The Lonely Caretaker

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Author’s note: This is a story with sexual content but requires a long buildup. As usual, please feel free to comment.

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There is a place in New Hampshire called Zealand Valley. The valley is created by a brook named Zealand brook (thought some do call it Zealand River!). Following the brook up the side of a mountain brings you to several breathtaking falls named Zealand Falls. A short walk beside the falls and you find an old logging cabin named Zealand Hut. All of this is in the White Mountain National Forest and the Hut is cared for and maintained by the Appalachian Mountain Club.

Zealand Hut is comprised of 4 basic rooms on the main floor, a kitchen, dining area, and two bunk rooms on either side of the dining area. The bunk rooms each contain six bunk beds where each bunk bed houses 3 bunks meaning 18 people per bunk room and 36 total guests.

The Hut is full every weekend almost all year around. People hike to it in the spring, the summer and through the beautiful crisp fall air. In order to get a bunk, you have to schedule it in advance. Then there is winter. Only the hardiest folks come out to Zealand Hut in the winter. Even so, every weekend is full and if you were trying to book a team of 4 people for a weekend trip in January, you’d better book it in September or forget it!

The reason the hut is only for the hardiest of individuals is because there is only a tiny wood stove to heat it and the bunkrooms are never heated. I must correct myself. The bunkrooms are only heated by body heat! By policy, the wood stove is lit at 4:00pm and sparingly fed small pieces of wood until 8:00pm when the last log is placed into the dying embers. In mid January or February, when the temperature is generally 7 to 10 degrees above zero outside, the temperature doesn’t get above 45 degrees inside and hangs around 15 degrees in the bunkrooms. Yes, it is cold, but people come and have come to enjoy it.

The hut is located approximately 7 miles from the nearest road and the trail leading to it is mostly uphill. The good thing about that is that when you leave, it is mostly downhill! This is particularly good for the cross country skiers who come to Zealand Hut in the winter. It is a ton of hard work to ski up that mountain. That hard work generates heat and for most folks, that heat keeps a person warm even though the temperature might be 10 degrees, they might only have a nice thin wool sweater on while they skied.

The human body is a wonderful machine. It generates heat when it works and as skiers ski up the 7 miles, they generate a lot of heat. When they get to the hut, their bodies keep generating heat and will keep them warm right through the night even though their sleeping bags might be rated at 25 degrees and the bunk room is 10 or 15, they are still warm because their bodies keep producing heat.

My name is Jake and I am a caretaker at Zealand Hut. Often there are a team of folks as caretakers, sometimes a husband and wife or boyfriend and girlfriend. I do it alone. Sometimes the AMC will send someone to help with the busy weekend, but most of the time, I’m fine by myself. I sleep upstairs in the caretaker’s room where it’s generally warm because … heat rises!

During the winter, I work 12 days over a two week period, generally starting on a Thursday and ending on a Monday. My number one job is the safety of the weekend warriors who drive their BMW’s from Boston to brave the wind, the snow and the hills with their 35 pound backpacks and they test their mettle against Mother Nature. In order to take care of their safety, I make sure there is enough wood for the wood stove, check the propane tanks for the lights and the industrial sized cook stove. Getting the wood can be tricky. I always having to ski out and pull wood from various stashes of wood that were set up in the fall. Loading up a backpack with 50 pounds of wood and skiing with it on my back for a couple of miles certainly keeps me in good shape. Lastly, I am always watching the weather and posting projections. The weather is very tricky up in New England.

Though the weekends are packed usually with 36 people each on Friday and Saturday, Sunday through Thursday are mostly empty or just one or two folks. This past January 28th, a Monday morning, I had awoken, after a very busy weekend, to a nice quiet hut. No one had slept over and it had snowed and quieted everything around the hut. I lay under my down comforter with my breath visible in the cold of the hut, but I wasn’t cold, I was toasty warm.

The radio squawked and I answered. It was the base camp at Pinkham Notch informing me that I would have guests; four women were scheduled for an overnighter. Current temperature at the hut was 5 degrees and the guys at Mt Washington were projecting a series of storms that would pass through the valley as the low pressure moved the high out of the region. I could expect snow by 1:00pm. I’m sure the Boston TV weather guys were all predicting sunshine!

