Three nights and four days with no TV, no cell phone or landline service and no internet connection might seem inconceivable to many. It was one of the best Thanksgiving vacations I’ve had in ages!
My sister-in-law, Jeannie Lohr (Moseley), purchased a new hunting cabin in the middle of the George Washington National Forest just outside Churchville, Virginia and invited me up for the holiday. I heard the snow forecast and left on Tuesday arriving in time to sit down with her and my brother, Steve, for a hot chili-bean dinner. Steve makes the best chili!
The snow came as predicted and by Wednesday morning, 5-inches covered the landscape like a white Christmas blanket. The trees were heavy with snow. The power blinked on and off like a neon sign, continuously threatening us with even fewer modern conveniences.
We all cooked and ate, ate and cooked. The “cabin” turned out to be a good-sized house with all the amenities (if you don’t count TV). A big rock fireplace with a fire that burned day and night camouflaged the cold outside. We warmed our toes often, after what I consider one of the best parts of the affair — Steve and I went grouse hunting. He hunted with a gun and I with a Canon EOS Rebel T3.
We both brought home the game.
The snow crunched under our feet and tickled our faces as we tramped each day through the National Forest, only yards from the house and the smell of the wood fire waiting our return. I “hunted” alone for several hours one day, exploring the rigid columns of tall soldiers hiding all but the bravest of our feathered friends. Yes! I had on blaze orange. And yes. There were hunters as thick as vultures on road kill.
The icy roads cleared on Thanksgiving Day and we drove to Elkhorn Lake and to Braley Pond planning my next trip for some trout fishing and to paint a mural with a stream on their wall for the pet raccoon to paddle in. We need to name him. What do you suggest?
Steve and Jeannie aren’t accepting renters, short or long term, but if you have an urge to do some hunting and fishing, The Buckhorn Inn at 2487 Hankey Mountain Hwy. Rt.250, Churchville, Virginia looks like a great place to stay. Call innkeepers Garlan & Sylvia Yoder at (540) 337-8660. I had dinner there many years ago and loved the place.