A clear blue sky with a bright sun glistened on the 6-8 inches of fresh snow when, on Wednesday afternoon, November 23, our family arrived at Deerfoot to celebrate Thanksgiving. We opened the gate, put the Jeep Cherokee with good snow tires into 4 wheel drive, and drove slowly between snow covered trees on the trackless road. It was beautiful! Parking behind the kitchen, we stepped into total silence. It was about 2:30 – darkness would come shortly after 4:00.
Through the snow we carried our essential clothing and food fixings down to the Lookout. When we walked into the cabin, it was about 40 degrees. Cold, but not the zero we would experience in January-February.
We lit the gas lamps, and while I built a fire in the wood stove, Dirk and Carla brought in the firewood needed for the next 24 hours, Sally Jo and Jenna unpacked the food, putting the turkey in a pot on the floor. Next came getting water from the lake. The snow made the slope to the lake slippery, so we worked together to get buckets of water from the lake to the cabin where they were put in the shower stall, ready for flushing the toilet. A large kettle was put on the wood stove and filled with water for drinking, washing, etc. Soon the stove was very hot and beds were opened up to get them a few degrees warmer before we crawled in for the night. After supper was fixed and enjoyed, we played Trivial Pursuit in the warm room.
During the night I got up, walked by Carla sleeping on the couch, and reloaded the stove. Sally Jo got up early, reloaded the stove, and sat down with the book she was enjoying.
When Jenna got up, she picked up the turkey – still frozen solid! Putting a frozen turkey on an un-insulated floor overnight results in a frozen turkey! Sally Jo and Jenna used a non-FDA approved method of turkey thawing before putting our bird into the small oven.
While we were enjoying our late breakfast, Hutch arrived to make sure we were OK, and to talk. After he left, our family hiked in the snow to Evan’s “hunting camp”, located past the rifle range near the Whitaker Lake inlet. Memorable.
Back at the Lookout, we were happy and hungry as we enjoyed our wonderful Thanksgiving dinner, from shrimp cocktail to Sally Jo’s delicious pumpkin pie.
We drove out of camp as darkness quickly settled in.