Friday, August 10, 2018

Overnight in the Cabin ... Alone

Base Camp, Denver, CO, Elevation 5,280 feet
Journal Entry, July 30, 2018, 8 a.m. 

Today I'm driving about two hours straight up. 
I'm going to my cabin in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado, elevation 11,000 feet. 
I've been there several times before but the big difference this time is 
I'm going by myself and staying overnight. 

The weather is cool and cloudy, not unusual for this time of day.
It should burn off in an hour or so. Perhaps it's a bit more hazy than usual
because of the horrific forest fires on the west coast.

I'm feeling excited, a little nervous, but mostly looking forward to spending the night
in Timberline Cabin solo.  I hope the skies will be clear enough tonight to see the stars 
and the bears will all tucked into their beds for the night.
I appreciate all of your concerns about my safety and have taken precautions. 

Timberline Cabin: Journal Entry, July 30, 2018, 10:30 a.m. 
I make it up the rocky road to the cabin with no unpleasant incidents. 
I drive slowly and carefully, relieved that I have four new tires and 
happy that I won't have to drive back out this road on the same day.

I feel as if this is my own little world up here. 
The cabin is dwarfed by massive mountains and tall pine trees that rise up all around me.
The weather is sunny, windy and cool. 
The temperature outside and inside the cabin is 55 degrees.

I have a lot of little projects to accomplish today so I get busy. 
I love decorating the cabin and making it our own. 
On my last visit, I spray-painted two bright green wicker chairs a dark brown.

Now, I tug freshly washed and bleached seat covers onto the cushions and 
add a red velvet throw pillow on each chair. So much better. 
I join two woven scarves to make one long one for the table under the front windows.
Then I add a Hopi basket, some antlers and two red battery candles.

 Next, I tackle the Roman shades in the bedroom. 
As they were nailed into the wall instead of screwed, it is quite difficult to get them down. 
With them finally removed, I hang some Martha Stewart lace curtains that I had at home. 
The room looks like an old Victorian bedroom now. Charming. 
I think the old miner who originally owned this cabin would have loved the lacy curtains. LOL.

Noon: This task actually wore me out (must be the altitude) so I take a lunch break.
 (Note: I don't get hungry up here and usually lose a couple of pounds
each time I visit which I promptly gain once I'm back in town!)

Temperature outside is now 70 and 66 inside. I have to be careful to close the doors so the hummingbirds don't get in. I don't think I could reach them if they flew up into the vaulted ceiling. 
As I putter, I listen to an opera CD, something that probably, 
no make that definitely, would NOT happen if Ron were here.

It's breathtaking to watch the light changing on the mountains as the sun dips to the far side of the cabin. When the wind gusts, it feels as if the whole cabin is shaking, as if it's a living thing. 
I feel safe and warm to have this little shelter from the elements. I've never had a skylight so I love putting my head back and watching the clouds slide past the glass framed by pine boughs.

7 p.m. I listen to a CD book but my attention is drawn to what's happening outside. 
The sun is slowly sliding behind a pine tree in front of the cabin; the mountains glow golden, 
gradually swallowed up by lengthening shadows. The rocks take on a rosy glow like a ripe peach.

Quietly, the shadow moves up from the base of the mountain 
until the entire mountain is wrapped in shade. 
I keep running outside to snap pictures of the changing scene.

I listen to a CD by John Barry, so reminiscent of a favorite Out of Africa soundtrack, 
sending me miles away. I go to bed early, weighed down by heavy blankets. 
It's totally dark and quiet. I fall asleep easily.

NEXT Day, 5:30 a.m. 
I wake up early but it is too cold to get out of bed.
I recall it was too cloudy last night to see any stars when I trooped outside to use the bathroom.
Pulling on my cold clothes, I see the sun peeking over a rocky ledge like a shy child.
It's 31 degrees outside, 49 inside. It must have been in the 20s last night.

Silvery frost blankets the front deck and bushes. I can't stop shivering
but I don't light the wood stove because smoke fills the room while the fire is catching
and I can't take the chance of a hummingbird darting through an open door.

Around 7 a.m., the sun is beginning to touch the cabin but it's still 49 degrees inside. 
I light the propane stove for the first time and don't blow anything up.
Then I make myself a cup of hot tea. It tastes unbelievably good. 
I stand in a tiny pool of sunlight while I sip my steaming tea,
cradling the warm cup with both hands. 

At 8 a.m. the temp has finally climbed to a whopping 50 degrees inside the cabin. 
I step outside and am pleasantly surprised to feel the warmth of the early morning sun. 
I decide to collect kindling, thinking some physical activity might warm me up.

At 9 a.m., it's a balmy 55 degrees. 
I go for a short walk down our road to see if any of my two-legged neighbors are home. 
I meet Glenda who welcomes me inside her warm and charming cabin. 
Nice to have a local phone number in case of emergency. 
We will make great hiking partners once I can walk
from my car to the cabin without getting winded.

