• Jill

Closing our Sequoia Cabin


For new readers, let me explain briefly about our Sequoia cabin. Our cabin is in a very remote spot in the Sequoia National Park where we are inholders, and part of a community of 29 cabins that enjoy the pristine beauty of nature in this remote part of the park. At 7,000 feet, there are redwood forests nearby, crystal streams and turquoise blue lakes within hiking distance.


We have to "close the cabin" now because the cabin, and the road to access it, is snowed in during the winter, and is not plowed. So unless you have a snowmobile, (we don't), you can't get to your cabin until near Memorial Day when the road opens up again.


Robert inherited property in the the Sequoias from his grandmother, and we purchased our own cabin about 5 years ago. It has been a blessing for our daughters and their friends and families, where we often convene during the summer for family reunions, and hiking adventures.


Being in a remote part of the park means that we have to pack in all of our food, because there is no retail up here. Also, there's no electricity (though we can run a generator), no TV, and until a couple months ago, we had no internet service or cell phone service. In any case, our service is spotty so we can't count on it - but we are able to check on the news, and be connected to our daughters if we need. We do have a yellow rotary dial wall phone that works great - which completely befuddled my daughters when we initially installed it last year!


The road up to the cabin starts at sea level in a little town called Three Rivers, near the south entrance to Sequoia National Park. It's a 21 mile road, with 639 turns that is generally not paved, mostly one lane, and so circuitous that it takes us a minimum of 90 minutes to arrive at our cabin from Three Rivers. It's not for the faint of heart.


The fact that our cabin is remote, difficult to access, and not very well connected to the outside world, makes the unusual occurrence at the cabin this weekend, even more perilous. We use propane gas for our lights, our stove, and our refrigerator. And it works swimmingly. Until it doesn't. And when it doesn't -- it's dangerous.


As Robert and I were relaxing in front of the fire Wednesday night, we both smelled gas, and began to seek out the source of the smell. Because we run on propane, Robert has a gas leak detector that we quickly fired up. While we couldn't really discover the exact source of the leak, we knew we couldn't stay in the cabin if we were going to continue using the propane for lighting and cooking. And we had to clear the house of all propane gas if we were going to stay the night.


One option was to just head down the hill, and worry about it later. But that really didn't solve the problem. So Robert shut off the propane at the tank, and we aired out the cabin. Brrrr. But that meant that we then had no stove, no refrigerator, and no lights, except generator powered lights, which we can't use continuously. We turned on flashlights, built a roaring fire, and decided to stay the night. We headed to bed, knowing that we would be safe as long as we kept the propane tank shut down.


So really the story has a very happy ending. PLUS I cooked breakfast, lunch, and dinner on top of our wood burning stove in our cabin. Robert said they were some of the best meals that he'd ever eaten. I felt like I was on the TV show "Bonanza," cooking at the back of the wagon train!


So many adventures at our mountain cabin. We'll get the propane fixed, and look forward to next season when we head back up for more Sequoia mountain adventures.









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