Beth noted a park event for yesterday in her Cleveland paper: Drop by with your family for fun in the snow! Test your skills at winter challenges such as snowball making and throwing, fort building, sled pulling, and more. Challenge others and yourself in snowshoe games. Dress for the weather. Enjoy hot chocolate by a roaring fire within Ledges Shelter. No snow? No problem! If the weather does not cooperate, we'll have other outdoor games to play. Ledges Shelter, 10 a.m. - 2 p.m.
We arranged to meet at noon, turn the cousins loose, sit by the roaring fire and drink hot chocolate. Laura was ready to leave before I got out of bed. I put her off until after breakfast; we arrived around eleven. There was no snow.
There was a roaring fire in each end of the CCC lodge, built in the thirties. Two rangers were happy to see us come in. On inquiry I learned we were the first fun in the snow customers.
I asked if they drew the short straw, and the tall young ranger said actually, they had invented this straw, and they had a good backup plan, too. A button toss game and making god’s eyes from a bucket of yarn. There was no snow
It was cold. It could have been worse. The day’s high temperature was thirty at midnight, and went down all day. I had on my standard winter gear, starting with a long sleeved tee shirt that is merino wool sandwiched between knitted tee shirt cotton, a turtle neck, another shirt, my winter coat. I was cold. The girls were game to be the practice children for back-up activities. No snow.
One ranger left his ranger hat on the table. Much as I covet a ranger hat, I only took a picture. I looked around later on and saw the hat was the focus of a game.
A family with four young children came in and most children descended on the yarn box to make god’s eyes. Eventually the ranger enticed them all out for kickball.
There were no chairs for sitting around a roaring fire in a damn cold lodge, so I wandered around and took pictures. I’ve mentioned that I like how well the federal government has maintained all these buildings. I posted a picture of the outside of this lodge on that starkly blue winter day a couple of weeks ago:
Two weeks ago
Roaring fires notwithstanding, the building is only a shelter. The stones are impressive, but the corners let in the outdoors. It was cold.
The two chinks of light between the stone and the wood are from outdoors
The window panes are original glass, single pane. The hinges and fasteners are iron. I don’t know if they were purchased or if the CCC employed blacksmiths, too. I’d wager they did, as all the quarried rock in the walls came from Deep Lock Quarry nearby and was cut on site. I like the age patina on everything.
I was not unhappy until my feet grew cold. I don’t tolerate that nonsense. A text to Beth showed her still at home, a not unexpected state of affairs. We made a backup plan to meet at the house, and the girls and I took our leave about 12:30, with the young family eating their picnic lunch on a blanket in front of the fire, cups of hot chocolate all around.
Three cousins kibitzing the afternoon chess game of two more cousins. Around a warm kitchen table.