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Escaping to the Columbine Cabins

07 Feb 17
Heidi Kumm
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Escaping Reality: A Weekend at the Columbine Cabins

There are many ways to escape cell service. The most logical one is to just shut off your phone. But, what fun is that? A much more exciting way to escape cell service is to run off into the wilderness + pretend adult responsibilities don’t exist for a full 48 hours. That’s the way we did it…

The Loggers Cabin, aka, our home for the weekend.

A few weeks ago I realized I had a rogue weekend off work, on accident. With a seasonal job in a resort town weekends are hard to come by. I immediately starting searching for a hut, cabin or yurt to escape to. Turns out weekends are a popular time for everyone + their uncle to escape their cell signals. Weird. After coming up empty with the 10th Mountain Division Huts + the Never Summer Nordic Yurts it was time to search for something more low-key.

Recently, a friend had recommended the Columbine Cabins + this friend knows her mountain adventures so I trusted her [ahem, @paulamahla]. Unlike the other huts + yurts I’d been looking at, these cabins don’t have a skin/snowshoe in. Instead, you get to park right at your front door. Not what I was initially looking for, but it turned out to be perfect for a lazy weekend.

Fiona, the local fox, strutting her stuff near the lodge. [we named her, we’re creative like that]

With very little effort, I coerced Robb into coming along for the adventure. We packed up our gear + a pile of food on Friday night then pointed the truck westerly. As usual, we left the house late. Luckily, with drive-up cabins, this wasn’t going to make our night any more complicated. The Columbine Cabins are located about 45 minutes north of Steamboat Springs. We arrived around 11pm, pulled up to the General Store to snag a cabin map + were at our front door by within 5 minutes. Talk about taking it nice + easy in the backwoods of Colorado!

The cabin was small but adorable. It had a double bed + a single bed, both covered in woodsy quilts. The cooking area had propane burners, a kitchen table, a microwave, a sink + a coffee maker. We added out crockpot to the mix, built a fire in the woodstove + crawled into bed. We had a big day planned for Saturday — sleeping in.

I was coming off nearly two months of working two full-time jobs + all I wanted to do was sleep. Or at least have the option of sleeping. I didn’t exactly sleep in, but I did have the opportunity to just lay in bed with nothing else to do. It was amazing. Until I go hungry…then I had to get up + put those propane burners to work!

Fun Fact: if you cook breakfast you don’t have to wash breakfast dishes! Also, I don’t suck at cooking bacon.

Eventually we made our way out into the winter wonderland surrounding the cozy cabin. All of Colorado had recently been hit with double digits layers of snow for the past week or two so we were expecting a lot of snow. Northern Colorado did not disappoint. When we first booked this cabin they had actually expressed some concern about getting it plowed out in time for our visit. After a late start to the winter season it felt crazy to be frolicking in so much snow!

We set up our splitboards + headed across the road. Hahns Peak was peeking [ha!] at us all morning from the horizon so we were off to check it out. It was late in the day + we knew we wouldn’t make it to the top. Plus, my motivation was at an all time low — there were chips + dip in the cabin. Not to mention the fact I had just discovered the mini-library in the lodge. With some coaxing I took a few suck it up pills [chocolate covered espresso beans] + continued onward.

...we probably both need to work on our skinning form.

Around 4:30p we called it a day + started our trek back to the cabin…where chips + dip awaited our return. Chips, dip + a steamy hot crockpot full of BBQ pulled pork. Oh, yes. When you go cabin’ing + park 10 feet from your cabin door you can go all out with your cabin food! We even got to take advantage of the showers in the lodge. Showering. During a “backcountry” trip. I still love my remote hut trips, but these cabins were winning me over.

Of course, we returned before our dinner was down crockpot’ing. To get the best of all the cabin world’s we opted to take the chips + dip up to the mini-library…where we also discovered a ping pong table. We became children again! We bounced between intense bouts of ping pong + curling up on the couches with Goosebumps books. Reality had officially been thwarted, on so many levels.

The happy faces of weirdies in the wilderness!

Once the night settled in we gave into our stomachs’ need for “real food” + made our way back to the cabin. While Robb stoked up another fire in the woodstove, I did my thing with a pre-made bag of salad. Dinner was basically a gourmet meal, except for the Nalgenes. We had to do something to keep it rustic + woodsy.

We befriended our pillows early with another big day ahead of us on Sunday…more sleeping in. Of course, without anything electronic to bore us into slumber, our attempt to go to sleep early was thwarted. Instead, we spent a big chunk of the late evening talking to the ceiling. The topics you’ll think up while trying to talk yourself to sleep get interesting. Plus, without internet access there was no way to look up the “right” answer so everything was up for debate. Needless to say, our attempt to bore ourselves to sleep with banter was not a quick process.

Sunday morning rolled around with the blare of an alarm. It was glorious. Two days, no alarm. Perfection. Again, it was the urge to eat the drug me out of bed. I’m sensing a pattern here…I have no shame + my stomach approves, so I’m sticking with it. After another breakfast of eggs + bacon we packed up the truck before heading out for one last meandering skin through winter wonderland of Northern Colorado.

This time it wasn’t food that drew us back to the truck, but talk of a detour to the Strawberry Hotsprings. Who doesn’t *need* an hour or two of soaking in natural minerals to finish off a stressful weekend of sleeping in!? It was almost like I was on vacation + could do whatever I wanted for a full 48 hours. I was beginning to understand why people take weekends off…

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