I had always wanted to stay in an old log cabin in the woods. Ever since I was a kid I imagined how amazing it would be to sleep beneath walls made from logs, next to a warm fireplace, burning wood that I chopped myself. I imagined how quaint it would be to sit in a rocking chair on an old, creaky porch and puff on Abraham Lincoln’s pipe. When I finally made a reservation for a weekend at a cabin in White Mountain National Forest (WMNF), I knew it was finally time to have the log cabin camping experience I had always dreamed about. This hike through WMNF became the inspiration for our Lincoln Candle.
The first night was quite the experience. I arrived late, so I built a fire and got into bed shortly after. I wanted to have plenty of energy for hiking the next day. Even though I was indoors, I could still hear the crickets chirp, the wind blow through the trees, and the nearby stream babble through the dark woods. The sounds of nature relaxed me and sent me quickly off into a deep restful sleep. I didn’t open my eye again until the faint early morning light started to beam through the window.
The cabin was rustic. No electricity. Just the way I wanted it and just the way it would have been 200 years ago. When I awoke that morning, the sun hadn’t fully risen so I lit the kerosene lamp to light up the one room cabin. The coals in the wood stove were still hot so all I needed to do was add a few logs to reinvigorate the fire from the night before. I placed the kettle on top of the hot stove and waiting for the water to boil.
Morning coffee is more satisfying and tastes that much better when you have to work a little harder to make it. I sipped my coffee on the porch as I watched the sun come up and shine its light on the sparkling morning dew that covered the woods around me. My coffee went down fast. I got dressed and made my way to the Lincoln Woods trailhead.
The Lincoln Woods Trail is about 2.7 miles long and travels along the Pemigewasset River through beautiful, rugged New England wilderness. The tree canopy was thick, so even though the sun was up, my hike began underneath dense shade. I spent the next few hours of the cool morning slowly making my way down the trail.
I found a place along the rocky shoreline of the river to stop and have lunch. There is nothing as peaceful as the sound of rushing water over rocks. I found a large boulder to sit on and was as close the sound of the river as possible. It was music to my ears. The sun was high in the sky and I laid back on the rock to stare up at the blue sky. Wispy clouds floated by as I enjoyed my light lunch. I thought this a good place to turn around and start to make my way back to the cabin. I was so enchanted by the thought of what it liked like in the full sunshine of the mid-day.
When I got back to my cabin I quickly realized that I had received some visitors while I was away. Squirrels had made their way in through the window I left open and helped themselves to some of my crackers I had left on the table. The scampered away when they saw me enter. I laughed and was happy they didn’t get into my dinner! The morning hike primed me for some afternoon relaxation, so I made my way to the front porch and into the rocking chair. I could hear every bird chirp, breeze blow, and bee buzz. A mother deer and her baby fawn emerged from the woods and treated themselves to some grass right in front of me. I imagined this was what life was like every day before telephones and electricity. I was living the simple, quiet life, even if only for a weekend.
I had brought along some fine tobacco and an old pipe a friend had given me when I told him where I was going for the weekend. My friend said that if I was going to a log cabin in the woods of New Hampshire, I should enjoy a little bit of old fashioned pipe puffing, just like Abe Lincoln would have. The flavor was rich and deep. It reminded me of my tobacco & vanilla candle back home. There I was, smoking Abraham Lincoln’s pipe at a log cabin in the woods. What could be more perfect?
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