Memories from my Childhood Cabin


Lucia Zettler

Lucia Zettler, Staff Reporter

When I was around seven my dad won a lawsuit and used the money to buy some land on the side of Mount Vulcan, a mountain near Tomichi. With the help of some friends, he was able to build a humble cabin. Since then it has become a secluded haven for my family to escape reality and live in a bubble for just a bit. This cabin has become a part of some of my most treasured childhood memories and the perfect place to visit during COVID. 

One of my favorite memories is when I made the poor decision to climb part of Mount Baldy, a mountain right next to Vulcan,  in the later afternoon. From my point of view, it didn’t seem that far, but as soon as I started climbing, I realized how far it really was. There was no going back though. I heaved as I pushed myself up the mountain. Finally, I scrambled across a tallos field and arrived at the hotel. Despite my torn-up legs, I felt a huge sense of accomplishment. The cabin was nothing more than a shell of what it probably used to be, but the fact that I hiked there on my own made me feel fulfilled. 

About a hundred feet below the cabin lay another 18th century home with “J” etched into the door. Over the years, that cabin has turned into a playhouse for my sister and I, where sometimes we would use old slabs to build forts or make-believe that the house is ours. 

Just below the house is a small strawberry field, and in the summer we sit in the field and sift for tiny strawberries. I need five of them to make a strawberry the size of one I  find at the store, but the way their subtle sweetness fills my mouth with a feeling of earth makes it all worth it. 

I follow a stream up Mount Volcan where there is a spring that flows with crystal clear water. Similar to the strawberries, this water makes me feel connected to the earth in a way. There is something about climbing up a mountain to carefully fill my water bottle from a spring that enhances the taste of regular water. I am thoroughly convinced that someone who drank that water every day would never age. 

From the dainty dandelions to the snow-capped mountains, everything around the cabin has a kind of raw beauty. In the winter pillowy clouds hover over the peaks of the mountains, making the area feel even more isolated. In the summer you can hike to a group of breath-taking lakes at the base of Mount Stella. 

During COVID, the cabin felt like a breath of fresh air. It was a relief to finally be out of the house and be separated from my worries for a weekend. It’s important to have a place like that where you can relax, especially during such hectic times.