the long road home.

i love silence. 

being alone with my own thoughts is one of the most comfortable spaces for me to be in.  this is no surprise to anyone who knows how much of an introvert i am- 86% according to the most recent personality quiz branno and i decided to take; he's pretty much the opposite. also not a surprise. 

so, when questioned by our landlord, the previous tenants and random friends about how we'd do with the complete and utter silence found when living alone in the wilderness, my answer came easy: "I'm going to love it," i'd say, as if it were just matter of fact. 

and for the most part, i do find it soothing.  it feels similar to the freedom i find when we start driving down our 4-mile dirt driveway/road, and i begin to lose any and all cell service.  i'm not hackled with any of the "pressing" matters i used to feel the need to respond to immediately. there's more room to breathe, more time to focus on what matters. 

but naturally, as with any big life change and especially with those made in a matter of days, there are some things you seem to forget or overlook. for instance, in the excitement and hustle to get things done, you may not recall the fact that your imagination tends to run wild when sitting in complete darkness- because, oh yeah, you're kind of afraid of the dark.  

when i make most major decisions in my life, they often come to fruition in a surge of inspiration and motivation.  they happen quickly.  i tend to not leave time or space for reality to set in and bring me down, as i feel it often does.  but it does always catch up. always. and i have my freak out moment(s) in due time.  

luckily for us, branno and i had ours at separate times. 

his turn came first as we walked into Murdoch's Ranch & Home Supply. wanting to grab a few more things that we could barely fit into the floor-to-roof packed car (with Murphy, my cat, stuffed somewhere amongst the luggage), we walked in only to be greeted by full aisles dedicated to cowboy boots, a corner of the store sitting in a sea of blue jeans (probably Wranglers) and more camo and Carhartt than I've ever seen under one roof. 

things got real...real fast.

while i was taking note of and enjoying the drastic contrasts to the life we just left, he was feeling a bit overwhelmed and out of place, which was a completely fair reaction.  

we made it out and began to make our way on the final stretch before reaching the cabin. we gave mike (newly dubbed "mountain mike") a head's up that we were almost there and were advised to keep an eye on the sides of the road for the last 20 or so miles before our road. it had started to get dark out and the mule deer were out in herds and apparently, "not the smartest," when it came to avoiding running into moving vehicles. 

driving down the long, dark stretch of highway, i felt more alert and focused than a slightly buzzed person trying to follow the yellow lines home (not that i would know what that's like...).

when we finally made it to the 4-mile dirt (then snow) road that would bring us home, we both felt a sense of relief.  we stopped by the swan valley corner store to pick up our hand-drawn map from steve, the owner of the shop, as per mike's directions.  it was a long waving line with some branches marked "elk flats" and "coyote forest" with our "x" as the furthest and last point on the grid (well, off the grid, really). 

when we finally pulled up to our glowing, red-roofed destination, excitement took over. 

we were home.