Chapter 20 - "the quaint cabin"

As we idled down a sloped hill and rounded the first bend, the land opened up and flattened out. A large river was dancing right along to the right and a coyote was running right to left spooked at our unannounced arrival. Wild animals seemed to be everywhere. Birds, unknown to me, scattered abroad. A lone antelope pranced up the hill, cagy and quirky. He would stop every so often and stare at us, sizing us up and giving us the once over. We just kept trucking along making him increasingly comfortable that we had no foul intentions toward his kind.

A little abandoned cabin sat at the bottom of a foothill, windows busted out and cedarshake roof in disarray. It was a thing of beauty. Weathered grayish brown, tilted like the tower of Pisa, looking every bit like a country farmhouse from The Waltons. I asked Doug why he didn't fix it up and he said he didn't like the view. You see, it was facing the river and the open plains, not the beheamoth Rockies towering with majesty and might. I still would have done something with it. What a shame such a idyllic little place was rotting away. I felt like I wanted to go encourage it, tell it to hang on, tell it to not give up the ghost. I wanted to hug it and give it a kiss. But there are just some things you can't do with another man sitting right there next to you in a truck. Oh well, it was the thought that was going to have to count this go around.

We wormed our way through wide valleys looking for more antelope. The only one we saw was the one we ended up chasing through the foothills. He had to think we were harassing him when in reality he was unlucky enough to be fleeing on the very path we were heading. Poor thing. It wasn't until the last turn that we finally headed different directions. He scampered over the hill and we took a sharp left.

Doug mumbled something about keeping my eyes open. I had seen a painting of his cabin, but even so, I was not prepared for the breathtaking visage that was awaiting me. As we made our way around a wide bend, I looked up to the left and high atop a lonely hill was a little log cabin perched with pride. It was still a good distance away making it look more like a dog house than anything. But as we climbed the driveway of loose stone and my eyes adjusted to the changes of depth, it looked more and more like the painting in Doug's kitchen. Even so, paintings rarely do justice to Western wonders. It's like trying to play the Hallaluah chorus on a Fisher Price toy piano. There's the faint resemblance to the melody line, but there's no depth and breadth, no accompaniment. That's what a painting can't help but miss about a place like Augusta, it can't capture the transcendance.

As we reached the zenith of this hill, we pulled into the yard of this quaint cabin. It had a red roof and a little porch. Firewood was left over from the last trip and there were piles of lumber still stacked from when the place was constructed. One of my favorite sights to behold was the makeshift, doorless little log outhouse Doug made pointing toward the mountains so that when you took a dookie, you could take in the splendor. I wondered when I would be honored to visit this small, yet profoundly unique restroom. I couldn't wait.

We stepped out of the truck and I just breathed deep taking in the fresh air and the deafening silence. No electricity, no made made structures anywhere in sight other than this little cabin. No hurry, no hum of distant traffic, no transistors buzzing atop telephone poles, no kids clamoring next door. No planes flying overhead, no lawnmowers. No one. Nothing. In the middle of Nowhere. If you've never experienced this. I'm not sure I know how to put it into words. It's heavenly.



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