The Cabin in the Woods

IMG_2636

 

 

A group of four of us from the Banff Centre went out to the cabin in question, above. We had to snowshoe two kilometers in along a trail, and the building, which belongs to the Alpine Club of Canada, has no electricity or running water. Lit by gas lamps on the wall, water boiled from fetched snow, an outhouse by the wood shed and two great fire stoves to heat the place.  It was perfect.

 

 

IMG_2642

 

 

There’s something about the word ‘rustic’ that I don’t like: the way it smooths over the sense of harshness – a sense of dishonesty. Or it’s more that I can’t imagine someone who lives in a place like this year round calling it ‘rustic’ without a lacing of irony.

 

 

IMG_2627

 

 

So say  instead the cabin was perfectly rough, self-contained – what was needed was there, and what was not needed, or could be fetched, was either there or was no – absent, external.

 

 

IMG_2621

 

 

Beams held up the ceiling and the loft above. The stair had a rope banister. There were benches by the fire, places to hang your soaked socks to dry. Within this sufficiency there were also flourishes, like the model parrot in a pirate’s hat which sat above the fire. And the board games for the drawn-in nights.

 

 

There’s no denying it wouldn’t be an easy place to live for long, but I could have stayed a week.  I felt very peaceful – after a late night, disturbed by an intrusive animal (after a foam cooler box, as teeth marks showed in the morning), I woke up earlier than everyone else, and built up the fire and watched it until it was light enough to read, then read until everyone else got up, many hours later.

 

 

IMG_2625

 

 

It’s a kind of intense peacefulness that envelopes you as you sit watching a fire you are keeping lit, with no one else around. And there is the silence too of people sitting beside you on the bench by that fire, with nothing much to say and a book in their hands too. Heightened silence, but easy at the same time. I would like that every day, but that’s not to be, until I have the chance to build my own house, if that ever happens.

 

 

Until then, I’ll gather these things for The Library of Endings. I’ll make the trip useful, or I’ll try. Writing as a way to lay out the walls, to re-create and contain what is fleet like this. I look at the pictures for now, taking a breath. How many months more will this place last so crisply, sense-rich, in my mind?

 

 

IMG_2630

Advertisements

3 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

3 responses to “The Cabin in the Woods

  1. as a child it was one of my biggest dreams to spend a whole winter in Alaska or Canada, in a cabin in the woods, alone, trying to make it through to spring. I thought this would be the biggest challenge imaginable. and back then, it would have been much harder than today.

    these days I prefer warmer climates. but who knows. maybe the cold will start appealing to me again one day.

  2. Hi! What Alpine Hut is this? Are there good trails around for X-country skiing or snowshoeing – looks fun!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s