Monday, June 02, 2008

There's No Place Like [Mountain] Home

There are no complaints from water officials this year; irrigation water will be plentiful due to a tremendous snow pack in the mountains. But, this blessing comes with some impatience on our part, as snow drifts have kept us from being able to reach our cabin this season. It's generally accessible in April, but this year we were kept away until June. A mountain trek a few weeks ago resulted in no success, so this week-end we tried a new tactic! With ATV's in tow, we drove as far up the mountain as the first huge snowdrift, then parked our vehicle and headed the rest of the way up on 4-wheelers.

The rain showers of the day didn't stop us. They are busy providing moisture for flowers, grasses, and trees along the way. . .and are sending little streamlets and riverlets flowing along gully's and roadsides. . .to water storage reserves in the valley below.

We arrived to find that all was well. The huge tree we were worried about near the cabin was still standing. It weathered a major wind-storm past January that left many in the valley below without roofs and minus some very old trees. The snow that received sunshine is melted and gone, but patches in shadowed areas remain. A carpet of pine needles covers the pathways and driveway around the cabin, creating a soft, green cushion to walk on. And the view. . .it's as calming and therapeutic as always.

Rylan spends some time wondering how the wooden benches and chairs sank into the earth. It seems the snow pack was deep this year and applied much pressure to anything below it. Such a funny sight!

The kitchen was cozy and clean, left exactly as it had been last autumn. No little critters had come to visit. Steaming cups of tea and a hot lunch were prepared for all to enjoy.

It's always amazing to think about what it's like at the cabin when one is away to the valley below. The wooden bear still sits, and the chickadee guards. . .even though the place is quiet with inactivity and gently waits. I know. . .sometimes I wonder and think about such unusual things.

Rylan chopped firewood and built and warm and cozy fire to warm us by. When a drenching rainstorm passed over, we watched the storm through windows facing the ridge, then read awhile and 'someone' took a nice long nap.

Watching a storm pass over the watershed area from the mountain ridge to the east is always interesting. Clouds covered us and the world became misty and gray.

Then the storm passed, the sun came out, and the earth was covered with freshness! New vigor and energy!

Tiny droplets of water clung to needles and blades of grass, sending little drips and drops to the earth in a slow and calming fashion.

And the earth waits, prepared for a little bit of drying out and some new growth. A few flowers poke their heads out at this elevation, but there aren't too many yet. Winter is barely past on mountain ridge and a late spring is slowly arriving. There are no Calypso Lady Slippers blooming yet! I looked.

Cabin Woods Road provides a leisurely and winding walk between cabin and gate. It's always a relaxing walk. . .and as I sit here at valley home below, I wonder if a black bear might be enjoying it's trail right now.

The cabin flower bed shows signs of winter distress, as things were buried under 20' feet of snow. Crushed fern fronds are still green, though, preserved under cold mountain snows. This fact always amazes me. Why don't they turn yellow and die? Instead they face spring in wilted green, ready to send out fresh and vibrant green fronds soon.

Hope for spring! I found it in Shady Bear Woods next to the kitchen door!

The lavender at home is tall and starting to bloom. But the mountain lavender has a long ways to go! After being buried under such huge piles of snow, it's matted down and awfully spindly. It will take some time of basking in mountain sunshine to decide that summer is nearly here and that it's time to grow again. It will be August before it sets forth blooms on mountain ridge.

Thank you for sharing this visit with me to a place of calmness and tranquility. We stayed until sunset and then headed home wards, refreshed and revived for the week ahead.


  1. Thank you so much for sharing. I miss the Pacific Northwest so much and your mountain vista shots were lovely. Sadly, now I am more homesick than ever!

  2. Anonymous10:12 AM

    Wow! Can I come?

    I have never seen anything like that view.

    Thanks for sharing.

  3. So glad you could find a way up the mountain! The peace and stillness came through in the pictures. I can almost smell the fresh rain washed air. We took the kids roller blading by the creek on the east side of town that day, and thunder showers chased us back to the car. It really poured on the way home. But earlier at lunch time we were sitting out on the deck eating lunch in the sunshine. Still it was a lovely day.

  4. You have just the most perfect spot. I absolutely love the forest and oh if only you had a scratch and sniff button to smell the pine trees.

  5. I love these pictures! I grew up in Montana and this is just the sort of place I love. I really hope to own something like it someday - what a wonderful place to get away and relax.

  6. Anonymous12:24 PM

    Oh what fun! What a great get away! It looks so beautiful there. I feel like I've taken a little trip :>) Thank you for sharing with us.

  7. OH! I want to go there! It's already getting hot here in Georgia and I have never even been anywhere like that except in my imagination - and of course, in pictures like you just shared!

  8. What a wonderful place of retreat. Gorgeous views - thanks for sharing!

  9. Your cabin looks so cozy,,,and the VIEW! Truly a spot anyone would love to escape to. Calypso orchids lovely!

  10. Oh, how we would love to have a mountain cabin. You MUST be in the Cascades! We are just an hour or less from great places on Mt. Hood. Or, I could be very happy with a cabin at the beach! Since we don't have a cabin we will take our travel trailer to a quiet spot in the mountains or at the beach and just call it a cabin!

    Your photos are wonderful. The next best thing to being there.

  11. I feel as if I had been there with you! Lovely post!

  12. I really enjoyed this post, very descriptive, I felt I could be there - thank you.

  13. Can I be jealous without getting into sin?
    What a lovely place to go and *getaway*.....I think it must be good for one's soul just to breathe in the mountain air...
    love seeing the pictures...

  14. Ahh, what beautiful and serene photos. I just love the mountains... and the scent too! So fresh!

  15. Loved taking the journey back to the cabin with's beautiful up there high in the mountains. It won't take the lavender long to catch up and soon you'll be posting pics of lady slippers!

  16. Thank you so much for sharing this beautiful place on earth.. I'm speechless!

  17. Anonymous6:54 PM beautiful!

  18. It is nice for boys to know how to chop firewood. I am glad ours now know how to do it. The snow pic looks a little like what we get around here sometimes.

  19. Anonymous7:50 PM

    Just wonderful! Thank you for sharing and letting us/armchair travelers journey with you!

  20. Although the views from your cabin are definitely better than from ours, it sounds as if you have the same thoughts about your cabin as we do. When we went to Michigan last week we mostly stayed at our other place, but both weathered the winter well with no mice at either. We also have ATVs at our cabin. They call them camps in Michigan rather than cabins, but I still prefer calling it a cabin.

    Such an interesting contrast from ATVs to the gracious hospitality of the tea blog-a-thon you recently hosted. Perhaps, like me, you are a very eclectic person, enjoying things that seem unrelated in comparison but that are nevertheless a big part of one's life.


Thank you for commenting on my blog post. I am always happy to hear from blog readers. Your words encourage and inspire me. I am glad you stopped by to share conversation, recipes, ideas, and thoughts on creating a welcoming home.