So, as I said before, the Cabin is only 13 feet square. Picture if you will a medium sized bedroom and fill it with the following: a double bed, a set of bunk beds, a small dining table and benches, a wood stove, a tiny counter supporting a two-burner propane camp stove, and a series of crates and wooden boxes that serve as cupboards. Don’t forget a box for firewood and a wooden trunk that hold tools. You’re right…there is no room to move! But wait, there’s more…add a family of four (and various pets) together with gear and food for a 10 day stay, Dad’s guitar, coats and raingear, a rifle, games and books for rainy days…whew! When I think of us staying there as a young family, I am amazed. Even when I’m there by myself, I sometimes feel a bit claustrophobic and restless if the weather is inclement.
You may have noticed the lack of plumbing mentioned in the above paragraph. We have a nice little outhouse built by my dad a couple of hundred feet behind the Cabin itself. For bathing, we have a large metal washtub – just like real pioneers! Mom and I washed each other’s hair down by the lake shore with a bucket and a dipper and a bit of courage for that first dipperful of icy water! More recently showers can be had (quickly!) on a little cinderblock platform behind the cabin. Water heated over the stove is poured into a heavy duty camp-shower bag with a shower head attached. This is then hung off a hook on the eaves over the shower area. Washing dishes is less complicated. Hauling water up from the lake is the most cumbersome part of the whole chore. Hand-washing is done with a small basin of filtered water that lives in a corner of the deck and is changed frequently as the water becomes cloudy with soap.
No electricity is no problem. Kerosene lamps, a Coleman propane lamp and a candle lantern provide lighting. Dad provided music on his guitar in the evenings. Books and games and family were all the entertainment we needed indoors. Outdoors, if it wasn’t pouring rain, there were – and are – trails all over the mountain for exploring, the boat for access to trails on the far side or at the end of the lake, blueberry patches for picking in the fall, firewood to be gathered and cut, water to be hauled up from the lake for washing or potable water to be laboriously gathered from a tiny spring several hundred yards down the lake.
While I am nostalgic about the past trips and the camping out lifestyle we enjoyed, I have already begun tweaking things for convenience. I have a “Hot Water on Demand” that will provide a lovely new way to take showers. I have a composting toilet picked out and soon to be on its way.
And of course a new cabin someday…