I love a good hike out to a cabin in the winter, so when a last-minute invite to a cabin for the winter solstice came in, we had to take it.  Even if we had a ton of work to do before driving eight hours to NJ the next day for the holidays.  We packed up and headed to the Sleepy Hollow Inn Ski & Bike Center, but not without making a quick stop for some random groceries on the way.

It’s only a mile up to Butternut Cabin on the Skywalker Snowshoe Trail.  Unfortunately, there isn’t currently enough snow to ski up, or even to need snowshoes.  We barebooted it, arriving just before dark.

The cabin has an absolutely gorgeous view of Camel’s Hump, and a wood stove and bunks with mattresses inside.

There were seven of us for the night and we quickly got down to eating and drinking while the stove kept us toasty.

Kim wanted to follow the solstice tradition of keeping a flame lit throughout the night.  I can get on board with things like that.  I have sometimes had the tradition of being outside at midnight on New Year’s Eve to bring in the new calendar year.  I wasn’t sure if I’d be able to do that this year, so this night seemed like a good substitute, bringing in the new season instead.

We played games throughout the night and people eventually started dropping off to bed.  It had been agreed that we’d do shifts with the candle so I tried to go to bed at midnight in order to get up early for my shift.  That did not work out though.  The wood stove kept the room a little too toasty, and I was roasting up in the top bunk.  Even laying on top of my sleeping bag in my underwear, I could not get comfortable.  Others were still up and playing games so between the heat and the noise, I never went to sleep.  I eventually got up and dressed and went and stood outside in the freezing cold to feel comfortable again.  I moved to a bottom bunk and managed to get one hour of interrupted sleep after that, but was still up for the sunrise.

It was a gorgeous view (which you can also see from the Camel’s Hump cutout in the privy door).

We didn’t linger after sunrise, needing to get back home and try to sleep before finishing packing and hitting the road to NJ.  The walk out was easy and we saw an owl watching us along the way.

This is definitely a cabin I want to go back to, hopefully when there’s more snow and I can explore the ski trails.