Monday, January 16, 2012

Winter Lessons From the Cabin

This picture was taken a few days ago.  We are currently in the midst of some aggressive winter weather which initially brought us temps in the teens and covered everything with ice.  As of this writing we have about four inches of snow.  Predictions are for high winds and an additional foot of snow in the next two days.  Hang onto your hats! 

Growing up with a cabin in the mountains has exposed me to lots of interesting situations when it comes to weather.  I've seen my share of summer storms but the lessons learned from going to the cabin in the winter come to mind as I sit here watching it snow:

Winter Lesson #1:  Upon arrival you may find the above scenario. Always bring a shovel with you (because you sure as heck aren't going to get one out of the cabin). 

Winter Lesson #2:  Use shovel to clear chimney of snow.  A ladder will not be necessary to access the roof.

Once chimney is free, use shovel to access front door (via front porch).  Grab the roofline and swing/walk (slide) down onto the front porch.  Enter cabin.

Winter Lesson #3:  Once in cabin proceed to heat source and activate.  Leave the water turned off....

This is a good time to reflect on your last visit to the cabin.  When you last left, did you 1) turn off the water; 2) turn off and drain hot water tank and 3) add RV antifreeze to the toilet and drains in shower/sinks?

If you did, move on to Winter Lesson #4. 

If you did not, deactivate heat source and return to Go (as in Go Home).  Do not return to cabin until late Spring with new pipes, hot water tank and toilet bowl.

Winter Lesson #4:  Using your newly established entry, grab roof line and return outside to front of cabin with shovel in hand.  Remove snow from cabin windows, giving you an escape route should there be a fire.

Winter Lesson #5:  Slide back down onto the front porch and into cabin.  Upon entry you should experience a sense of heat from your previous heat activation efforts in Winter Lesson #3 above.

If so, proceed to turn on water until it runs through all taps (only then should you turn on hot water tank.)  Proceed to Winter Lesson #6. 

If you do not experience heat, troubleshoot heat issue for a period not to exceed approximately two hours.  If the issue is still unresolved return to Go (as in Go Home).  Do not return to cabin until late Spring with resolved heat source.

In addition, if you experience water leaks from pipes or fixtures, troubleshoot using whatever comes in handy from the cabin and/or via any kind neighbor who may be in residence at their own cabin.  If leaks cannot be resolved, turn off water; deactivate heat source and return to Go (as in Go Home).  Do not return to cabin until late Spring with replacement parts.

Winter Lesson #6:  If you are successful in the prior Winter Lessons, you may now return to your vehicle.  Always make sure you park your vehicle in a safe place, away from snow plows and traffic.

You may now proceed to unpack your vehicle and move your "provisions" into the cabin.  It's suggested that you beg, plead or barter with any individual you come upon with a snowmobile to assist you with this task.

However, if you find you are alone in this task and must walk, it is suggested one walk on defined snow tracks via fresh snow to avoid one (and their belongings) from sinking to their waist or higher. 

At this time you may experience thirst from your previous efforts.  It is highly suggested that no matter how thirsty one is, that they do not consume yellow snow.

Enjoy your stay.


  1. What a cute cabin. Love the red enamel stove; we have one in the lodge (not currently hooked up) in brown. Maybe a paint job would make it more desirable?! Have experienced all of the above; you stated it extremely well, although I'm not sure I understand the parking job. It looks a tad crooked. Do you have memories of snow ice cream, too?

  2. That is an old Coleman oil stove, passed down from my Grandparents. It was also brown before I spray painted it with a high temperature paint (usually used to paint car engines). I was trying to be funny re: the parking...that's MY car, which my husband had borrowed so he could tote hunting pals around with him. I almost lost the car (and husband) that day. No memories of snow ice cream but am interested (ice cream is my biggest weakness)! :) 50+

  3. Lol, that is some kind of snow! Wowsers! So funny! I don't know as I could handle that kind of snow.

  4. LOL! Great post! I learned a lot. :)