Adventure Report: Log Cabin Hideaways
She was right. There was nothing to hear. Nothing we didn’t want to hear.
Two hours earlier we had met Cecilia Quattromani and Dean Bushey, owners of Log Cabin Hideaways, on a Friday afternoon at a pickup spot 15 miles northeast of Ely. The two rent three rustic cabins, Triangle, Wintergreen and Bucksnort on a 40-acre parcel of secluded land bordering the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness (BWCAW). The only way to make the three-mile trip is by canoe or snowmobile. Of course, you can opt to snowshoe, ski or bike yourself in, but we chose to get a ride. Us and our gear went into the qamutik-style sled behind Dean’s snowmobile, Cecilia jumped on the seat behind Dean, Jen zipped up her coat, I flipped down the ear flaps on my buffalo-plaid railroad cap and, after a final thumbs up to our pilot, we were on the nonexistent road to a weekend in the wild. Just a half a mile into the ride, Dean stopped to examine a set of prints in the snow along the trail. An experienced guide, he identified them as lynx paw prints. “These weren’t here earlier,” he said. This trip was off to a good start.
There was nothing else to do but sit and jig the line every once in a while, maybe chew on a sandwich. It was another bluebird day and we felt lucky we got to spend it in a place so beautiful and quiet, with only the occasional swoosh of a mild breeze in the trees on the shore and the faraway call of a crow. We spent a few hours there and it didn’t matter that we didn’t even get a nibble. The only regret we had was leaving the coffee kit at home. Making a hot cup of pour over joe on a frozen lake in the Boundary Waters would have been the cherry on the bowl of ice cream kind of day we were having. We packed up and headed back when we heard the sauna calling late in the afternoon, but not without stopping at the special mailbox Cecilia and Dean keep stocked with chocolates. After our Boundary Waters Triathlon -snowshoe, auger, sauna- lights out came early. We drifted off to sleep to the muffled pops of the fire behind the glass window of the cast iron stove and the flames’ flickering lights on the walls.
The rest of the day was a repeat of Saturday, except we walked a different, circular, route to get to our fishing hole. The big catch of the day was Jen’s thumb-sized perch. We didn’t get skunked, but next time we will take the expert’s advice for sure. After snowshoeing and pulling a sled almost five miles, the evening sauna was one of the best I’ve ever had. Jen takes only one or two rounds, but I stayed out there for over two hours, rubbing down with snow between sets. There’s just nothing like standing in the middle of the woods on a cracking cold night as God made you, steaming in the moonlight like a boiled lobster.