Friday, February 8, 2013

A Winter Weekend at the Cabin

For years, we didn't use the cabin much in the winter.  Then we started snowmobiling and others in the family started snowmobiling.  It became a popular thing to spend winter weekends sledding, snowmobiling and sitting by the fire.  When Little Man was born in January and had a natural love for cold, ice and hockey, it just seemed natural to take our fall family Barn Party and apply it to the winter on a little smaller scale.  Its something the whole family looks forward to no matter the age.
So what do we do?  Well, first, there is this giant hill directly behind the cabin for sledding.  The kids are right outside the back door so the adults can congregate outside (sometimes with a bonfire going) or keep watch from the kitchen while we make meals.  
This hill is great because not only is it close to the cabin, but the sledding trail heads right to the driveway which means when the snow is good and packed, they can sled all the way down the driveway to the fence that separates our property from the house in front of us.  It also means there is a "jump" where the snowplow leaves an edge.  :)
When the snow is good, there are snowmobile activities.  We have this little Arctic Cat Kitty Cat that the smaller kids can ride.  It has an adjustable throttle so it can be made to go only so fast.  Its actually pretty fun for a teenager or small adult to cruise around for laughs too because it is small enough to do some funny things - but I don't want to give any kids any ideas by sharing pictures of that! LOL  Unfortunately, we had issues with it that weekend and my hubby just got in running a couple nights ago.  Its been a great sled and taken a lot of riding by all the kids - plus it runs pretty good on grass too (we have wheels that go on in place of the ski's) - so it was due for a tuneup.
A short walk toward the middle of the property... 
takes us to the barn where the snow was a little deeper...

so we got a few of the big sleds out for the older kids to ride.  
Daddy takes Little Man for a ride.
The Princess took her first ride driving the big sled with her dad and after proving her skills, she was allowed to ride around the open around where we could see by herself.  She's almost the same size as me so she had no problems and did really great the whole time.  She was proud as could be and so were we!
The hill from the barn to the ponds makes another good sledding hill.
The main pond was frozen and after the adults checked it well, the kids went to work clearing some area to slide around.
Some of the kids also rode the sleds down the bank onto the ice.
This one-room log cabin is original to the property.  Its structurally in good shape but needs a little TLC.  We use this as our "haunted house" in the fall.
The property has a natural "hidden" stream that runs through it that is what the ponds were dug around.  
So the stream feeds into this cattail pond...
A drain pipe runs under this path that leads to the swamp...
And feeds into the trout pond.  The trout pond has two pipes on one side that feed the main pond which is about 20 feet deep.
And then at the end of the trout pond the natural stream continues.  Not far from here the stream disappears under a layer of boggy, mossy soil and reappears once in a while.
We've had issues with beaver damming this area and flooding the three ponds together a few years ago - that was a really mess and its just now really getting back to what it was.  Here are some other shots from walking around the property.

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