Thought I would give you a taste of our weather, courtesy of the weather service:
WIND CHILL ADVISORIES & WARNINGS IN EFFECT FOR THUR & THURSDAY NIGHT FOR WESTERN & CNTL NO. DAKOTA. A VERY COLD ARCTIC AIR MASS WILL PUSH INTO WESTERN & CNTL ND THUR & THUR NIGHT. DURING THE DAY ON THURSDAY WIND CHILLS NEAR 20 BELOW WILL DEVELOP IN THE NORTHWEST AND SPREAD SE DURING THE DAY ON NO. WINDS OF 15 TO 25 MPH. THURSDAY NIGHT WINDS WILL CONTINUE AT 10 TO 25 MPH AS AIR TEMPS FALL TO 10 TO 25 BELOW. THIS WILL CREATE WIND CHILLS NEAR 40 BELOW. WIND CHILL ADVISORIES & WARNINGS MEAN THE COMBINATION OF VERY COLD AIR & STRONG WINDS WILL CREATE DANGEROUSLY LOW WIND CHILL VALUES. THIS WILL RESULT IN FROST BITE & LEAD TO HYPOTHERMIA OR DEATH IF PRECAUTIONS ARE NOT TAKEN.
So this is life in the Turtle Mountains!
I was thinking about the terrible cold forecast, and wondered how families ever lived in the little Norwegian cabin that is on our land. People in the area have told us the cabin was built just before 1900. Most people had large families back then, and this cabin’s outside dimensions are only 16 feet by 16 feet. There is only one room on the main floor, with a very small upstairs for sleeping that is accessed by a very steep wooden ladder. The occupants moved out, and allowed the cabin to deteriorate. Soon the place was used by party goers (we had to clean up a lot of cans, broken bottles, etc. close by where there was a bonfire area), and in the winter by snowmobilers that needed a place to get out of the wind.
When we first moved up here the contractor wasn’t ready to dig our basement, so Jim and the boys started cleaning up this cabin in order to store Jim’s woodworking tools and other items inside. They decided they should call the place the “Moose Drop Inn”, as we were told it was a good place in which to trap critters and moose had been living in the side rooms in the winter. Needless to say, the place needed a lot of cleaning up! Apparently someone along the way added 2 small rooms to the structure, but party goers had torn away lots of the boards to fuel their bonfires.
Jim and the boys (and friends that came up to help) removed the dilapidated side rooms and cleaned up the inside of the main structure. There is no electricity down there since the cabin is located about ¼ mile from our home, so whenever Jim needs to run a power tool he has to get the generator going. The logs on the exterior were hand cut to make square sides, and the corners are dovetailed to fit. Amazing what they could do by hand. We need to repair the chinking in between the logs, and hopefully we can start that in the spring. I think the roof could use a few wooden shingles as well. Jim added a wood stove and proper doors and windows in order to secure his tools inside. There is another entrance to our property from the road where it curves around by this cabin, and it seems no matter how many times Jim places barriers down there, people either move them, drive over them or just go around. Old habits die hard, I guess.
In the fall of 2004 we had a small fire down there to roast hotdogs and marshmallows … My brother had come up for a week to help out with enclosing the basement and had pitched his tent by this cabin. My oldest had gotten a raccoon that had been trapped in our neighbor’s garden and had skinned it, saving the meat for us to taste! We all took one bite and decided it tasted like chicken, then decided not to eat the rest. After it grew totally dark I looked up into the night sky and noticed that the Big Dipper was directly overhead of the peak of the house. It was amazing to me that the original homesteaders had built the little cabin in a direct north/south direction, probably without the aid of any instruments or tools. We sure could learn a lot from those people.
I guess I am very thankful to be living in this basement instead of at the Moose Drop Inn!