’s the main attraction. The kids swam in the pond daily during a run of 90-degree heat, kayaked on it, and hiked its perimeter so many times that we lost count.

For three days and nights, the cabin was our home base. From there we ventured not-so-far-afield to Cotton Brook where we hiked then went for a dunk in a clear, cold pool. We also did the tour at the nearby Ben & Jerry’s factory then ran into Stowe for some good food and a little entertainment. But the cabin itself, both primitive and charming, was what the kids really enjoyed. Judy and I were somewhat surprised by their sustained enthusiasm for it.

When I was younger I dreamt of having a cabin in the woods – a simple little place where I could live close to nature. In my advanced years now, I must admit that I like having electricity, indoor plumbing, and easy access to the amenities that a small town provides. When I feel the tug of wildness, I like to venture into deep woods where there are no amenities at all, not even a roof and four walls. But it’s a pleasure to live simply for a few days in a humble abode surrounded by trees.

When we returned home, all our grandkids were glad to have access to their electronic devices again. That said, I’m sure they won’t forget that cabin in the woods or the fun they had there anytime soon. The Thoreauvian ideal of living simply might be a bit much for most people, but there’s something to be said for the occasional exposure to Walden all the same. Living close to nature, if only for a few days a year, reminds us what we are and how little we really need.



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