Sunday, September 30, 2012

Cabin Life: An Early Winter?

The nights and days are cool, the leaves are bright and the fire wood is getting stacked in the shed.  The field is turning brown, even with the fall rain, and neither of the streams are running.  It hasn’t really been that cold, but it is coming.

Ed crashed around last night, and I thought he was going to have a mouse.  He didn’t, but it wasn’t from lack of trying.  There was a mouse turd on the table though, so the mice are definitely trying to move in for the winter.  I checked the small hole in the floor where the sink drains out and the steel wool was gone.  I shoved some more in there to try and keep them out.  I don’t have anything against mice per se, but I don’t want them in my food or on my bed or on my table.  Or in my cabin, actually.

I think it’s going to be a rough winter.  Seems like it’s much colder than it was at this time last year.  I’ve got myself set up better for this winter with solar lights and radio, and the cabin is a lot cleaner than when I moved in.  There’s less furniture and more room.  The animals are happy here and so am I.

But the weather is worrying me. I cut and split wood well into October last year with nothing more than a light flannel on and no need for a jacket.  I took a ride on the four wheeler today and my fingers were stiff for a while from the cold.  It’s not looking good for those of us who were hoping for a late start to winter.

Don’t get me wrong, I like winter.  I like to ski and snowshoe and enjoy the general quietness.  But an early winter means burning more wood, plowing the driveway more and spending a lot more time in long johns.  Nothing against any of those things, I just wish they would start when I want them to.  Like in December.  And the snow should be gone by the first day of spring.  That’s not too much to ask, is it?  I’m afraid this year it will be.

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Having grown up in the southern Adirondacks, Justin has always been at home in the mountains of New York. After graduating from Paul Smiths College, he began his career in the environmental field working for the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation. After a brief five year detour to Florida, Justin returned to the Adirondacks to live off the grid in a small cabin with no running water or electricity.

Justin continues to work and play in the outdoors, and maintains a blog about living off grid, hiking, and being outside in the Adirondacks called Middle of the Trail.

5 Responses

  1. adkcamp says:

    Justin hasn’t spent enough time in the Adks…. early winter would be snow in August. On average, by October, you can expect snow, by November, ice-in. Early Spring – think April!

  2. Justin says:

    Hey now, I know how the winters are! It was just nice last year to have a long fall to work with!

    • Paul says:

      It was too warm last fall if you needed to fill your cache with meat you harvested in the woods. Good for wood but bad for hunting. You are living off the grid, aren’t you shooting some of your food?

      • Justin says:

        No, I actually don’t hunt. I don’t have anything against it, and love to get venison from friends, but just never got into it. There were definitely more deer last year, but the apple trees got slammed with the frost this past spring, so there’s a lot less food around.

  3. Big Burly says:

    3 years ago we had snow on 9/30 in Mt. View. Warmer temps on the way this year. My think is winter will start late Nov. and we’ll have lots of snow in Dec. and Jan. with really cold weather in February.
    But hey, living in the mts is always a crap shoot.

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