Black River Falls. Just what the doctor ordered…

…but not enough.  O.K., so there’s no doctor, but I really needed some down time.  After driving up to the Twin Cities to see  family, we thought we’d stop at Black River Falls and stay a couple of days on the way back.  I made a reservation for a couple of days at Caballete Retreat, a quirky cabin owned by the Scholze family.  A couple of summers ago, we’d stayed up there with M&M, P&K for a weekend that included some paddling on the Black River and some Mountain biking at another nearby park.  We stopped by Scholze Ace Home Improvement Center to pick up the keys, bought some groceries at Burnstad’s, arrived at the cabin just after dark and set about unpacking and making dinner for Sunday night.  We planned on skiing the next day at Levis/Trow in Clark County the next day, so we kicked back and made salad and pasta and drank some wine and relaxed after the family ordeal in Minnesota.

Monday, we made an egg scramble with a lot of vegetables and some bacon and got out to ski mid morning.  It was still really cold and the warm building at the ski center was a great thing to have.   We skied a couple of hours with the trails mostly to ourselves.  There were two women there when we got there and another couple skiing late in the afternoon when we were leaving.  The trail conditions were pretty good if a little icy and we had a good time.  Afterwards, we stopped at Del Bean Coffee and Cheese to pick up some coffee and beer as well as to see if they had any of the farmstead butter that they  sometimes have.  We were lucky with regard to the butter and of course they had Mississippi Mud coffee which is roasted and packed in Pepin, Wisconsin as well as a good selection of Wisconsin Microbrews.  We settled on the New Glaurus Snowshoe Ale.  Then we stopped back to the cabin, got clean and made some dinner.  In the morning, I made scones for which I’d mixed up the ingredients before we left home, rehydrating dried blueberries in hot water and adding them to the batter.  We washed some dishes and tidied up around the cabin and I signed the guest book.  I browsed through some of the previous entries and the last one before ours caught my attention.  It said, “Sara and Dan you are nice people.  But you really need to declutter.”  It then went on and on about how there is so much stuff in the cabin that these people who only signed with initials and noted that they were from Illinois were afraid to unpack their stuff because they were worried they wouldn’t find it when it was time to go home.   (This is certainly illustrative of why people from Wisconsin sometime call people from Illinois “FIBS”.  Perhaps they should just go and rent some sterile cabin or resort suite where kitchen implements are minimal and there is no “clutter”.   It’s not like there aren’t any of those around.  To be sure Caballete is full of books, family photos, artwork and everything one could need while staying there.  I also think that a lot of thought went into what is in the retreat.    Really, you could show up there with a supply of food, the clothes you need for your activities and the weather and you wouldn’t need anything else.  Maybe a better vegetable peeler and your own knives (I always bring at least a couple of my own knives when we rent for a weekend) if you are picky about kitchen stuff like I am, but really, they have everything.  In the late morning we left and headed for more skiing at Mirror Lake with me wishing we had another day to relax at Caballete and to think that another day off  wandering the ridge and trying to see if I could see a fox would have been a good thing.

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