Monday, October 4, 2010

The New John Muir Cabin

September in Juneau was unusually warm and dry. The result is that instead of the leaves turning grey, falling from the trees and molding on ground, we have beautiful color everywhere. Yellows and reds, oranges and evergreen. Simply gorgeous I say - Boston in the Fall sings Mr. X.

Friday night we met some friends for an overnight trip to the John Muir cabin. We had been told that the cabin underwent extensive renovations this summer so we were excited to see what we could see.

The hike up was good until night fell. Then the rain came in earnest, and we really tromped through the mud. Hiking in front, Mr. X found a missing plank on the boardwalk and sunk to his knee. A short time later I found a "leg breaker" board and also sunk to my knee.

At the cabin we discovered that it now has an iron spiral staircase to the second floor which was enclosed and shut with a storm door. The table, benches, counter, cupboards, sleeping platforms, roof, and outhouse are all brand new.

In the morning, while everyone else snored, I grabbed the camera and headed out to capture the colors. I couldn't believe the neon orange grasses - they looked like they'd been sprinked with powdered cheese. I loved the red leaves of the bunchberry plants.

On my way, I ran into (what ended up being) two early morning hikers who asked if they could start a fire in the pit in front of the cabin. Since the rest of the mountain is a bog, I agreed and they very quietly cooked their breakfast.* We had a quick breakfast of oatmeal and blueberry muffins, then packed up and invited the hikers in for a chat since a heavy rain had started falling. They were career Coasties working in HR and PR - interesting guys.

We then took a few pictures and headed back to the trailhead. At Conference on Sunday, I asked our friends if they were ready to go again. The husband said absolutely. The wife...not so much.

*the US forest service cabins are warming shelters between 10am and 5 pm after which the cabin and the immediate area belongs to renters; it was 8 am so I could have told them to scram, but I didn't.

Our last John Muir Trip here.

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