December 3, 2014. Around 1:30 in the afternoon, about 24 degrees. We’re at the May Creek trailhead near Wisdom, Montana, ready to head out to the May Creek Forest Service Cabin that we’ve rented for a two-night stay.
My pack is not too heavy, it’s not too cold, and the snow is perfect. I’m happy and rarin’ to go.
The trail to the cabin follows May Creek for about 2 1/2 miles. Because it stays close to the creek it’s a nice gentle grade, and snowmobiles are prohibited so you’re guaranteed some quiet. (Of course, that also means that there’s a good chance you’ll need to break trail if there’s a lot of snow. But since that would be Bill’s job, I’m OK with it!)
We followed elk tracks the whole way, as well as a coyote, but they stayed hidden. We were lucky enough to spook up a Barred Owl, who was obliging enough to just fly a few feet from the trail, where he calmly sat and watched us.
I only tipped over once, but believe me, once I’m down with a heavy pack on my back, I’m pretty much down for the count. I definitely needed a helping hand to get up:
The cabin is on the edge of the trees, with a nice big window that overlooks a wide meadow.
Of course, it takes a while for the stove to heat things up, but there was a more than ample supply of wood and kindling, and once the stove was going we were toasty the whole time.
There was even a string of battery powered Christmas lights!
The next day turned out to be too warm for skiing; we gave it a try, but we were sticking like crazy. It was like walking on platform shoes. We ended up postholing around the meadow and down the trail, enjoying the big, wet snowflakes.
I tried my hand at drawing the owl,
we played Scrabble and Solitaire,
and made a dandy Fajita dinner.
The moon came out briefly that night, begging for a howling wolf. The wolf, however, did not oblige.
Cheers to you, May Creek Cabin!