Tuesday, February 9, 2010

winter in the mountains

my mom and i went to mccall for the last days of the winter carnival. the drive up was beautiful...mostly sunny with light blue skies, interrupted by areas of thick fog. every time we drove through a fog patch the temperature would drop by around 15 degrees, the sun and blue sky disappear and visibility reduce to a few hundred feet. it looked like silent hill. sooner or later a faint window of blue would materialize and we’d drive right into it, and the cloud we dipped through would recede behind us. when we reached the horseshoe bend overlook i could see bulging purple clouds clinging to the sides of the mountains.

we listened to this american life during part of the drive. the episode was “house on loon lake,” an entire episode devoted to the story of one guy who broke into an abandoned house as a kid, found all kinds of mysterious treasures and searched for information about what happened to the family who once lived there. so, so fascinating. i found myself getting awfully envious of the storyteller.

in mccall it was all blue skies and warm. there wasn’t as much snow as i expected. however, there were about ten times as many people as i imagined there would be. the streets were packed with families checking out the snow sculptures; i’ve never, ever seen so many people in that town. also, we got stuck driving behind a horse-drawn carriage, so we experienced downtown at the rate of about five miles an hour. i planned to go out and take pictures of the sculptures but it was just too crowded, so i snapped a few from the car on the way home instead.

the cabin was encased in snow. here’s the view from the dining room window:

snow caved in around the back door making it non-functional, which lead to disaster sunday morning when andy was sick and my mom was frantically trying to let him outside to puke. did not make it out in time. that exit was a questionable choice anyway, considering there was no way for him to walk outside even if she did shove the door open...i don’t know what she planned to do, maybe launch him into a snowbank where he’d be held immobile while he hurled? poor dog.

it was around 45 degrees saturday afternoon so things were melty out, icicles dripping, sheets of icy snow gently curling off the roofs.

my mom plucked a couple plump, juicy icicles for an icicle-tini:

and she started a fire in the wood-burning stove. andy is all about cooking himself by the stove. he plants himself right up against the rocks where it’s unbearably hot and just lies there for hours.

i wandered around the house and took photos for a while. the cabin is brimming with cool antiques. i peeked in some drawers and cabinets and discovered a few curiosities i’d never seen before, like this ink well/writing pad my mom picked up from some antique store in the south:

i set it out on the desk in the guest room for display, then placed this neat old bates stamp next to it:

now it looks like all sorts of important antique business is being conducted upstairs.

there’s a pair of big bushy foxes that my parents think might be living somewhere in the hill next to the cabin. we didn’t see the foxes this time, but i spotted a set of their tracks and followed them down to the river.

when i got back i made quinoa pilaf for dinner, then andy and i took a nap. it was so warm and cozy up in my room. andy made himself comfortable in a chair.

we left sunday afternoon. it was a short trip, but lots of fun, except for andy getting sick. the rest of these photos are shot from the car on the way home.

^this is "smokey's wild ride," the grand prize winner in the snow sculpture contest, themed "wild idaho."

^though not an official entry in the sculpture contest, i thought this army of snowpeople was pretty cute.

^first place winner, "native settlers of idaho."

^honorable mention, "spuds gone wild."

this place was packed on saturday, but sunday afternoon there were hardly any people left.

^"mountain magic."

^"bear fun park."

^this is the carriage we followed into town.

i love the collapsed and dilapidated old barns along highway 55.

in horseshoe bend it almost looked like springtime.

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