441 Days in Mountains: The (Long and Winding) Road

No, this post has nothing to do with Cormac McCarthy or the Beatles. It has to do with the impending winter and the requirements of living on a private, barely legal road. If you, like most of the sane and rational population of the United States, live on a paved road that is cleaned, plowed, and maintained by your town or county, you probably only consider the effort that goes into keeping your road pleasantly usable when it becomes unpleasantly usable, such as when a large pothole appears in the middle of it. My road, however, is a constant occupier of thoughts. Here’s what it means to live where I do:

  • Discovering your snow tires are useless and spending the whole winter creeping down the hill at two miles per hour, which was still too fast, terrified of plummeting over the edge and ending up like these guys

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Two Days Shy of 13 Weeks In the Mountains: The Dead Season

Skeletons and carcasses surround us. No, not the spandex, rubber, and cake makeup kinds. Real ones. The dead season is here and while as a city-dweller I was largely insulated from it, I can’t help but pay attention out here.

The flies staked out the entryways the last few weeks, desperate to get into the warmth. They drove my partner crazy and even though I told him they would be gone very soon, he bought some flypaper anyways. He never had the chance to hang it. They are all dead now.
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The two aspens that preside over our front steps have been stripped bare. The glory of autumn is very short and limited in the mountains. Our canyon displays a range of golds, but none of the crimson and brick and auburn and merlot of an autumn in the Adirondacks or the Catskills. And now, even the mustard and the saffron and the dandelion are gone. Continue reading →