December 31, 2017

Snowshoeing To Winter Cabin

First I pass through an old hemlock forest of giant woody columns holding a roof of snow canopies.

I can't think of a better way to end the year than by going for my first snowshoe of the winter. There was also a mission I needed to complete - get a winter photo of a snow-covered cabin for our blog banner so I can observe the official change of seasons.

Going down.

The cabin is on a brook in a valley behind my home. Going down on snowshoes is much more forgiving than boots on the ground. It is puffy, floaty, slidey, fun. Sharp pokey things are covered - everything is child-proofed and one can go anywhere and do anything.

Next to weightlessness, this is the best possible liberation from the potentially dangerous effects of gravity and friction while hiking. It never fails to put a smile on my face.

Impossibly puffy puffiness of fresh powdery snow.

Jumping and sliding down the valley side to the brook does not take long. The water is a tranquil spot to enjoy the sound of moving water, be still for a few moments, and see the scene, while being seen by the scene in turn.

At moments like this, spirits merge.

The winter landscape feels like a Chinese watercolour painting.

After reaching the brook I move upstream toward the cabin, which is on the other side of the water. Soon, there it is, all tucked in.

What a get-away. No power. No phone. No billboards. No shopping. No fences. No Gates. I'm not even sure if there is a road to the cabin.

I wonder what it would be like to live here. Very, very simple. Challenging. A lot of hard work. A deep solitude and tranquility - total separation from the affairs of humanity (or "inhumanity").

I think about pulling a Henry David Thoreau, naming this spot "Walden, Too", and embarking on an extended retreat. Never mind extended, even one night out here would be magical. Imagine a week. A month. Or a year.

My reveries are interrupted by the fact that the fading light had faded further. I start back up the hill, avoiding groves of conifers because their snow-draped canopies make it even darker below them. There is more snow under the open canopies of deciduous forest, and there the snowshoeing is best.

Everything looks unfamiliar and new in a thick winter jacket, but my homing instinct is strong. I get to the edge of the forest and start across the field. I see my own "cabin" at the top of the slope.

My "cabin" - heat, light, food, clean drinking water, and Linda are inside. Almost there.

I feel fortunate, recharged, and ready for another orbit around the Sun on this beautiful planet. It is good to be riding with all of you.  


  1. Magical post. And serene pictures of winter's snowy wonder. Just lovely and fluffy. Have a wonderful year (every year) Greg and Linda and everyone! Deva

    1. Deva,

      Hoping you have a super, simple new year.

  2. Happy New year! What a gorgeous adventure. Beautiful scenery too. Nice to come back to your own slice of heaven though I'll bet :)

  3. Thank you for this lovely post. Although I hate the cold, there's no denying that your snowy photos are quite beautiful. Ever since you posted the original picture of that cabin, it has been my imaginary "happy place" that I go to in my mind when I'm feeling stressed out. I love the new photo too. Maybe come spring, you can take a peek inside for me. Happy New Year to you and Linda...from the very cold deep south. It's 32 degrees this morning and it's supposed to be even colder tomorrow!!

  4. Happy New Year, friends!

  5. Anonymous1/01/2018

    Hi, nice post. The writing reminds me a bit of magical realism exposed by Murakami.

  6. Anonymous1/01/2018

    So well written I feel like I'm right there...thank you. Happy New Year everyone! - Mary

  7. Anonymous1/01/2018

    Happy New Year to you, Gregg and Linda and to all members of this great community! Let 2018 bring us more freedom and less wage slavery, more satisfying work and less boring jobs, more time spent in nature and less screen time!


  8. This cabin in the woods wears winter as lovely as it does summer. This is better than I could have imagined. Imaging a warm fire inside gives me hygge feeling. (pronounced hoo-ga). I just finished cooking a pot of potato soup. How cool would have been to have grown my own carrots and potatoes in the garden over there to the right, cooked my winter soup in the fireplace of this home, eaten by candlelight in a rocking chair warmed by the fire.

    Reading your story was like a living an intriguing adventure for a few moments! Yikes! That "going down!" But I bet the coming back up was not so easy! Yeah, no power. No phone. Before internet. I too meditated on who built this shelter? Who lived there? Why did they come here? Why did they leave? What was their life like? Harder. Yes.

    This is worthy of being called, "Walden Too." Loved how you wrote this one. My heart thanks you for this.


  9. Anonymous1/02/2018

    I read your posts and they bring me so much peace. Thank you for sharing. We have a toddler at home so life is never “quiet” but we keep it simple with very little travel and most holidays are spent traipsing along the snowy lake behind our home, sledding the yard, cooking meals, and trips to the public library for the story hour or craft hour. We made cereal chains last week to drape on trees for the birds and squirrels! Happy New Year Greg and Linda! Best, Nadya

  10. Happy New Year Linda and Greg. Saffron

  11. Beautiful, magical post, Thank You. Wishing You both a wonder-filled new year!

  12. Anonymous1/05/2018

    Your photo of the cabin reminds me of my very favorite, and very magical, Christmas tree ornament from childhood - wow!!
    What a beautiful journey you documented; I am so glad you shared it with us.
    After a very cold spell in TX, it is sunny and in the 50s today...ahhhh:)
    That may have been our winter...we'll see!
    Peace to all.
    - Erin


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