Over the weekend, we hiked out to a Forest Service cabin in the woods with two other families. It was a pretty ambitious adventure for six adults and six kids, most of them under five; but the efforts were abundantly rewarded.
When I woke up Friday morning, the skies were black. It was pouring and the winds were powerful. I laid in bed, wishing we had a good reason to cancel (inclement weather is not reason enough in Alaska). Instead, we hustled to pack up our gear and food, plowed on out-the-road to the Windfall Lake trailhead…. and amazingly, there was a gorgeous break in the weather. Off came the rain gear for the hike in!
A lot of the trail is planked to avoid the boggy mud pits. It was a super nice walk, despite the burdensome packs. Sadie was on the hunt for porcupines but managed to avoid getting quilled when she found one… how she managed that, I’ll never know.
Seeing the .2 mile sign was a very welcome sight for us all! Three and a half miles doesn’t seem like that long, until you hike it with gear and six kids in tow! Let me tell you, that bag of DumDums was the best motivator we could have brought. Tired kids? Here, you can have a lollipop when you make it to the next mile marker!
The boys did a little fishing, the girls did a little chatting, the kids just had fun running and being free. The cabin came with its own canoe, though we didn’t get to use it (Well, some of us… ahem. What happens in the canoe, stays in the canoe, especially if you sink it to the bottom of the lake. Don’t worry Juneau people, it’s back).
We had a wonderful evening around the campfire, telling stories and drinking wine-in-a-box from our enameled mugs. It’s up in the air if those were the northern lights we saw, the clouds moving over the alpenglow, or maybe light from town. If we had a compass, maybe we could have figured that last one out.
Is there anything better than camp coffee? Not for me. And my friend Jessy makes a mean campstove breakfast with fajita-hot dog flavored eggs (and she carries a cast iron frying pan with her on hikes). All this while being newly pregnant and feeling pretty awful. She pretty much is awesome.
And thank God for that morning lift because once again, the weather was terrible. We stayed inside loafing around, trying to teach tic-tac-toe to the kids and telling more tales. We probably would have stayed like that all day if the next batch of hikers hadn’t come to claim the cabin for the night. Guess what though? The weather cleared again for our hike out. Kind of amazing. We packed up, did some more fishing (in which J caught his first cutthroat trout), and went back on our merry way to town.
A lazy evening at home was had by all that night.