Jorstad Cabin — Last in the Series
Image by Beyond the Trail [Gary]
July – 2006
* * * * * — Willard Ormand "George" Jorstad — [1899 - 1991] — * * * * *
Parting thoughts ….
I never met George but our paths almost crossed once. He was likely at his cabin — late summer, early ’80s — when — along with two friends — did a Grizzly Lake backpacking trip. We missed connecting with Jorstad Cabin by about three trail miles. That summer — our first Trinity Alps backpacking excursion — would have been one of George’s last at his cabin at Pfeiffer Flat — age and the long trail miles were taking a toll.
Seems fitting that George has the final say — below — *snips* from his book:
Behind The Wild River —
* — "Adzie [George's wife] took to our rough-and-tumble life admirably. She covered the mountain trails just as well, even better, than I did, certainly with greater ease …. her flower collection grew to include thirty or forty species, which she cataloged and sketched in her notebook."
* — "We were ready for the winter … would have eight months … no mail, no interruptions from neighbors, packers, or visitors. When the rains seriously set in and the river ran wild and snow blocked the trails and roads, there would be no going out. Our nearest neighbor, as we figured it, would be Rex McGee on the East Fork, about twenty-five miles away … only Adzie and myself in those miles and miles of mountains … we sat in silence for a long while around our campfire listening to the fire, which was always saying something, and to the wind in the trees, which had its language too. At last, Adzie asked in a whisper, ‘What are you thinking about?’ For reply, I wrapped her in my arms."
* — "During the night, rain in cloudburst proportions struck the cabin … We’d gotten used to the drumming of heavy rain on the roof, but this exceeded anything we’d had before. We had to shout in each others ears to be heard. We got up and lit the fires and prepared coffee … Adzie’s big concern, and mine as well, was the river … [the] pleasant stream had become something entirely other — a mad monster of reddish roaring water carrying logs and uprooted trees of all sizes, rolling along its bottom great boulders that thundered as they collided with others … Although the water was still a long way from being as high as the bank on the cabin side of the flat, what would happen if the rain continued at its present rate over a period of days?"
* — "During these winter months the sun just topped the mountains at eight o’clock, taking until noon to reach the flat and staying only a few hours to work its miracles before surrendering the flat again to the frosts of night. The daylight temperatures had been hovering at fifteen degrees … "
* — "One morning we awoke to find our windows completely snowed over, no light showing except from the gable window. The snow was piled under the eaves and up on the roof, making it necessary for me to shovel light wells to the windows and a tunnel to our door in addition to my usual chore of keeping paths open to the woodshed, outhouse, camp, and river."
* — "One night we were awakened by a commotion on the porch. Cans were being batted around, and there was a breaking of glass … Thinking it was a bear, I got my flashlight and opened the door. There, staring at me, was a fisher, the first closeup look I’d had of one. He was as big as a fox and had rather small sharp ears, very black eyes that glistened in the light, and a long sleek body with short heavy legs … he didn’t run off but twisted around to look at me from another position like a hungry dog or cat might. ‘Of course, he’s hungry,’ I thought. ‘What can I find for him in a hurry?’ …. I rushed to the cupboard and grabbed a can of sardines. ‘Adzie,’ I whispered. ‘A fisher! Come quick!’ She was up in a minute, and we watched the fisher dispose of the sardines and then stand looking up at us, begging for more. ‘Here, hold the light,’ I said. ‘I’ll get another can’ ………. "
–George Jorstad [Excerpts from Behind The Wild River .....]
* The book — published after Jorstad’s death — by friends and relatives — appears to be out of print but possibly some copies are still available. The publisher’s address (as listed in the book) is:
P.O. Box 637,
Lewiston, CA 96052
– Note: During the winter [the one mentioned in the above passage] — George and Adzie didn’t leave their car at the Hobo Gulch Trailhead — because of the heavy winter snows — left it at Scholmers Livery Stables in Helena. — For photo — see link below:
For Related Jorstad Photos See: