The cabin is part of the little hamlet called Mammoth, in a canyon with slopes so high you have to lift your head to see the ridges that define them. Those ridges make dawn late and sunset early. That can be a blessing in the hottest days of the year; I imagine less so in the winter. Don’t ask me why it’s called Mammoth; nothing else bears the name within about a hundred miles. The South Boulder River tumbles through here in a perpetual rush and murmur, past dwellings both modest and not-so-modest.I’m in one of the modest ones. It has changed owners over the years, and has been allowed to decay here and there. Yesterday and today my brothers and I were working to reverse the effects of deferred maintenance. Although our measurements were rarely precise and our breaks frequent, we did manage to get the place a little better than it was before. But there’s no end to the projects that need doing. You can understand why the native peoples in this country tended to a more nomadic lifestyle.
Now my brothers have gone home, having more pressing matters to attend. With no such matters myself, I’m hanging here with my guitar and some mystery novels and my internet-less computer and a glass of cheap wine. It’s supper time but I’m not hungry so I won’t cook anything just yet. I have just performed “Slip Slidin’ Away” at top volume and am beginning to wonder if it’s the right key for my odd and unsteady singing voice. One thing about being up in the woods alone, you can skip meals and sing badly without any real discomfort.
And one thing about having no internet, you can write a blog post about nothing and reflect on it awhile. Maybe you can come back and edit it later, since you can’t put it up without a long drive down a washboard road and then another 45 miles of lonesome highway. Obviously, it’s online now, so I made the trip. But like newspaper stories a century ago, the news is a few days old. The news is this: It’s kind of quiet up here.
Here is where I should go on to ruminate about how great it is to be without distraction, free of the Internet and Facebook and instant weather forecasts. But really, I have missed those things. There’s something to be said for distraction. Insularity is not a great thing in itself. It’s only good if it leads to some sort of self-discovery, some epiphany that might otherwise be missed. In terms of self-discovery, I have discovered that my own company is not as interesting as it might be. I’m still waiting for something more useful.
Meantime, I play the guitar badly, and watch the seated adventurers roll by, and await the long twilights of Mammoth. That’s the best time of day in these parts. I find it’s best enjoyed with a glass of cheap wine.