Boy did you ever miss a good overnight! The plan was to rent the rustic cabin at Willow Prairie Horse Camp off Butte Falls Hwy in Southern Oregon for a winter overnight. The cabin was just supposed to be a fall back if anyone attending got too cold to tent camp. Russ & I arrived about 2pm and I starting scoping out a tent site. I don’t think Russ ever even considered anything but sleeping in the cabin! As the black clouds kept rolling in the cabin looked better and better My adventurous side was saying “ah just sleep in the tent”. My logical side was SCREAMING “Don’t be stupid. Sleep in the cabin.” Being a logical person…I opted to sleep in the cabin
The cabin is quite rustic, but very comfortable. The “windows” are wood covers over openings in the side of the cabin…no glass panes, just wide open. thankfully there was clear plastic that could be raised to see the great outdoors, or lowered to keep the cold breezes out. There is no electric to the cabin, and since we were backpacking and not car camping, all we had were our headlamps and one used tealight left from the last people who rented the cabin. Nik and Ken were coming in later, and hooray, we had cell service, so we called and asked them to pick up some candles on their way up.
Russ and I opened the two windows to let light in, but as night, rain (and the temps) started falling we closed up shop. Inside the cabin was a small barrel wood stove and the forest service supplied a nice pile of dry, split wood. Now when I say rustic cabin, I mean you can see light through not only the walls, but the roof as well. So our little wood stove, while offering some heat, was hardly roaring and the cabin was far from toasty. But compared to the cold & driving rain outside it felt like heaven!
Also inside the cabin was a really nice table and bench seats, two bunk beds without bedding of course, 2 really heavy log chairs and a shelf under one window that was perfect for unpacking gear and as a meal prep table. There were nails and pegs everywhere to hang gear to dry. It was as perfect as a cabin could be.
Ken & Nik got a pretty late start and hiked most of the way in the dark. From the highway the cabin is just short of 2 miles in. Being a girl, and with the rain and wind going crazy outside the cabin, I was pretty worried about the guys. But about 40 minutes after they told us they were heading in from the road, Russ and I went outside with flashlights and saw their headlamps. According to them it had rained little on there trek to the cabin. Strange how the rain travels in the mountains.
Tea, dinner and conversation filled our night. I was the first one asleep. Yes Nik, you do snore! But it wasn’t too bad. Everyone slept great..not toasty from the fire, but plenty warm. Oh, Russ had nightmares of people trying to murderhim all night. What was that about??? Dawn came before we knew it. There was a pack of coyotes making their presence known not far from the cabin so I kept Max VERY close to me. Ken attempted an outside fire, but everything was so wet it just wouldn’t take off. No need anyway, the wood stove was burning just fine.
Ah breakfast! What a FEAST!!! Bacon, eggs with cheese and blueberry pancakes. We even had butter and syrup. The only thing missing was orange juice. I can’t speak for everyone, but I ate way more than I should have
We were packed up in no time, and the walk back to the car went faster than I expected (It’s all uphill). Pictures, hugs and a promise to do it all again soon.
Russ and I drove up to Lake of the Woods to see if it had snowed at the higher elevations. There was some fresh powder, but not enough to get excited about. On the way back down Butte Falls Hwy Russ asked me if there really was a falls at Butte Falls. I told him yes there was, so we took a short side trip to the falls and took a couple of pics.
Please, please, please considering joining one of our upcoming backpack trips. This is such a fun group of people.