0001 - A Morning Run to the Stone Cabin
Purple light silhouettes barren and stark ridgelines. With the sunrise, a ribbon of pigment illuminates the horizon and delineates an otherwise colorless and hostile landscape of pine, granite, and ice.
The texture of the countryside is triangular; one always feels off balance, as if standing on a hillside, one foot lower than the other. One feels that there are nearby mountain peaks, there is a valley floor, and there is the angled land between- and that is all. One intuitively feels the water table, the governance of gravity unto that which yields, pulling you with it.
19th century humorists attributed the invention of the one legged milking stool to Pittsfield- the terrain being too continuously sloped for anything else.
But the land is tamed. Animals graze on the many cleared mountainsides, gridded with fences: some made of wood, some wire, some stone. Most of the stone walls are deep in the woods, remnants of 17th and 18th century farms that are now covered in a second, third, or fourth growth of trees.
Columns of smoke rise from isolated homes tucked up in the hills the rise from both my sides.
At -5°F the atmosphere feels more vacuum than substance; your cough is as dry as your lips and you always feel thirsty.
A fresh, dry snow dusts Tweed River Drive, a dirt road now cemented with snow and ice, but enough gravel and sand, to be drivable. Drivable, if you have four wheel drive. Best to have a Jeep or a Land Rover.
I don’t have either, so I just run. I’ve got another 1200 feet of climbing till I’ll reach the stone cabin at summit, where I can try and thaw out a bit before turning myself back to the West, running the 3 miles back to the valley floor, and running up the opposing hillside back to my home.
There could be worse ways to start a day.
There can be better. Like staying warm in bed. That’s what the rest of the world chooses to do. It must be the case since I’m labeled as the crazy one.