Into the Wild

I am writing this morning from a remote cabin at 57,000 on top of a mountain in Northern Idaho.  Glenn had been planning this weekend for months and I said once I got the website up I would go.  We took the weekend off and come over to visit our friends Forrest and Beth and their black lab Sprocket in a small mining town called Mullan, just over the mountains and the Montana-Idaho border.  We then proceeded to a cabin in the mountains miles above Wallace.  Their place is very rustic and I was not sure that we would even make it to the destination.  The higher we went the deeper the snow got until we reached the cabin and the snow level was about a foot deep.  The cabin, more a pole lodge, so far is only covered by exterior sheeting and was very raw within.  It has a little wood stove in the center of the room that we instantly fired up and within a half hour could no longer see our breaths.  I put a pot on the stove and made a hearty chicken stew with carrots, potatoes, and mushrooms flavored with tarragon, a pinch of basil, and rosemary.  It turned out fantastic for my first time of cooking an old fashioned wood stove.

We ate, drank, and chatted and watched the world around us envelop into a secluded darkness and the one gas lantern they had seem to fail us.  Then we all climbed to a loft to sleep.  There was a draft of snow and ice particles blowing through the cracks, which Forrest tired to seal before we went to bed.  I drifted in and out of consciousness as Forrest got up throughout the night to feed the fire.  At one point that fire had gone out and I hunkered deeper into my bed, snuggling closer to Glenn for warmth as a draft that felt good when I first went to bed now chilled the core of my body.  In the wilderness the night seems eternal as I kept waking up looking for some signs of daylight.  The morning came early gradually illuminating the outline of the open rafters barley above my head.

I was the first one up because I wanted to watch how the light began to fill the valleys far below us.  As rustic as it all seemed it really awoke a side of myself I have completely forgotten.  It reminded me of my youth and growing up on the ranch.  It feels like the ongoing theme of this week has been a return to simplicity and a greater connection to my natural heritage.  Although the website is a culmination of my existence, it is my connection to the future as I move into the future.  Today I am stripped on all the essentials of a modern life, no running water, no electricity, dependent on the life my computer laptop battery, now running in the red.  Here we are against our own elements.  There is something poetic about the sound of the snow smattering against the side of the building, of not working from the moment I rise to well after midnight each night.  We must exist only within the expanse of the natural day.

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