I love the outdoors, especially in Fall. I also love my own bed.
I love adventure. I also love routines and schedules.
I’m a complicated person, but everything about my first trip up to The Cabin was just wonderfully simple.
Simple because once we parked the car at the base of the mountain, it was just the four of us. My husband happily led the way through the first stretch of trail. My 17-year-old son, asked to carry our small cooler in addition to his own backpack, taking long, easy strides and our 15-year-old daughter was cranking tunes through her earpods while taking in the beauty all around us on the mountain.
Simple conversations. Simple (and beautiful) observations of nature. Simply one foot in front of the other.
I was at the back for most of the hike. Forever cautious/paranoid, I wanted to keep an eye out for dangerous wildlife. We only saw one. A tiny, leaf-colored tree frog. We said hello and let each other pass on our respective ways.
Simple also because I had escaped my usual home full of usual dishes and things to do and instead carried everything I needed upon my back: sheets, pillowcase, clothes, toothbrush, some snacks and water.
This hike is no joke. Coming in at a little over two miles, there were stretches that were steep enough that we broke them down into ‘let’s-just-get-to-that-tree-up-there-and-we-can-rest’ parts. And ‘by-up-there’ we’re talking 15 feet away.
And just as I was contemplating dumping the extra boots (weighing ½ pound) and the Bananagrams game (probably ¼ pound) to relieve me of some backpack weight. There. It. Was.
Nestled between pines and overlooking treetops and mountains as far as you could see, was The Cabin. Simple. As if it was part of the natural landscape itself. Unimposing. Inviting.
You know that feeling when you finally reach the spot for your vacation ‘getaway’? I’ve always arrived via car or plane but this time, I’d arrived via my own two feet carrying a backpack and somehow that made reaching the front door so much sweeter.
It was simple because our basic necessities were met. Heat from a fireplace, water from a catch system and an outhouse set on a ledge with a better view than it ever deserved.
The kids and I eagerly examined every nook and cranny in the main room and the loft above. Each piece of wood and furniture and every kitchen utensil or area rug had been brought up here piece-by-piece, on the backs of many, over 30 years. You just knew it was all done out of an act of love and somehow, it felt like The Cabin loved you back.
Simple games. Simple dinner of grilled pork and beans, followed by hot chocolate as a lightning storm raged outside. Just the four of us. Cozy. Away. Together.
The hike up had left us (or just me) tired and sleep came easy for us all. Happy to report there were no outhouse runs in the middle of the night, for me. In the morning, we cleaned up, packed up and headed back down the mountain. Maybe our loads were lighter because of all the food we consumed, but the hike down was quick and easy.
There was another unexpected blessing that resulted from this trip. A photo we took on the deck the morning we departed. Sleepy, a little cold and sans makeup or even the hint of a hairbrush being used, we smiled huddled together. And for the first time ever, we all were pleased with the photo. A moment in time, that was simple and will forever be treasured.