Dale and I own a cabin in the woods. It takes us exactly one hour to drive from our home to the cabin’s front door. It sits on a few acres on a remote site nestled in the blue spruce and aspens adjacent to the White River National Forest.
Our cabin in the woods
Dale’s family built it from a kit in 1971. It’s a 2 room cabin ~ no bathroom. It does have cold running water that is gravity flowed from a spring located up the hill from the cabin. The cabin was originally built as a hunting cabin. You know the kind ~ where good old boys sit around the table drinking beer and whiskey, telling stories of their latest encounters with elk, deer and bear. The kind of cabin where girls aren’t allowed to stay with the exception of when they come to clean up the mess left by the men who occupied it previously during hunting season. Summers up at the cabin were spent fixing holes in the fence where the elk had crashed through the winter before, or cleaning up the mouse droppings those nasty little rodents had left while tap-dancing all over the counters. It was work.
The ComodeDid I mention there are no bathrooms at the cabin? There is a little outhouse located about 20 yards down the hill from the cabin. It is insulated with dated pieces of gold, avocado green and blue carpet. Its decor consists of cobwebs, spiders, bugs and mice. It’s not an outhouse a girl would be comfortable in, but it serves the purpose. Making a trip to the outhouse in the middle of the night is every girl’s nightmare ~ grabbing a flashlight, I usually opt to hide behind at tree instead of making the trek to the hut. I always thing about bears waiting for me to make a midnight run. Every time I open the door, cobwebs hit my face and I end up slapping myself silly. When I sit down, I envision monsters living in the pit my bottom is hanging over.
Over the years the cabin has seen many visitors come and go. Everyone who visits is encouraged to sign the front door. It has become a journal of entries describing hunting wins and losses, snowpack depths, bbqs with friends and family, snowshoe trips, snowmobiling trips, hiking trips and even a couple of girls weekend with my gal pals. It has seen many loved ones come and go ~ there are entries on the door written by those who are not with us anymore. There are also short stories describing how our sons introduced their future spouses to our home away from home. There are now stories of our grandchildren’s visits.
Over the past few years, Dale and I have redecorated it from when his folks used to take care of it. The cabin has been passed down to us and is in our care. We have changed the look and have made it more family friendly. It’s been cleaned of all the junk that had attracted mice in the past. Because we’ve kept up on it, it is more user-friendly and a lot cleaner.
It’s now fun to go up to the cabin to get away from it all. There is a wood stove to cook on.
There is a stone fireplace built into the front porch to burn a few steaks on. Even though there is a small black and white tv up there (for watching Bronco games years ago), it’s not used ~ at least when I’m there. There is no cell service. No telephone line. No radio reception. It’s a glorious getaway where no one can find you.
Poker night with my peepsAnd because we remodeled the cabin to accommodate more visitors and activities, we added a new and improved bathroom system. Thank goodness for Cabela’s! I can now sit in luxury on the front porch and admire the scenery in style!!
The biggest plus about going to the cabin is the lack of cell service. We love going to the cabin to get away from it all. To unplug. To energize. To decompress. To recharge our batteries. We want to have so much fun that we forget all about email, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram. No cell service means we get to totally escape modern conveniences for a weekend.
A few weeks ago, my girlfriend visited me for for a few days. She’s from Denver and we decided to spend the weekend at the cabin. We arrived and much to my horror, found out that there is now 3 bars of 3G network at the cabin!!! What in the hell is going on? The cabin is not longer a safe haven from all the technology that supposedly makes our lives easier. No longer are we able to escape the world for a weekend to reap the benefits of what nature has to offer us. Technology follows us in the form of a cell phone. My friend was on the phone constantly ~ messaging with those on the front range, checking email, checking facebook, talking to friends. I sat and enjoyed the fire I had built in the fireplace and sipped on a glass of wine while she basked in the glow of her cell phone.
Why do we feel the need to be connected to the outside world? I’m just as guilty as the next person. I enjoy sharing my adventures and taking my friends along on a virtual vacation with me. Why is it so hard to enjoy the moment, the beauty and the simplicity which we are lucky to experience for one weekend, without letting the complexity of our lives invade our little bubble?
Because of the newly implemented cell service, I feel the cabin is no longer an “off the grid” place to escape to. Visitors now need to make a conscious effort to put down their phones and enjoy the benefits the cabin has to offer. And that’s too bad. I’m thinking of making a new rule when visiting the cabin:
ALL PHONES MUST BE PLACED ON AIRPLANE MODE
I hate rules….