The rectangular, one-story cabin six miles from downtown Telluride still looks pretty much the same as it did in 1975, when I was 6 and my parents hired locals to build it from a Lincoln Log-style kit on a five-acre piece of ranchland. This morning I woke in one of the cabin’s four small corner bedrooms and looked out the window to watch the sunrise move shadows over the two mountains dominating the view, Wilson and Sunshine, which sit side by side like thrones and peak around 14,000 feet. Rolling meadows and aspen groves blanket the land near us, and only the ongoing construction at the nearby Telluride Airport blemishes the view.
Then I lay back in bed and studied the swirls and knots in the cedar log walls, seeing patterns and faces in them just as I did as a kid, and contemplated what we’re doing here.
It’s been one week since we left home, and we’ll be here another three weeks. We’re living with my brother and sister-in-law here on Last Dollar Road, where I spent every summer of my childhood. Morgan started coming here with me when he was my boyfriend in high school, so it feels like a second home to him, too.
Morgan and me on the back deck of the cabin in the summer of '85.
Some people have wondered why we’re starting a round-the-world sabbatical in a place so familiar and not exactly adventurous. Let’s see if I can explain.
We gave a lot of thought to making the transition away from regular routines — from a well-off, large-scale, high-speed way of life — into a simpler, more transient lifestyle. We felt the need to unplug, decompress, and adjust to a more flexible and natural way of life. So we came here, to a place where the weather sets the agenda and water from the well is never taken for granted; where laundry is hand washed or taken three towns away to the nearest Laundromat.
The cabin, now home to my brother, David, and his wife, Karen, promised to take us in and help us recalibrate. They did not disappoint. (more…)