Stories, Learning & Place

Friday, January 07, 2005

The offending cabin
   A purification

Far up on west-facing slope of Mount Kakashe, Gilbert Holyoak had taken his boy scout troop to build a small crude cabin. He knew structures were banned, but he had enough boy in him to take some delight in creating a secret refuge in a secret place.

They picked a site off all trails, and lashed together upright lodgepole pine to form the walls. They stored sleeping bags and tents in the cabin, so that they could hike to it carrying only food, extending the range of their hikes. 

The cabin couldn’t be seen from a trail, and only a careful woodsman could have found it at all.  But word got to the Tribes that it existed, and tribal wardens climbed the mountain searching for it. Sometime after they found it, they got around to calling the scoutmaster. They gave him two weeks to remove it. 

But winter had settled and snow at the cabin site was chest-high. He said he would go in when spring came and remove the structure. He had the impression that this was agreeable, but a little later, a warden climbed in on snowshoes and set fire to the cabin, without removing the equipment. He left the melted and scorched sleeping bags, the cooking utensils, and the canned food scattered and smoldering in the wilderness, its purity restored according to policy. 


Posted by Michael L Umphrey on 01/07 at 06:50 AM
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©2005 Michael L. Umphrey
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