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Tell Me a Story - Cabin in the Woods

Jessica Rolph | August 18, 2019

E

ven though school started last week, we’re already looking forward to fall break. Fall is my absolute favorite time of year. The leaves, the smells, and the cooler weather all add up to perfection, at least in my mind. Fall is also the time of year for bonfires, warm apple cider, and toasting marshmallows. And of course, when you're gathered together around a fire, there is nothing better than a ghost story to end the night. While we’re still a month out from fall, that doesn’t stop me from planning this year’s trip.

Last year, my girls and I headed to Brown County to enjoy the leaves. I’d booked a cabin online, full of the comforts of home but out in the woods. We were only staying for a few nights, and I figured we’d hit some trails and go shopping in Nashville. I learned a few things from that experience that I'll put to good use this time around. Maybe they’ll help you as you’re planning your next getaway as well.

First, if the information page about the rental mentions that you’ll need to follow their directions and not depend on Google Maps, there’s a good reason for that. It’s not a lack of technological savvy on their part. I did print the directions but found it difficult to depend on the landmarks used, such as “the cabin that looks out of place”. At one point, Google Maps actually informed me that I was lost. This is not a reassuring message when you’re on dirt roads, in the hills of Brown County, which are one lane but not one way. Luckily, I only met a vehicle coming the other one once. By then, I was happy to see any sign of human habitation in the area outside of my own vehicle.

Second, if you are looking for a vacation that is off the beaten trail, Google Maps can come in handy for seeing the terrain around your location of choice. The pictures they show on the website are nice, but I could have saved myself some anxiety if I’d checked out a satellite view beforehand. When I finally started down the road to our cabin, I was on a steep decline for about half a mile, past a gate marked “No Trespassing”. I did eventually reach the cabin, and believe me, it was a beautiful sight.

Third, I’ll go back to my love of ghost stories during the chilly fall nights. These are great—when you’re at home, on a familiar road, with neighbors you know, and with your giant and protective mastiff for company. When you’re in a cabin in the middle of the woods, down a lonely half mile dirt path, which is equipped with overly aggressive motion detector lights, the charm wears off. Quickly. If you’re the only adult there, you’re going to swear you hear the pool balls being hit down in the basement around 2 AM. My girls slept like angels, but I was a tired mama by the time we headed back north later that week.

Finally, though, I do remember this—the girls loved our trip. They want to go back to the exact same cabin. I had a good time too, once I’d navigated the tricky back country of Brown County enough to get comfortable. And even though I may have regretted it in the early morning hours, we did tell a lot of stories and make some great memories along the way.

These things are going through my mind as I start planning this year’s trip into the wilderness. And despite the few scares, I am leaning towards heading back to our isolated cabin in the woods, phantom cue balls and all. Until next time, from First Farmers Bank & Trust, I’m Jess, and I’m listening.