Originally published by Originally published in Longreads / Also appeared on lonelyplanet.com

Longreads: The Cabin

Lavinia Spalding

The old rancher stood on the porch of my log cabin, shuffling his boots. Then he lowered the rim of his cowboy hat, squinted, and delivered the news I’d been dreading — the news that had probably been inevitable from the start.

Though I say the cabin was mine, I should confess it was really his. The rancher’s. Still, I felt possessive. I’d lived there only months, but I loved the wide covered porch where I’d hung my rope hammock, bought for 20 bucks in Mexico. I loved the woodstove and my nascent ability to make a half-decent fire on a chilly night. I loved the view from my picture window, past bright green fields and golden sandstone mesas, all the way to a distant blue triangle of mountain. A herd of deer grazed insouciantly in my yard each evening, a chorus of coyotes sang late at night. I loved everything about my cabin — especially what it represented: something that had eluded me my entire adult life.

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Every perfect traveler always creates the country where he travels.” –Nikos Kazantzakis