Wednesday, January 2, 2019

Skiing to the Floor

I'm not a NYE resolution believer. I don't need a 52 hike challenge, or any other goal, to get me outdoors. In fact, the last time I made up a challenge (to sleep outside for 50 nights, having hiked to get to that place) it became more of a chore to complete than something fun. Getting exercise for me is more of a necessity; I don't need to have it as a goal. (That being said, I do hope to finish the PCT this year.)

So I started 2019 just as I began 2018, spending the day outside. Last year I was finishing a hike in the Grand Canyon. I didn't go this year, but my friends reported hiking out a day early--travesty! The snow is so good here that all of us are thrown into a sort of winter mania. I've been snowshoeing and skiing so much, with friends I never get to go with because I am always working, that I feel really tired and in need of rest. It is a good problem to have.

Freshly groomed Canal road-good for fast skiing

One day L and I skied out her back door and way up to the sky, breaking trail as we went. On the way, she talked about a place called the Floor, where someone had begun work on a cabin far, far up a road in the woods. They got as far as the floor and never came back.

Beautiful deep snow
To a writer this is intriguing. Nobody seemed to know the story, why someone would choose such an isolated spot, a place nearly impossible to get to in winter, supremely quiet and remote, off the grid, a place to hole up. I had to get to the Floor!

"It's pretty far up there," L said. We stared at the deep snow around us. It was hard work pushing through, and it would be quite the snowplow on our skinny skis to get back down. I was prepared to turn around in disappointment, but we pushed on. And then there we were, at the Floor. If only it could talk.

Since it had been built, trees had grown up, blocking much of the view of the valley. But still. I imagined someone discovering this place, picturing their cabin. It would be a retreat; nobody would ever bother you up there.

Where were those people today and what became of their dream?  Most locals I asked know where the Floor is, but all they know was that it was built twenty to thirty years ago and the owners never returned. "There's other foundations up there too," Joe says, remnants of dreams.

Fascinating. I wish I knew what happened.
The Floor


16 comments:

  1. "If floors could talk...." Wow, looks like a wonderful day for skiing!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It has been so outstanding that it makes me nervous! I am really hoping we don't get our typical January thaw.

      Delete
  2. I think you should stake your claim to it, and make it your writer's retreat. Finish a little one room cabin on the floor just big enough for a table, chair, bed, and wood stove. You can ski or snowshoe into it in the winter, and hike into it in the summer.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I know! It would be perfect!

      Delete
    2. Not so far-out....could find who owns the property....even erecting a tent on the floor with a wood stove would work for awhile???

      Delete
    3. Nobody seems to know who owns it!

      Delete
    4. In many places, the county register of deeds can track now the last owner, or who is (or is not) paying property taxes on the site.

      Delete
  3. Ha...when there IS a will, there IS a way! ;)

    ReplyDelete
  4. I enjoy finding little mysteries on my explorations as well. My favorite experience is still the old mining cabins along the Poorman Road in Alaska — filled with magazines, dishes on tables and cans of food from the 70s, as though people actually just stood up one day and walked out the door, never to return.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ooh! I would love that. There are similar cabins on Chichagof Island outside of Sitka. Fascinating.

      Delete
    2. Interesting that you mention Poorman. I just got around to reading this June reprinting of a 2011 Alaska Science Forum article on old buildings. Same Poorman? --Tom, Fairbanks

      http://www.newsminer.com/features/sundays/alaska_science_forum/alaska-structures-crumble-without-us/article_52da053a-6751-11e8-a5df-4f2b67989d1c.html

      .

      Delete
    3. Tom — that's it! There are such buildings in the actual townsite of Poorman, as well as south along an old road bed that now is very grown over but serves as the Iditarod Trail. It's interesting the mentioned Shaktoolik as well ... they moved the whole town back in the 1960s, and the wind-battered remnants of "Old Shaktoolik" — about 2 miles east of the new town — are all eerie and a little apocalyptic.

      Delete
  5. What a wonderful winter wonderland where you got to wander and to find something to wonder about too! WOW!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes! I love pristine nature but I'm also intrigued by the human history as well.

      Delete
  6. I love this line, "One day L and I skied out her back door and way up to the sky,". Beautiful images with the mystery of 'The Floor'.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It sure felt like we were going up that high. Especially coming down ha ha!

      Delete

Hello out there. If you liked this post, please leave a comment so I keep writing!