Ranger Cabin + Caviar + Cosmopolitans = the perfect winter solstice

One of the charms of Montana is that we can live in town, but decide on the spur of the moment to rent a ranger station for the night, pack up, and be at the trailhead in a couple of hours.  We did exactly that this week, and rented the Eagle Guard Station.   I particularly like this cabin because it was built in 1895 by a miner for his wife and daughter,  and is probably the oldest cabin that the forest service rents.   

We packed the backpacks with caviar, crackers, cream cheese, cosmopolitans (in our classy plastic flask), marinated steak, peppers and onions for sandwiches, eggs and sausages, oranges and breakfast blend coffee – and  a few of the less important items like sleeping bags and matches – and we were good to go.

girl pack and boy pack

The road to the trailhead can be a little nerve-racking if it’s icy or snowy, but since we’re having a pretty open winter, the 10-mile drive in on the gravel and logging roads was a piece of cake.    The road is closed about 4 miles from the cabin, so we loaded our packs on our backs and started off.     Since we were only planning on a one night stay, and there wasn’t much snow, we left the snowshoes in the car, and headed out on foot.  (In hindsight, probably not too smart.  The weather forecast was for clear skies and no snow, but if it had ended up snowing overnight we would have had a heck of time getting back out.)  

Sunny day, temps in the 20s, and no wind – a perfect winter day.   Lots of animal tracks, but only actually saw a few ravens, and a herd of elk on a hillside about a mile away.    The way in to the cabin is mostly downhill, with just a couple of steep uphill slogs.    Oddly enough, the route out is mostly uphill.  Go figure.

We arrived two hours later, just as the sun was setting.   This cabin is so well built that it only took around 45 minutes to warm it up.   Caviar and cosmos in a toasty cabin in the middle of the mountains is really pretty darn nice as far as I’m concerned:

A little caviar, a little vodka...

And the pepper steak sandwiches were pretty darn good, too:

All in all, a nice way to celebrate the longest night of the year.     A few more pictures:

Cabin at sundown

How to carry eggs in a backpack

toast, eggs, and coffee


About westerner54

Hello. I'm Cindy, and I love to hike, bike and explore the outdoors - particularly the western U.S.
This entry was posted in Adventure, Camping, Food, Hiking, Montana, Nature, Outdoors, Photography, Travel and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

9 Responses to Ranger Cabin + Caviar + Cosmopolitans = the perfect winter solstice

  1. dogear6 says:

    I loved the pictures and the stories. The girl backpack vs. boy backpack was a hoot.

    Thanks for visiting my blog and leaving a comment about the hawks. That was very nice. The pictures were surprisingly good for being taken through a glass door.

  2. baahnvoyage says:

    This sounds and looks like the perfect way to spend winter solstice (which happens to be one of my favorite days of the year)!

    And I find it interesting that you described winter by you this year as being “open.” I’ve never heard a season described as such before.. I love having new ways to think about things.

    Thanks for this lovely post!

  3. ailsapm says:

    I love Montana, I’ve only been a few times, but can see where it earned the name Big Sky Country. Just stopped by to wish you a very happy 2012. x

  4. Fergiemoto says:

    Cool little cabin! Thanks for visiting and following my blog! Much appreciated and I’ll be back to look at more of your postings.

  5. Anita Mac says:

    Nice!!! Beautiful photos! You are so lucky – we can ski in for a log cabin dinner – but I have yet to spend the night. I can only imagine how peaceful it would be!

  6. westerner54 says:

    Thanks! I think you need to add Montana to your bucket list!

  7. Sandy says:

    The last photo of the footprints in the snow is just beautiful! I love that through the photo I can almost hear the quietness of the snow-covered woods, if that makes any sense 🙂

  8. Pingback: Owl Creek Cabin in the Flathead: Maybe Winter’s OK After All | Off the Beaten Path: Hikes, Backpacks, and Travels

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