I illegal bahis thought about the four women and let my mind drift in the hope that they would be cute. If this was a movie, they’d be members of the Swedish Ski Team! Reality returned to me in the form of reasonable skepticism. I was not likely to see a group of seductive, manicured, red toe-nailed, beach babes up in the mountains of New Hampshire! I was more likely to get a hardy group of 45 year olds disenfranchised and then divorced from their husbands, straight out of the granola set. Hairy armpits, hairy legs, and toenail fungus would be more like what I’d get at the Hut! I didn’t mind but I was missing the view of the babes from Boston! Perhaps staying up at the hut alone was beginning to affect me!

I cleaned up the hut and readied it for visitors. I looked out the front window down the valley and could see that the visibility was diminishing quickly, eight miles and closing. Death for the guests is generally not something I worry about as most folks who come up are fit and can make the climb. Even so, the most common reason for death in the mountains is hypothermia. Hypothermia occurs when a person’s body temperature gets reduced so low that they don’t have the capacity to warm it up again. The body starts shutting down extremities and parts of the brain is one of those extremities. So, death generally occurs because somebody ends up with hypothermia and starts doing dumb things like taking off their hat and mittens because they are confused. On top of that, they start wandering around the forest and end up half naked in 3 and ½ fee of snow. The fastest way to get hypothermia is to get wet, perhaps because of a fall in cold water. The water soaks you down to the skin and stays there. Cold water gets through your clothes faster than cold air and it pulls the heat from your body like nothing else.

The seven mile trip into Zealand hut has 9 major river, stream or pond crossings. Of the 9, four can be considered dangerous. With care, the dangerous ones become moot.

The snow began to fall at 1:15pm. The flakes were big and puffy and if I didn’t know better, I would have considered them cute. By 2:00pm, visibility was down to less than half a mile and the snow had turned to very small particles but falling rapidly. This was the kind of snow that accumulated fast. The temperature gage read 12 degrees. I hoped that these women knew where they were going because a “white out” was on the way.

Just in case, I prepared my equipment. Skis, boots, gloves, hat, coat, and sleeping bag were all made ready. Why the sleeping bag? I carry the sleeping bag in case I find a hypothermic person. The best thing to do is to get them out of their wet clothes (wet from sweat or river, it doesn’t matter) and into a poly-pro sleeping bag to warm up. Actually, the right routine is to get naked and jump into the bag with them. This is rarely necessary as usually, the person’s temp has only dropped a couple of degrees and with the sleeping bag; they are back to normal pretty quick. Just in case, though, I usually bring a large sleeping bag.

I started the propane stove and heated up a large jug of hot water for hot chocolate. The quiet of the hut was so serene and I could actually hear the propane gas escaping the jets and softly burning.

The door burst open, snow and cold entered the dining area along with a woman. Her blue nylon pants, wool cap and Gortex jacket were white with snow. She shut the door behind her and removed her mittens and hat. Her blond hair was up in a bun on top of her head. She stood 5 feet 5 in her cross country ski boots. She looked mid to late 20’s.

“I’m Alison Gordon” and she held out her hand. I smiled at her and noted the perfectly clear and smooth skin before shaking her hand and introducing myself. “Are you one of the party of four?” I asked. She nodded and then shook her head while removing her backpack. It looked heavy and I helped her with it. “No, it was a party of four, but somebody backed out.” She looked out the window “It’s getting pretty nasty out there.” I nodded, “Where is the rest of your party?” “I don’t know” was her reply and I thought that odd.

Most folks come up together. They stop and feed the birds (yes, the birds land on your fingertips and eat out of your palm) together, take pictures together and ski in long lines so they can laugh as people fall as they ski around boulders covered with 3 ½ feet of snow.

I pointed her to the bunk rooms and showed her the kitchen and she unpacked her bag of food and then went to the bunk room to unroll her sleeping bag.

The sun set at 4:00pm and still the other two women hadn’t shown up. I started the fire and lit the lamps. Alison had changed into sweatpants and a long sleeve cotton T-shirt. Her hair was out of the bun and rested gently on her shoulders. It was obvious that she wore no bra and I was thankful. Her breasts were heavy and full and swayed beneath the grey material. I won’t leave you guessing, I was illegal bahis siteleri aroused. She had a pretty smile and used it frequently and I wondered if I could fall in love with this woman totally based on looks!

