Sunday, March 16, 2014

Cabin Life: The Plowed Driveway

Ice on a spruceI’d like to tell you that it’s been a long couple of weeks out at the cabin.  That, however, would not be the truth.  The truth is, it’s been a couple of very lazy weeks lounging around in the comfort of an actual house.

The weather has been terrible. I was having to hike into the cabin, my firewood is running low, and I was sick of dragging a forty pound jug of water a quarter mile uphill twice a week.  So I’ve been staying at my girlfriend’s with Pico and Herbie.  And the Levine men have officially taken over the couch.

I’m still formally living at the cabin, but it has been a nice break.  After three winters, I needed some time away from the work and cold and frustration of a home with no indoor plumbing.  The chickens are still out there, and are doing well.  As the days get longer, the nights haven’t been as cold, and they are doing fine.  I hike into the cabin most every day, but I haven’t had to haul my laundry, and bags of dog food and cat litter, up that hill.

But speaking of hills, a friend invited me to climb a couple of High Peaks this past weekend.  I needed to get out of the house and just said yes.  I didn’t realize that it was going to be a 24-mile ski-snowshoe-hike.  But we headed out at about six am on Saturday to climb Cliff and Redfield mountains.  Twelve hours and forty-five minutes later, we struggled out of the woods and back to my car.

I drove to my girlfriend’s and stumbled in the door.  I literally could not move a muscle, but I made it through the night.  The next morning, as I painfully and stiffly made my way across the living room, she convinced me that best way to beat the soreness was to go for a walk or hike.  Now, keep in mind, she was not volunteering to go with me, just basically telling me to get out.  I think my complaints may have been worse than I thought.

I headed out to the cabin to feed the chickens and make sure they still had water, and very gingerly hopped in my car.  It’s about a twenty minute ride to the cabin, and every second of the way I was considering the upcoming hike up the driveway.

As I got nearer to the cabin, I noticed that my neighbors were at their camp down the road.  I figured I’d take care of the girls and then head over to say hello, but as I neared my driveway, I was taken aback by the most magical sight:  my driveway was plowed.

I cracked a huge grin and smiled the whole way up the driveway.  I knew that my neighbor had come down and plowed with his tractor, and I was so happy I whooped with joy.  The thought of having a clear driveway again was too.  I hugged the chickens and rubbed Pico’s belly until he got sick of it and ran down the driveway.

I took care of everything at the cabin and went down the road to say thanks to the neighbors.  I gave him a hug and promised to drop off a few gallons of diesel fuel in payment.  This one kind act changed my whole outlook on the last month or so of the winter.  It seemed as if so many problems had been solved by this one incredibly kind gesture.  My mood was lifted and my spirit sunny.  The neighbor s told me they were happy to help.

All of those warm feelings stayed with me until I got back and checked the weather forecast.  Twenty inches of snow predicted.  It’s amazing how fast the wind got sucked out of my sails.  Not that it’s all bad.  I know that the snow is here for a limited time, but it was so nice driving into the cabin a couple of times.  I can’t thank my neighbors enough for plowing, even if it only lasted a few days.

 

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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.





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One Response

  1. Mary says:

    Amen!!!!! My neighbors have helped also and I do have a snow blower….but my neighbors get there before me! It has definitely been a cold winter Happy Saint Patrick’s day!

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