When I return to the cabin, I am quite tired and don't want to think about driving back to Denver. 
But, believing it would be safer if I take off before I'm really fatigued, 
I reluctantly pack up and drive home without incident. 
But I do truly hate that bumpy road.

What I Missed at the Cabin:
Ron, my dog Roxy, indoor plumbing, paved roads, nearby restaurants, warmth.

What I Didn't Miss at the Cabin:
Traffic, people talking loudly on their cell phones, telemarketers, noise, did I mention traffic?

I hope you enjoyed your visit. Can't wait to go back!
(If you missed my last post about this cabin, you can read it Here.)


If you enjoyed your visit, I hope you'll follow me by email.
Just subscribe (it's free) at the top of the right column of this page. 
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Thank you!!



  1. OMG. Those views!
    I understand your feelings about being alone there. It must be amazing. And scary!!!

    1. Yes and yes. It's amazing and a bit scary sometimes. Glad you stopped by. Hugs, Pat

  2. You are a brave lady with a lot of spunk. I've spent many nights by myself in my house in town but never in a cabin in the woods/mountains.

    1. Thanks Sharon. Definitely different alone in the mountains than in town. Hugs, Pat

  3. Just love your blog and wonderful Timberline cabin.
    Will wait for next installment.

    1. Thanks so much Phyllis. Glad you're enjoying the adventure. Hugs, Pat

  4. Oh, thank you that was wonderful, i sure enjoyed the pictorial of the changing of the mountains. Sounds like cold but fun,until next time,have a great weekend.

    1. Hi Marlene! Yes, it's hard not to be hypnotized by those mountains. Hugs, Pat

  5. Sounds wonderful, you are fulfilling an old dream of mine with this sweet cabin.

  6. Chairs look great and curtains are very charming and welcoming. The view is spectacular. I'm not sure I could take a solo trip in the wilderness. Have to give you a lot of credit! I enjoyed your journal esp when you describe things like your cup of tea, the temp, listening to Opera CD, etc.

    1. Thanks so much Ann. We are loving every minute in the cabin. I smiled when I read your comment about the sensory experiences. Hugs, Pat

  7. Everything looks so quaint! Everything sounds terrific but the chill I would be able to do without. I have seen these portable screens for doorways I believe it attaches to the top and has something to weigh it done on the bottom … Maybe LTD commodities has them and they are very inexpensive that may do the trick to keep out the humming birds I don't know about the wild moose though lol Lisa@ Sweet Tea N' Salty air

    1. Thanks so much Lisa. Yes, I'm pretty sure the moose could get right through the screen door but his antlers would stop him. Hugs, Pat

  8. What amazingly beautiful views you have there. I would love to have a place like that to call mine. I would live there if I could. I don't need all of the necessities that people assume you need in life. I would want my indoor bathroom of a night though. You should get a camp toilet and take when you go to the cabin. Amazon has them fairly cheap. I believe we gave $60 for ours and you could take the case that holds the mess and dump it into your toilet at home. Clean thoroughly and use again the next time.

    1. Thanks Carol. Sounds like we have the same dreams of a little cabin in the woods. Have you read the book "The Simple Living Guide?" I think you'd appreciate it. Hugs, Pat

  9. Thank you for taking us along on your adventure. I wanted your post to last forever! Love every word. Please don't let the bears find your cabin. Enjoy your little piece of heaven!

  10. Sights were spectacular. You're a braver woman than I!

  11. Hi Pat! Exciting to read of your venture out. I would love the daylight hours and would need a fire in the morning. I know about that smoke thing though. Congratulations! It is such a beautiful setting.

    1. Thanks Jacqueline! So glad you're enjoying the adventure. BTW, I've tried leaving you comments on your blog but it won't let me. So, love all your new shop items! Hugs, Pat

  12. Wow, those temps already!!! Our evenings have been muggy and in the 60's, not nice sleeping weather at all! Love your mountain cabin - the peace and tranquility must be therapeutic. Do you have black bears like us? A friend in a neighboring town came into his house last week to find a big black bear up on his kitchen counter! He came in through a window, used his claws to rip the screen right out - terrifying!

    1. Hi Debbie! Yes, apparently we do have black bears. (where are you?) I can't imagine what I'd do if a bear was sitting on my kitchen counter! We don't keep food in the cabin so hopefully we're safe. Hugs, Pat

  13. Sounds like heaven! Your photos are beautiful and your description so lovely to read. Love those bedroom curtains! Thanks for sharing at Vintage Charm:) xo Kathleen

  14. Pat, what gorgeous scenery you are surrounded by! You've really created a homey place. Glad your solo visit went well! Thanks for sharing with SYC.