At 4:30, I decided that I had been blinded by Alison’s looks into not doing my job. Visibility was down to less than 50 feet. There were two women out there and the conditions had actually gotten worse though I can’t think of anything worse than a blinding snowstorm. I asked Alison to add 1 large log to the wood stove at the top of each hour and let her know that I was going to go hunting for the other two women. I gave her a radio and put it on channel 2 (local) and set mine the same and asked that she call me if the women came up and I hadn’t returned.

I loaded my safety equipment, lighter, matches, splint, gauze, medical tape etc. into my bag with the sleeping bag and headed out the door. I climbed down the steep bank that leads to the hut. I hopped in the snow bounding from side to side like a downhill skier in deep snow. It was fun but I was beginning to get worried. I told myself that they would be at the bottom of the hill and putting their skis in the ski rack at the bottom.

They weren’t there. I skied along the trail looking for clues of where they might have turned off the trail but there wasn’t any trail. All ski tracks, including Alison’s were covered by the rapid snowfall. The term “white out” was true for what I was skiing through. Though I ski fast and know the trail by heart, I had a hard time knowing exactly where I was as I could only see 10 feet in front of me.

With all the new snow, the skiing was easy and I clocked ½ a mile in no time, but I should have met up with them by now. I called back to Alison, hoping that they had arrived safely and just forgot about me. Better to have wounded pride than someone injured. Alison informed me that they had not arrived and said that she was beginning to get worried. Now she gets a clue. She offered to come out and look, but I told her we needed a base to operate from and I kept skiing.

I decided to let my ears do my searching and it was a good idea. Though sound doesn’t travel well through snow, it does better than sight, especially after the sun has gone down. I set a schedule of skiing 10 strides and listening for 3 seconds and then skiing again.

It helped. I heard them. They were giggling off the path to my right. I plowed through the deep snow and found them 20 yards from the path in a small clearing. They were making snow angels. A deep sigh of relief escaped my chest until I noticed that they were making snow angels without their mittens, hats or even coats. They kept giggling about how lovely their angels were and really didn’t pay much attention to me as I put a bare hand on each of their foreheads. They were cold and they were rapidly freezing to death.

I pulled my backpack off and quickly set up my 4-person tent and threw the sleeping bag inside.

“Hey you’re cute” giggled one of them as they finally took notice of me. I smiled as I don’t often get that kind of comment up at the hut.

I grabbed some wood and started a fire. As it built, I grabbed what I thought was the coldest woman and asked her to join me in the tent, after all, I was cute, wasn’t I? Her sweater was cotton and water logged. I got her in the tent and stripped her. She had a beautiful body, but my mind was racing and a sexual thought never entered my head. Naked, I got her in the sleeping bag and zipped her up. I stoked more wood on the fire and grabbed her friend and repeated the procedure. The women were all in their late 20s. Her friend would be more classified as plump. She probably tipped the scales at about 140 lbs.

Once in the bag, they giggled and hugged each other’s nakedness, but they were still cold. I added more wood to the fire and got in the tent and stripped myself. I talked them into letting me in between them and creating a very tight sandwich. I was very hot from the skiing and exhilaration of hopefully saving someone’s life. They were still cold. I called Alison on the radio and told her we’d be back as soon as possible but it might be a while; and I’d explain later. I asked her to get herself some hot cocoa and relax and keep the wood stove stoked every hour on the hour.

I wrapped my arms around the two women and pulled them tight. I felt plump-girls’ big tits squeeze into me and the other girl wrapped her legs around mine. Having them around me felt awful nice. They started to fall asleep and I knew that would not be good so I talked with them to keep them awake.

After 45 minutes, clarity was returning to both of them and they began wondering why they were naked in a sleeping bag with a naked man in a tent in a blizzard of a snowstorm. As they began to express these thoughts and I provided the answers, I knew that they were returning to normal. When they seemed to have regained their warmth and their senses, I shared with them the simple plan canlı bahis siteleri to return get to the Hut … get dry clothes out of their backpacks, get their mittens, hats and skis and high-tail it to the Hut. We’d leave the majority of stuff behind to pick up later. The most important thing was to get them back to the warmth and safety of the hut.

