Elixirs, Snacks and More Cabin Notes



Clutter |ˈklətər| noun—a collection of things lying about in an untidy mass.

De-clutter—to remove the untidy mass.


When given a chance to rest, the brain runs a defragmenting program that de-clutters itself from the constant internal chatter, giving some deliciously blank space between the ears.  Those pesky excess thoughts are shed like the melting of snow dissolving into thirsty ground, and sometimes huge chunks of distraction crack off and float away from the main iceberg.


This is why we stay in the remote cabins.

Awesome Fatigue, and Blank Space.



We arrived back at our electricity-filled home-base lodging to do laundry and prep for the return trip to another remote cabin at ABR, and were greeted with the hum and clatter of electric devices and the clamor of communications from the outside world.


We also received the news of the death of Bruce MacGregor, owner of the Brookside Bar and Grill in Marine-on-St.-Croix, Minnesota.  The very night before his untimely and accidental death we had been in the Brookside with the other race volunteers, celebrating the success of the Marine/O’Brien XC ski race. Bruce had warmly hosted us, generous with both his attention and kindness.  He will leave a huge hole in the extended community on the river which he helped to revive.

How fleeting our time is.  Perhaps we are not so crazy to make this annual ski trip one of our top priorities, carving out the time and defending it against all financial reason.  To revisit last week’s quote by James Dean…. “Dream as if you’ll live forever, live as if you’ll die today.”

Here Here.




The first photo is the full moon at dawn.

The second photo is the full moon at night, with a birch tree.

The third is a giant rock at ABR on the Hemlock Trail, part of the Gogebic Range.

The next one is my favorite…



The Skier’s Best Friends—a Pisten Bully and Groomers who care.  All at ABR Trails.




Here are three concoctions that provide energy and recovery, great for both the summer heat and the winter skiing.  I was going to write about Pinole, but I think I’ll save that one for a little tangent on barefoot running.  For now I’ll stay on the ski food theme.


Elixir #1

  • Water
  • Fresh Lime juice
  • Honey (or cane sugar, agave, sorghum, etc)
  • A dash of salt


Elixir #2

  • Juice (real juice—I like to use cherry, or lingonberry, or cranberry)
  • A sweetener of choice (honey, agave, sugar) —this may not be needed if the juice is sweet enough
  • Fresh Lime juice
  • A dash of salt


Another option–add a packet of Emergen-C.


The first drink we learned about in Mexico, a way to keep electrolytes in balance in the intense heat.

The sweetener/juice is the immediate carbohydrate that maintains energy, lime juice gives a dose of vitamin C and potassium, and salt helps to replace electrolytes.

A weak version can be used in water bottles on a venture, or a small bottle of the concentrated mix can be used for a shot of energy.

Elixir #3

This beverage may sound weird, but it hits a spot when needing a boost or feeling a head cold approaching.

  • Warm (almost hot) water
  • Honey (preferably raw, or with propolis)
  • Raw cider vinegar (check out more about raw cider vinegar here)

Mix until honey is dissolved, and drink it like a tea.




Dinner heating on the woodstove


Cheating with a propane stove to make my coffee in the morning


The Outdoor Freezer, storing the future meals.  The plastic chairs hopefully provide a loud racket if any critters try to break in.


Our favorite Cabin Snacks:

  • pumpkin seeds and almonds
  • prunes and figs
  • pickles and olives
  • chocolate
  • almond butter and rice cakes with jam or honey
  • cocoa with whey powder for an extra protein boost



Yes, pickles!  It’s true.

Around Day 3 the craving for vinegar, pickles and olives emerges.  Scott even drank the pickle juice on Day 8.

Nuts are a great protein that pack well.

They say you should eat proteins and complex carbs within 20 minutes of ending a workout, so having nuts on hand can help give you a healthy reload instead of reaching for the cookies.



An afternoon routine in the Cabin with the Elixirs and Snacks:

  • After eating lunch, fix a cider vinegar/honey drink…then rest and digest.
  • Mix a bottle of water, juice, lime and salt, and head out to the trail.  Bring a baggie of figs and almonds just in case I guessed my energy levels incorrectly.
  • Ski!
  • Stop back in the cabin.  Eat the figs, almonds and pumpkin seeds so I begin to replenish the glycogen supply that I used up while skiing.
  • Put supper in pans on the woodstove to heat (add some water to them), stoke the fire and clamp down the dampers.
  • Ski up to the sauna.  If I’m really wiped from skiing I may make another mix of juice/lime or of Hammer Nutrition’s HEED to see me through the next hour.
  • Ski back to the cabin after the sauna in the dark (with headlamps) leaving contrails of steam behind us.
  • Eat heartily by candlelight.  Maybe eat some pickles.  Eat chocolate.
  • Wash dishes.
  • Struggle to stay awake until a respectable hour of 8:30.
Chair at the Hemlock Cabin


2 thoughts on “Elixirs, Snacks and More Cabin Notes”

  • love it ruthie! I will make warm elixir right now. can’t get away to up north, but might go walkies in the prairie!

  • Apple cider vinegar with hon
    ey and hot water tastes like hot apple cider with a delicious little bite to it. Yum! A favorite of ours, too.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *