What do you get if you cross a Danish Viking, a Kiwi bird, a bunch of dead animals and a Ghost town? = A weekend at an American log cabin and an adventure to Garnet.
Cabin culture appears to be an integral part of the NW American family’s life. With a strong emphasis on hunting, outdoor recreation, and the great solitude this region provides, it seems most families here have a holiday home they’ve built with their own labor and love in the American wilderness. This is no different than the friends I’ve made in Missoula, Montana.
Amidst 12 inches of fresh snow in the heart of the mountains lies this cabin that is fully self sufficient and built on the back of the American spirit. It is owned by a family mad keen on adventure, and mad keen on hunting. It was evident as soon as you walked in the door. The owner educated myself and my Danish friend on the thrill of the skillful tracking and acquisition of the prized mountain animals and proved his worth by an endless amount of trophy animals displayed throughout the cabin. Evenings were also spent under the stars on the balcony playing different animal calls through a loud speaker and trying to get a response. Unfortunately nothing was interested in playing besides the neighbors dogs – although I’m not surprised!
With this family, an adventure is never far from sight or mind, and good ol’ American dad was soon warming up the snowmobiles for a 10 mile sled ride to Garnet Ghost town. I wasn’t complaining! With the temperature nearing a balmy -18C we geared up like eskimos and shot into the wilderness. The views from the mountain-tops were spectacular. Rolling dense pine forests dusted with an icing-sugar coat. Simply delicious! The crisp mountain air whipped at our faces and they soon turned from smiling jolly travelers to near-painfully cold and hidden! Sparkly snow dust shot out from behind the sleds as we cut through the fresh powder and roared through the silence towards Garnet.
Garnet was a thriving mining town in the 1890’s and fulfilled the dreams of ambitious gold miners. However a fire ravished the area in 1912, and the hardships of this combined with the downfall of WW1 sent most of the residents packing. Nowadays the riches don’t lie with the gold, but with the history in this deserted wee town which has been preserved as a historical site.
As we arrived on our sleds it was easy to imagine a peaceful lifestyle in this stunning area. It can’t have been a bad life. Although in the winter under the blanket of snow it would’ve been alot harder.
The adventure was completed by searching for the fullest and most festive pine tree in the forest to serve as the family’s Christmas tree. Once the dream tree was located and felled, it was towed behind the sleds back to the cabin to be decorated! A beautiful 12ft of wild pine.
This was the great capstone trip to finish my time in America.
Now I’m sitting in a questionable hotel in Los Angeles. reflecting on my time in the land of free. I’m chowing down the excessive amount of free breakfast I’ve commandeered from the hotel lobby, and contemplating how I will manage to stuff my excessive amounts of winter attire back into my pack. America has been fantastic and has taught me a lot about a country I was quick to stereotype and at first hesitant to say I liked (especially during the elections). Thanks to my mum for helping fund the journey and constantly supporting my often changeable and seemingly unrealistic dreams, and adios to all the amazing friends I’ve met along this journey. It’s really been a pleasure and you’ve made this time hilarious.
Next stop London! See you on Thursday Prince William! xx
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