Stiles Creek Cabin: Playing in the SnowPosted: February 9, 2012
Last weekend, after viewing the start of the Yukon Quest (the mushers are half way- Dawson City!), we set off on another adventure: Stiles Creek Cabin. The cabin is located in the hills of the upper Chena River Valley, about 35 miles outside Fairbanks. Tucked on the side of a snowy, black spruce covered hill, the cabin looks out over the valley offering sweeping views, that are especially dramatic at sunset and sunrise. It was our prefect winter weekend cabin getaway.
I should explain perfect. It was perfect for us. The cabin is primitive: wood stove you start yourself upon arrival, plywood sleeping platform and loft, wooden picnic table, and outhouse. It is shelter, not luxury. But I loved the rustic, sparse, outdoor feeling it provided. And it was way warmer than a tent!
Getting to, and back from, the cabin was one of the best parts. And within our group, we certainly covered a wide range of winter transportation methods. I snowshoed with a friend, Lucas and another friend drove the snowmachines (and hauled our gear!), and our final group member skijored. What is skijoring you might be thinking? Skijoring is cross country skiing with sled dogs attached to you by a harness. Think dog sledding without the sled and add cross country skis. Super cool. And now, of course, I can’t wait to try it.
The trail to the cabin was about eight miles long and offered good views and steep inclines. We definitely got our workout while snowshoeing! We also cheated a little bit and got a lift on the snowmachines for the last two miles since it was getting dark. Nothing like snuggling up behind my husband on the snowmachine as the sun is going down 🙂 And bonus, when we got back to the cabin they already had the fire going and our gear unloaded. I’m a lucky girl.
But what I always love most about being outside in the winter, especially here in Alaska, is the quiet, white world that seems to make everyday life seem so far away. We were like a little expedition party setting off into the woods for the weekend. No cell phone or computers or things to think about. Just winter and us.