Saturday, September 28, 2013

Cabin Day 8, 2013 - Winter at the Cabin

Last night's snow and todays blowing wind had led me to post about winters at the cabin. Over the years we spent many winter days in Sand Creek Park. We've done some day trips, where the real story is getting here and whether we were successful or not. And, we've done some week-long stays over Thanksgiving or Christmas, where the story is about the experience.

Lonely Tree:

Winter days can be great or terrible. The terrible comes from the snow combined with wind. Regardless of the amount of snow we get, high winds blow it into drifts. Some parts of the land can be blown dry. But, at the sacrifice of other parts having drifts that can be several feet high. Where there are fences, or bushes, or even high spots in the ground, there is a snow fence effect and downwind drifts can be as high as the "fence". The road to the "bottom" at our cabin site is behind a hill that acts as a snow fence and can dump as much as 20 feet or more snow on the road. These drifts are impossible to get through with our truck, even with chains. So, we either have to dig our way through the drifts (impossible if the wind is blowing because they fill in as fast as you dig them out), or be happy with being snowed-in. As Larry Martin once told me, "you're best bet is to try to go over the snow, not through it." So, if we winter up here someday, we'll need a way to go over the snow.

Sun Through the Trees:

Temperatures are usually not too bad, between 0°F and freezing. We do see a few days each winter as low as -30°F. And, really nice days can be in the 40s. However, when the wind is blowing, the wind chill can be miserable. Winds can be bad. I just took the Kestrel outside to check the wind. At the top of the driveway, it is blowing 20 mph or so, with gusts upward of 30 mph. Okay, that is just a breeze. But, the winds can get much higher. We've seen 40-50 mph winds during our visits and I've heard of speeds in excess of 100 mph. And, the winds can go on for days! When the wind generator is commissioned, we can judge the wind speeds by when the generator "furls". This happens at speeds in excess of 27 mph and is a feature of turbine to protect itself in high winds. It sounds a bit like a helicopter landing on the cabin.

Bottom line? Winter days can be cold, windy, snowy and downright dangerous up here. If you want to spend time here in the winter, be prepared!

Hummingbird Nest:

On the other hand, there are those days with bright sun, blue skies and no wind. And, they are glorious days. The snow is pristine, the scenery is awe inspiring. I've collected a few photos for this post that show some of those days.

Most of these photos come from a time when we were living in Fort Collins and would come up for winter holidays. And, during those times we had a lot of dogs. We can recall trips with anywhere from seven to ten dogs (and two to three cats). So, dogs feature prominently in most of the photos.

We get some really beautiful birds in the winter, and keep a feeder active for them.

Birds in Winter:

Sledding on a nice day is always fun. And, the dogs love to help.


We often will snowshoe in deep snow and cut a trail for the dogs.

Sailor Running in Showshoe Trail:

Bart Jumping Bart's Creek:

The snow can get quite deep, and the dogs love it.

Alex in Deep Snow:

Alex with Snow on his Face:

Walks are always an adventure. How many dogs are in this photo?

Walking the Dogs:

Bart Catching Snow Flakes:

When spending Christmas at the cabin, we'd cut a tree off the land and decorate it modestly. 

Christmas in the Cabin:

I hope you've enjoyed this photographic tour of winter at Hidden Meadows.


Tags:  dogscabinphotosweatherchristmas
Posted under: Cabin News • by Rick on 09/28/2013 at 09:05 AM
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