Waking up to the sound of silence was blissful and welcome. I felt like a child at Christmas, sneaking out of bed, poking my head out the door to see what presents had been left … But the gift I was searching for was what lay beyond the windows of this lovely cabin (built by Robin and her ex). Disappointed I was not … outside lay the vision of fog-soaked mountains with slivers of rock pinnacles, glimpses of green patches brushing through. Tall sovereign coniferous trees reigned over the snow-covered earth surrounding our everything else. The sight was breathtaking, bursting with resplendent beauty, uncompromising in its stoic solitude. But the silence was broken with the creaking of the bed and then the soft pitter patter of feet making their way across the wooden floor, making a beeline for the outhouse. Ah, nothing more enlivening than stepping outside into the caverns of a mild winter morning, sinking into the snow path while navigating ones way to the outdoor toilet! I was grateful for the presence of Robin’s indoor composting toilet, in the middle of the night. I had my share of night escapades to the toilet in the freezing cold when I spent several summers camping in Iceland (summer = cold you say? Well, pitching tent on a glacier icecap and digging a toilet for our expedition is an interesting story in itself!).

By 10am, everyone had roused themselves, and slaDE made Robin, Rob and myself the fluffiest of vegetable cheese scrambled eggs for breakfast. Something about the freshness of mountain air peaks the senses — olfactory and gustative especially! The morning was spent hanging out beside the wood burning stove, reading and sharing stories. Before we knew it, half the day had scampered away and we made our way outside, wanting to explore the territory around us. We found ourselves hovering towards the snow-filled riverbed and exploring the vast array of rocks that lined the crust everywhere! They were so beautiful, rich in variety and minerals. I don’t think I’ve ever seen so much quartz outside of a quarry or mine. I felt like a child doing research for a science project, so fascinated was I, inspecting and wanting to take home each and every new colouration I stumbled upon. The boys were as happy to skip the rocks in the fast-flowing water as I was gleeful in taking interesting and inspiring photographs. The day was getting milder by the hour, and staying on top of the snow crust was becoming quite difficult and humorous at the same time. SlaDE was giving us tips on how to not fall through … the trick he stated was to keep moving and taking light-footed steps upon the banks. On the whims of saying this, he would fall in almost up to his thigh in white stuff :). I’m thinking that I want to wear gators next time we go for a jaunt.

We had developed a hunger on our mini-expedition, and so to follow, we savoured a nice afternoon ‘snack’ of my crockpot lasagna. In my opinion, there’s no better way to follow a hearty meal and fresh mountain air than with a peaceful nap. Upon rousing ourselves, newly energized, we headed out for another hike, this time along the road. With very little traffic, the sights and sounds of the mountains were peacefully renewing. Nothing like coming home to nature. (I must admit though, it was somewhat disturbing to have such fresh air be rudely interrupted by the diesel smell of the occasional passing truck. Yucky.)

A Thai chicken curry and red wine topped of our evening of conversation perfectly. What a lovely day!

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