The snow is still falling, but not as fast and furious as it was earlier. I heard on the solar radio that this is now called Winter Storm Euclid, but I think most people will remember it as the Blizzard of 2012. I’ve got about twelve to fourteen inches on the ground, and it is still coming down.
I woke up early this morning to a text message from a friend letting me know that she had made it to Colorado alright. The sun wasn’t up, but it was starting to get light out, so I got up and fed the pets and the woodstove. The stove was cranking and it was pretty warm in the cabin. I hadn’t done anything different in terms of what or how much I burned, but it was noticeably hotter in here. When Pico and I went out for our morning relief, I figured out why it was so warm inside. There was eight inches of snow on the roof providing a lot of extra insulation.
The next thing I did was to wax up my skis and get dressed for some outdoor activities. After getting about a quarter mile from the cabin, I was glad I had set out early. The snow was getting deep and it was hard to glide when I was breaking trail. I could have followed Pico’s path, but that quarter mile would have turned into a half mile the way he runs all over the place.
Pico didn’t mind the new boots I had put on his feet, and the two of us made our way down to the little lean-to, named for the kid that built it, Nick’s Place. It’s only about five feet high, eight feet wide and six feet deep, just enough for a couple of people to sleep in, though I doubt anyone has stayed there in quite a few years. I’m always a little worried though, that when I round the corner of the trail and Nick’s Place comes into sight that some hermit or drifter will be staring out of the doorway at me. It hasn’t happened yet, and since not even my landlord has seen the thing, I doubt if anyone will wander out here and find it. But I always get just a little tense when I get close. The more logical fear when it comes to the lean-to is that Pico will run in there and be face to face with a porcupine or raccoon. He’s marked the area well, and hopefully my fears don’t come true.
Last weekend, I took Pico, a folding saw and some loppers to clean up the trail to the lean-to. I’d like to make this place a little more accessible, and the first step in clearing out the existing trails.
From my cabin, I take the road that leads to Upper Camp. About half way to Upper Camp there is a junction trail that goes off to the right. It passes one of the old hand-dug wells and follows a stone wall to a large ash tree. From there, the trail continues straight to a little clearing where all the pine trees were cut to build Upper Camp. But the trail to Nick’s Place goes right, through a break in the large stone wall and meanders off into the woods. I clipped some branches and small balsams that had started to grow, and pulled a few dead trees out of the way that fallen across the trail. The trail then empties into an open glade, which in summer is beautiful. Moss lines the ground and the thick clumps of balsam and spruce give off a classic Adirondack aroma.
There are thick evergreens that surround Nick’s Place, masking it in the woods. Nick was the son of the previous owner’s and he did a nice job building this place. The front is about half closed in but there is a doorway and a window, and the roof provides a little overhang so that snow doesn’t make its way inside. After cutting out a few trees, you can see the lean-to from the where the trail enters the glade. At least I don’t have to get too close now to see if anyone is living in there.
But this morning was not a work morning. Pico and I just skied out to Nick’s Place and then bushwhacked up into the woods, heading towards the clearing up above. I’d like to mark and cut a trail from the lean-to to the clearing, and found a pretty good route up there. Of course, the route I took this morning is now covered in snow, and I’ll have to mark it another time, hopefully when there is not a blizzard going on. It’s just one of the perks of doing this type of thing out here. I get to ski it once, then ski again to mark it, and then ski it again to cut it out. I could have done all that today, but I’m looking forward to having to do the route a few more times. You know, as long as I don’t run into anyone along the way.