Time for another weekend at Hadsel-Mares Camp on Wheeler Pond!  Rebecca, Eric, and Kyle were already there when Jeremiah and I arrived so it was nice to walk into a warm cabin on Friday night.  We shoveled out some parking spaces, carried everything inside, then relaxed for the night.  Jenn and Owen were set to arrive late and we tried to wait for them, but then decided to go to bed.  Of course, that’s when they arrived.

They’d brought a small propane oven that they plan to put in their Sprinter van, but this was its maiden voyage.  Destination: cinnamon buns.  Unfortunately, the oven was having trouble staying lit so there was lots of tinkering throughout the morning until they got it fixed.  Luckily, there were mimosas for the rest of us spectating (also provided by Jenn and Owen).  Eventually, they got it working and cinnamon buns were enjoyed by all.

After putzing around all morning, we decided we needed to get outside soon.  A few people had been outside making the snowpile base for a snow cave while the oven was being fixed, but I hadn’t done much yet.  Rebecca and Eric hit the road, and Corrie, Laura, and Brad soon arrived, including their three dogs.

Some of us decided to hike up the road and up Wheeler Mountain.  I’d been there my first fall in Vermont, but hadn’t quite made it to the summit and hoped to make it this time.  There were only two sets of tracks in front of us as we turned onto the Wheeler Mountain Trail so it was slow going in snowshoes.  Those people turned around at the first viewpoint so we were breaking trail completely from there.  I’m personally not a fan of breaking trail but I took a few turns.

The person breaking trail also had to find the trail, which was tricky in a few spots, but generally obvious.  Corrie turned back after a while because she was concerned about her older dog doing too much in the deep snow.  Kyle turned back shortly after since he didn’t even have snowshoes and was sinking to midthigh with every step.

After what seemed like forever, we made it to the wide open slabs with a great view that I’d been to before.  It was getting later as we stopped for a few adjustments but we thought we could still make it to the summit and back before dark.

More breaking trail followed by more breaking trail, and we finally admitted defeat and turned around.  I didn’t get any closer to the summit than I had last time.  This isn’t even that tall of a mountain at 2371′!  Next time for sure.

We saw some beautiful colors and a sunset through the trees as we descended.  We popped out onto the road after 5:00, and it was still light out!  It’s nice to see more daylight every day.

Back in the cabin, I heated up bacon cheeseburger soup again for dinner, and then completely stuffed myself as Jenn and Owen made pizza and cookies in their oven all night.  They spoiled all of us on this trip.  Cards Against Humanity ensued for the rest of the night.

In the morning, they finished the snow cave by digging out the inside after the pile had settled for so long.  It really only needs a few hours to settle and Jenn and Owen had planned to sleep in it last night but were too tired to dig it out after the hike.

Rebecca had returned to join us for skiing so we all packed up, cleaned the cabin, and caravaned over to Willoughby State Forest’s cross country ski trails.  We did a similar loop to last year – up the CCC Road, around the Small Loop, down and around the Middle Loop, then back down the CCC Road.  The view of Mount Pisgah and Lake Willoughby was mostly clouded over, but it was still a beautiful and scenic ski.

Photo by Laura

Another great cabin weekend!  I’ll have to plan some more for this winter.