After throwing the last of the indoors wood in the fire around 4am, I got in a good stretch of sleep that ended with some bizarre scenes including very clashing and mismatched music. The confusion gently woke me to find that the music was real.
Owl was sitting next to the stove improvising something soothing and morning mood appropriate on his ukulele. And there was light coming in the windows. No one was really in a hurry to get out that morning.
There were two good reasons for that. The first was the intense cold outside the shelter. Red Bunyan had left a Bluetooth thermometer outside that registered a low of 11 degrees at 8am. In the sun. Which means that with windchill… well, people were procrastinating on the leaving. The second was that our collective destination that day was another cabin at Shelter Cove only 8.5 miles away.
Phoenix was the first to head out, but I was right behind her and passed her on the trail. The first bit of trail was more intense climbing, but it was so cold that even basically running up the slope in my heavy winter coat and pack was barely enough to keep me warm. Once the downhill started, though, Phoenix was easily keeping pace, and was right behind me after I stopped to treasure a picture of the view.
Down the hill, past the Rosary Lakes, over the highway, and onto the side trail to Shelter Cove. I stayed on the trail through the woods until right where it popped out opposite the resort, which allowed Phoenix and Firefly to pass me by taking the road walk in. They had already checked into their cabin by the time Firefly grabbed me at the entrance to direct me there.
Once everyone had arrived, we waited outside the camp store for it to open, and there met a man willing to drive us all to Crescent Lake to eat at the restaurant there. All 5 of us piled into his truck.
We all had a table together. My dinner involved Crater Lake Root Beer and some local craft brews, cole slaw, cracklings, and the house specialty, half a chicken on jojos (fried potato chunks). In spite of all that, I walked out only just at the edge of “full.” I had skipped lunch, after all, and it was already dinner time.
Coincidentally, Red Bunyan and Kathryn showed up at the same restaurant at the same time, so Grommet tried to surprise them with a shot of whiskey to pay them back for the whiskey they had given us at the shelter. But the waitress would have none of this surprise nonsense and went to make sure they would accept before pouring. They did, but when it was time to check out, we found out that our drinks had been paid for.
On top of that, they gave us a ride back to the resort, after waiting on us to do some shopping in the grocery store across the street. Firefly bought a ton of breakfast food for everyone for the morning. I just bought some snacks and stuff for myself, plus some nice craft beers to share.
We played some human tetris to cram five people in the back of the car and went back to the cabin. The weekenders came in to visit for a few minutes but insisted on getting home, sneakily leaving behind the remainder of the whiskey they had brought. So basically they went out of their way to ensure they gave way more than we could give back.
After getting our laundry started in the resort’s laundromat, we all settled down in the cabin’s den to drink, eat snacks, and watch a DVD we had rented from the front office. By the time the movie was finished, the laundry was done, and we had several dead men on the counter–whiskey, wine, beer, and cider.
It was finally bed time. There were only enough beds for those who had actually paid for the cabin, so I moved the furniture and laid out my mattress and sleeping bag on the rug in front of the thermostat-controlled electric propane heater. The wind over Odell Lake and the temps in the teens were no concern that night. That little cabin was insulated abs buttoned up tight.
Total distance: 8.5 miles
Trail progress: 7 miles