Pages of my life…

Panoramic Mountain Views

Posted on: August 18, 2009

A mere ninety miles away from the city is a little piece of heaven on earth.  Some years ago I made the decision to buy a mountain top.  I did not have developing it in mind…or hunting…or becoming one with nature.  I hoped to someday build a little log cabin with a wrap around deck to surround my little bit of paradise.  There is a perfectly placed spot nestled among the rock outcroppings where I planned to build a home.  It enjoys a stunning 320 degree sweeping panoramic view.  I purchased the generator…bought a log rocking love seat and coat rack…and the most incredible furniture complete with beautiful bears walking across the fabric.  I had every detail worked out in my mind…the green meadow spot that surely had water very near the surface…the reputed gold that would remain intact for future generations to explore.  I considered glass blocks for the top portion of the logs to allow in natural light.  A wood stove would provide ample heat and supplies would be packed in and packed out to deter animals from breaking and entering.  As I ascended the hillside for the first time…it was hard to catch my breath.  My mind wandered to early pioneers and how they surely must have felt as the vast reward for climbing a bit higher would be breathtaking beauty… almost too pretty to be real.  The pictures taken for the mountain view album were a late summer offering.  In the winter…the snow is piled high among the trees and bushes that grace the land.  I view myself not as the owner but as one who is lucky enough to hike the unbeaten trail to what looks to be the the top of the world.  If I only make one trip a year and sit holding my heart…humbled by nature…it is more than enough to make me feel both grateful and small.  There are bear, deer, moose, wild turkey, grouse and every other kind of wild creature one might encounter in the northwest.  A young man who worked on many of my projects volunteered to accompany me to the cabin site a few years ago.  As there is no one around…and a very real possibility to encounter a bear or wildcat…his father provided a pistol for protection. We hiked in slowly …admiring the scenery from every vantage point.  I was sitting at the top when a bald eagle came closer to have a better look at me…and with a camera in my lap…provided me with photo memories of the swift and effortless upward sweep to the clouds.  On the way back down…my scout went one way around the thicket…and I chose the other path.  I watched carefully as I placed foot after foot on enormous fallen logs.  Bears are known to flatten themselves for a nice nap with a log against their back.  I think it is ergonomically soothing to them somehow.  As I rounded the thicket …the scout walked by a large tree…full of wild turkeys.  He got too close and the turkeys let out a scream and flew above his head.  My protector was suddenly airborne and squealed like a girl.  I laughed until I cried.  Each trip has been met with at least one funny story…a memory made and respects paid for the beauty mother nature holds within her hands.  If you can see a hundred miles with the naked eye…you can see that far from my cabin site.  Many years ago someone sang of river valleys etched in summer rain.  Until you have viewed the world from high above a such a beautiful vantage point…it is hard to fathom how incredibly majestic rivers, lakes and rolling hills look from above.  I have a friend exploring a country with extremely high terrain the likes of which I have never seen and cannot honestly even imagine.  I have another friend whose home in Italy is nestled among the highest mountains in the country.  It takes a certain kind of person to be willing to live among the tall pines when winter falls.  I am not that girl…but over the years I have learned to appreciate all that nature has provided for free.  In the coming weeks I will very carefully consider the fate of my little place in the pines… hoping to find the perfect person to take over stewardship of the land. I have learned a lot about forestry and preserving precious timber resources.  More importantly…I developed a new respect for the many hardships the pioneers endured…so that we may all better understand the true meaning of the words…land of the free…home of the brave. 

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