Cabin in the Woods, But Without All the Murder & Stuff

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Like most people, I have a tough time unplugging. It doesn't help that social media is my full-time, all-the-time job, that I am essentially always on call to approve blog comments & monitor tweets & respond to Facebook comments. I am the consummate multitasker, but that makes it really, really hard for me to slow down & single-task.

Last weekend, I got a taste of the zen life I didn't even know I was craving when Mike & I drove down to Logan, OH, & rented a cabin in the beautiful Hocking Hills region. We booked a two-person log cabin from Cassady's Hilltop Cabins, situated in the middle of nowhere, & we took off work last Friday to make the three-hour drive south. It's an easy drive, the weather was nice, & as soon as we got to our cabin, it was like every ounce of stress just blew away with the wind.

The cabin, while small, was spacious & open, with a living room/kitchen combo area & a small bedroom with lofted beds (queen on the floor, twin above, presumably for folks with kids, a.k.a. not us). It had a wood-burning stove inside & a grill & fire pit outside, plus a big deck overlooking the woods - oh, yeah, & that deck had a huge, luxurious hot tub. We relaxed in it both nights before bed & both mornings as soon as we got up.

Forget Folgers. The best part of waking up is sitting in a goddamn hot tub in the middle of nowhere.

We... didn't do much. And that was the whole point, really, to do as little as possible. I read an entire book while we were there (sure, it was a Mary Higgins Clark mystery, but...), & Mike did a lot of writing. We brought board games but spent so much time reading, writing, & hot-tubbing that we never even got to them. We did grill hot dogs, if that counts as "doing something," & Mike whipped up a pretty impressive fire.

Hocking Hills is home to some beautiful parks & trails, & we were fortunate to be there during unseasonably warm temperatures, so we tried to go hiking at Old Man's Cave on Saturday afternoon. Unfortunately, we made some serious footwear mistakes - Mike in Chucks & me in aerated sneakers that filled with water & mud as soon as I stepped in a puddle - which put a real dent in our plans. We'd intended to hike six miles, but the trail was so muddy that we only made through one of them. Apparently "right after a foot of snow melts" is not the best time to try to hike. Who knew?!

Still, the views were beautiful, & I'd love to go back & try again in drier weather. And when there are leaves, 'cause Ohio still looks pretty dead right about now.

I can't remember the last time I felt as chill as I did last weekend. Truly, have I ever been that calm & unencumbered? I don't think so. Being someplace where we had no responsibilities, no expectations, no plans... it was incredible. It was freeing. It was so, so rare. And isn't that a shame, when you think about it? 

All I could think was, "This must be what life used to be like" - you know, before the Internet. When you weren't at work, you weren't working. When you were tired of reading your book, it was time for bed - no TV or Facebook to distract you or waste your precious time. It was just.... quiet, all the time, right? Well, that's how it was last weekend anyway, both in the physical space we were in & within my mind. It was so calming, & it was clear that I need more of that in my life.

Am I nature person now? Is this what it feels like to be outdoorsy?

Except then I think of the way I screamed when I saw a big, fat spider scurrying across the bedroom floor of the cabin (thanks for squashing that, babe), & I know that "outdoorsy" is a probably a biiiiiit of a stretch.

But, hey. I could at least stand to be away from my phone more often.

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