I can’t believe we just finished our 4th cabin trip of the winter and the second one for January. Last year, due to challenging weather conditions, mostly too cold or too much snow, we only made it out once for an overnight in the Whites. (Well, I, Eric, did do a second trip on my own.) But this year the weather and the trails have been pretty awesome for fatbiking trips.
A couple of weeks ago, I noticed that Wolf Run Cabin was available on Friday, January 22. I recently started having Fridays off work, so I asked Eric if he wanted me to book it. As usual, he was on board. And the weather looked to be about perfect for a winter cabin trip in January (above zero and only light winds), so I made the reservation. With another 2 hours of extra daylight that we have gained since our New Year’s Day trip, it was looking to be a pretty fun overnight. And it was, for all of the following reasons.
I was definitely ready to be out of town and out of cell range. First, to get away from all the political news and craziness that has been going on. On top of that, work has been extremely busy. We’ve had a couple of providers leave, so the remaining doctors (including me) have had to take on a lot of new patients along with our regular patients. That makes for really busy days. I have been going non-stop from 6 AM until 5 PM every day. I love my job but it’s nice to get away and not be responsible or make decisions for others. And I really needed some relaxed time that wasn’t so structured. The peace and quiet of a slower-paced life for a couple of days sounded great. Besides lots of down time at the cabin, there were few people on the trails. On both days we saw a group of 3 skiers who were near the end of a 6-day, cabin-to-cabin trip. On the last day we saw a couple on a snow machine and another pair of skiers heading in. Otherwise, it was just Eric and me and the wilderness.
|3 skiers that we saw both days|
NEW TRAIL FOR US
The trail was in great shape. Some windswept areas had several soft snowdrifts, a couple of the frozen creek overflows were a bit tricky, and there was the usual hike-a-bike up some short steep climbs, but all in all it was great riding. We had never been on the last 10 miles of the Colorado Creek Trail after the trail turns near the Colorado Creek Cabin to head to Wolf Run. I love traveling on new trails. It was a nice gentle downhill most of the way that didn’t feel like a grunt coming back up it the next day. The area was pretty windswept with minimal snow but was great for biking. Add in some swoopy trail, fun whoop-de-doos, and 3 bridge crossings, and it was just a lot of fun all around. Well, there was a bit of a chilly headwind at first, but really it was more of a breeze than a true headwind.
|There were a few sections of overflow but nothing bad|
|Starting on the new to us trail|
The views kept getting better and better as we biked further down the valley. Biking in the 22 miles to the cabin took a little over 4 hours. I wanted to keep riding to see what was around the next bend, but it was time to stop. We still had to collect wood and get the cabin warmed up. And relax, of course. Maybe another time, another trip.
|1st view of the cabin|
NEW CABIN FOR US
Wolf Run Cabin had been one of two White Mountain cabins that we hadn’t visited yet. Now Richard’s Cabin is the only one we haven’t seen. Our friend, Beth, had said Wolf Run was her favorite cabin in the Whites. The skiers we met said it was their favorite, too. And it didn’t disappoint. Wolf Run cabin sits in a beautiful valley with mountain views right out the window. Small and tight, it retains heat well. When we got there, the cabin was still warm from the skiers. We stoked the woodstove a bit too much for night and were sweating a bit, despite both being on lower bunks. But we never had to restoke overnight even though the temps outside dropped to -5F. I didn’t even zip up my sleeping bag until 4 AM. Some previous snowmachiners had cut and stacked lots of firewood, so Eric had to cut down only a few trees to help resupply what we used. What’s not to like about all of that?
|Amazing view out our window|
|Nice snug little cabin that can sleep 6|
|Eric gathering firewood|
|View from the front of the cabin|
Well, no wolves but lots and lots of wolf sign. We followed tracks and scat left by a pack of wolves for about 5 miles down the trail. You could see where they stopped to dig, where they must have had a pow-wow, and where they went off and came back on the trail. They must have come through within 24 hours of us, as one of the snowmachiners we saw said the tracks weren’t there the day before. We didn’t see any wildlife this trip but saw lots of other tracks, including moose, fox, hare and lots of little rodent tracks.
|Wolves must have been digging for voles or something here|
All in all, it was a great trip. It wasn’t epic. No fighting the elements. No all-day slog just to reach our destination. No equipment or body malfunctions. No extremes. But it was a really fun get away. It was just what this doctor ordered and needed.