Many years ago, I worked at a photo lab with several other outdoorsy women. (This was before digital photography!) I had recently gotten my own set of keys to the Cabin after not having gone for a few years, so I enthusiastically convinced two friends to join me for a weekend in late August. The 90 minute drive was closer to 3 hours with three photographers in the car!
Along the way, I realized that I didn’t have the right set of keys. I broke it to my friends, but they were game to go on. We all had sleeping bags and plenty of snacks and the weather was glorious so we camped out on the deck, drinking wine and enjoying the quiet of the lake as the sun went down. In the morning coffee was prepared by means of a tiny camp stove that one of the girls always carried in her backpack. We breakfasted on the remainder of the crackers and cheese and then decided to go up the hill to check out the view. The weather was still cooperating, actually unseasonably warm and dry for August. We huffed and puffed up the nearly vertical path to the blueberry trail above the Cabin. There we paused to rest perched on the random boulders that litter the hillside.
The view from that trail is beyond spectacular. The whole valley lays before you framed by purple mountains, ice blue glaciers and the dark mirror of the lake. The foreground is idyllic as well with white quaking aspen trees marching down the hillside before us, their silvery leaves fluttering in the breeze. The forest floor is done in a thousand shades of green accented with orange and red berries of kinnikinnik and cranberries. We burned several rolls of film between the three of us and then just rested quietly enjoying the early morning view.
The acoustics of an alpine lake are unique. Although the camp is nearly a mile away from where we were perched on the mountainside we could hear occasional voices as people made their way to church. Services were announced with a pealing of bells from their bell tower and then a perfect a capella chorus of Amazing Grace drifted up to us. We were rendered speechless.
That was nearly twenty years ago. Since then I have listened every Sunday morning that I’ve been up there and have never heard them singing. It was just simply a magical moment, never to be repeated.
Needless to say I didn’t have any trouble convincing those girls to go back to the Cabin. One of them has since passed away and I’ve sadly lost contact with the other one. But for a few years we made regular trips, not only to the Cabin, but all over the road system of South Central Alaska. There are a number of great road trip stories that will make it to this blog I’m sure!