The wind died down and the clouds parted and showed bright stars against a deep purple night sky. I decided to carry their backpacks on my back letting them ski free of weight. It worked and we made good time to the hut.

We took off our skis and I helped them up the steep upgrade to the hut. Carrying their backpacks was exhausting and I about collapsed as we entered the very warm dining area. I looked over at the stove and noticed that its door was cracked open. That meant that the fire was burning too hot and most of the heat was going up the chimney!! Damn! I crawled to the stove and clamped its door shut. I looked at the wood bin and it was empty.

Alison was hugging her friends and helping them out of their snowy over clothes.

“Alison! How much wood did you burn?” the temperature was at least 65 degrees. Toasty, but there was no fucking wood left in the hut! She answered with a slight whine, “I don’t know. I did what you told me, I filled it with wood every hour, but that damn door wouldn’t close” I glared at her, “I said one log every hour, not ‘fill it’ every hour! Damn it, there IS NO WOOD! This wood was supposed to last three fucking days! Now we have NO WOOD!” I was yelling and normally, I’m a very quiet guy. This was definitely NOT the granola crowd. They would have known how much wood to put in a damn fire. They would have known to shut the wood stove door.

I looked at the temperature gage and it had already lost 5 degrees down to 60. I looked at the 3 of them hugging each other and Alison commenting on how worried she was. I quickly discovered that the plump girl was Rae and the other girl with black hair’s name was Sandy. They looked at me as if wondering what I might be upset about. I pointed out the rapidly dropping temperature and concern crossed their faces, but thankfully it wasn’t panic. Looking out the windows, I realized all the clouds had gone to the northeast and it was a clear, starlit night. Though pretty to look at, this just means more cold. The clouds keep the air warmer than the dark of night. The external gage read 14 degrees BELOW zero. That was a quick drop!

I donned my wool hat, scarf, and mittens again and turned to them, “I’m going to get some wood. I’ll be gone about an hour. I strongly recommend that you get yourselves some dinner, warm but not too hot and keep the bunk doors closed.” I stopped and then realized the temperature was dropping inside the hut even more than I had thought and I knew that the two formerly hypothermic girls were in danger of returning to hypothermia if not kept warm. “Forget the bunk rooms. Get your sleeping bags and put them up in the loft where I sleep. There is a pretty big bed up there and we shouldn’t be too cramped. Make sure these bunk room doors stay closed. Alison, do whatever you have to, to keep these two girls warm and dry.”

I opened the door and heard Sandy chuckle to Alison “He’s kinda cute, isn’t he?” I slammed the door. Normally, my dick would be sticking out of my pants about 10 inches, but with the cold I was facing, I was lucky if it was 3 inches!

I searched my usual spots for hiding wood from the folks who replace me on my days off. Unfortunately, they had found two of my stashes and I had to open up a third. I loaded the backpack with enough wood for the night. Normally, I don’t put wood in the stove after 8:00pm, but I normally don’t have custody of two hypothermic women.

On my way back, I skied hard and fast. My mind was drifting and my heavy pack of wood slid sideways on my back. I slipped and skied into a flowing river. Most folks don’t realize it but even at 14 degrees below freezing, flowing water doesn’t freeze thick! My arms and legs were soaked and getting colder in the brutal brittle cold of night. I was lucky that the wind wasn’t blowing. As I began to ski again, I got a case of uncontrollable shakes as my body temperature dropped. The cold had seeped into my fingers and toes and was threatening my arms and legs. Intellectually, I knew that the bitter cold and my digging around in the snow for wood had thwarted my parka’s attempt to keep me warm and falling in the water put me right over the edge, but emotionally I felt my body shutting down as hypothermia crept in. I skied harder to try and warm up. I kept trying to maintain control of my body, telling myself, “You are not going to freeze, you will maintain sanity” but my body spoke back and the skin of my legs went numb followed quickly by my toes and fingers.

The final climb up the hill to the hut was grueling. Both legs felt like I had put huge rubber bands on my thighs and cut off circulation to my knees and feet. My muscles weren’t responding. My hands had warmed up some and I was using them to pull myself up the hill from tree to tree. The hut was in sight and I knew that I would make it. I opened the door and fell on the floor and the wood flew out of the backpack all around me.

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