I drive by this alpine meadow near my house most days and see a shingled roof up there through the trees. I’ve been so curious about this cabin since glimpsing it for the first time last year.
So a few weeks ago I was traveling past mid-morning on a weekday and I had my camera with me. The day was golden and the cabin was calling.
I was out of my car and through the tree line by the roadside before I’d thought it through. I was in flip flops—not the best—but the meadow wasn’t too high, so I wandered up the hill to the cabin—heart racing a little at my bold trespass. At that moment I was a 12 year old again, walking the long driveway to an abandoned house with my childhood friend. The house was a big old plastered farmhouse with broken windows and rotten porches. It lay below a ridge line where the owner was purported to live. Local kids gossiped that the owner watched the house with binoculars, and as we walked the long driveway, we felt his eyes drilling into us.
We went room by room in the downstairs, each creaky floorboard making us jump. The stairs were questionable, but we took them, staying close to the edges where they seemed more secure. The rooms were musty and mousy. There was very little to find other than a few empty bottles and cigarette butts from teenagers who were curious like us. I do remember the old moldings and big wide window frames. I remember looking past the neglect to how lovely the whole place could have been with care.
Back in the here and now, I’ve walked through hawkweed and clover, daisies and ferns and here is this shuttered cabin. There is wood on the porch. A sign that someone has been here in the last few years, but the wood is gray and brittle—its usefulness fading just like the worn cloth on the gorgeous pillow I see on the porch. New boards on the steps suggest that the place isn’t totally neglected. But the big rotten hole in the porch itself signaled abandonment.
The doors and windows are shuttered tight, so maybe someone will come back and give this little place an airing and spend a few nights. I’d love a glimpse inside. But I’m not that bold. I’ll just have to imagine it.