Jim Baird's Arctic Adventure: This Ain't No Themed Restaurant

We knew there was a cabin somewhere around. Well, we were pretty sure. Actually I was pretty sure there was one around, but Ted was doubtful at best. The clouds were dark and low. The light was retreating. Night was almost upon us. We were headed for a sheltered bay where we thought we could gain protection if there was a blizzard on the way.

That's when we saw it: a gathering of three cabins. Beautiful.

We'd found an old fishing lodge used during the short summer season. The door was open and there was some wood inside. I fired up the stove, which immediately took the bite out of the air and soon had the place cooking--much better than sleeping in our tent at 30 below zero. Just the fact that we didn't have to go through the task of getting our tent set up and then take it down was reason enough to celebrate. I could feel my batteries recharging.

It's important to have your batteries charged when you are in the middle of nowhere, because you'll be less likely to have an accident. At that point I felt like we were checking into the Ritz. That's one of the exciting things about a trip like this: You discover something new around every corner. Sometimes it's not what you wanted to discover, but more times than not, it's something way better than what you were expecting, just like this cabin was for me.