Rekindling Cabin Trip Memories (Brighton Recreation Area, April, 2021)

Beginning roughly 20 years ago, Brighton Recreation Area became an unofficial gathering spot for me and some friends (and friends of friends) for weekend trips in rental cabins and tent camping trips. Those sorts of trips typically happened 2-3 times a year and continued in some way, shape or form until 2019. The cast of characters involved dwindled significantly beginning in 2007 or so when a good number of the folks involved moved out of the area – or moved out of state.

Now, the cast of characters is down to only three – including me and my husband – and our friend Dave, who moved out of town (though not out of state…yet)!

My husband and I rented the cabin named “Wabizi” last weekend. For those in the “know” about the cabins at Brighton, it’s the best cabin you can rent there – since it has lake access (perfect for people with small watercraft such as canoes/kayaks) and is on a fairly private site by itself with lovely 360 degree views.

Great place to hear lots of sandhill cranes squawking! This is a view of Bishop Lake from the cabin

My husband and I were the only ones occupying the cabin for the weekend, though we did have an evening visitor from the “old times” stop by on Friday night. Dave came by on Friday to join us for a camp fire – and for a toast of blueberry flavored mead, which was made by our mutual friend Sam (who moved to Virginia in 2014, and now works as a mead maker for Silver Hand Meadery in Williamsburg, VA). So in a sense, Sam was also there in spirit!

Me and Mike are in the rear, Dave is in the front
Mike and I are not seasoned wine drinkers, so we didn’t even know for sure whether or not we even owned a corkscrew (turns out we do) – let alone knew how to use one! Thankfully Dave uncorked the bottle for us (LOL)!

The first night of the trip was mainly enjoying the views, enjoying our drinks, enjoying the camp fire, and reminiscing about some of the past trips we’d taken to Brighton. Which as you can imagine with a group of 20-30 somethings – drunken shenanigans were par for the course! My friend Michelle trying to hump a defenseless propane tank, me consuming a whole fifth of Ketel One vodka virtually by myself, our friend Mike committing various lewd acts with a Sharpie marker and Sam’s friend John being chided for not drinking beer #24 from his case (“Nobody likes a quitter”) are just a sampling of some of the craziness that happened on these cabin trips. Though I think that last incident actually happened on a cabin trip in Upstate New York, but it’s valid because it’s the same group of people.

Me in the heavy throes of vodka-induced mayhem (sometime in the early 2000s).

There were some new additions to the cabin that I didn’t expect – a ceiling fan – and set of electric lights above the indoor dining room table. I was almost insulted, since I brought a reuseable grocery bag full of battery powered lights! There was also a USB power hub attached to the kitchen counter (which I tested – it did not seem to work). Good to know I didn’t power up everything beforehand – and bring an auxiliary battery supply – for nothing! Upon closer inspection, we learned that the fan and lights were solar powered.

In the old days, we’d just rig up a gas or battery powered lantern to this wooden beam.
Solar panel powering the electric things inside the cabin

The next day, we were treated to summer-like temps in the mid ’70s. We spent most of the afternoon relaxing behind the cabin with some mp3 player music – and some cold Truly lemonade hard seltzers.

It started raining around 6 p.m. or so, and we headed indoors to have dinner – and play some board games. When my mp3 player started telling me its battery was low, I hooked it up to a “Pocket Juice” power supply to keep the tunes playing.

The next day, we packed up and left – and I took the obligatory “move out” photos that I always take on every cabin trip (to prove that we didn’t destroy the cabin while we occupied it):

Turns out that even when we were driving out of the park, I wasn’t quite done taking photos!

Glad I was able to gobble up a couple of more photos from the trip!

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