Forgot your password?

We just sent you an email, containing instructions for how to reset your password.

Sign in

  • We drive out on a county road that weaves with the river, and then branch, branch, branch off on gravel roads leading deeper into the forest that flanks the base of grey mountains. These roads have no names.

    T's place is a hand built round cabin; she and her husband live "off the grid" no electricity beyond what solar generates and stores in batteries, water is from their own well, there are no telephone lines (but they have a satellite dish for internet). "There's not a lot of people here."

    The properties here are a minimum of 10 acres, many larger.

    We take a walk up an old logging road, winding the way to the top of Antelope Mountain. The dogs run and play, taking turns being possessive of a small skull they play with like a toy ball.

    From the top of the rise we can see into all the way into Montana; I am told the Clark Fork River was the locale for "A River Run's Through It". It seems like the mountains are stacked in succession, fading in the distance making for an illusion of infinity.

    I am feeling how open this space is. I am thinking of some old experiences with the Sierra Club's Inner City Outings, where we took kids out from the rougher parts of Phoenix to do hikes, places they might never know existed. How open and lonely this is, how much space there is. How many people never get this sense of isolation. An illusion of infinity.

    T starts telling us about the people she bought her place from. She calls them "real mountain people" living off the land, hunting, selling skins and crafts.

    And then she said the reason they left... "it got too crowded."

    I am using Cowbird to share the story of a 15,000 mile road odyssey I took in 2011, which started with me quitting my job in March and setting out in June for a loop around the US and Canada. It's less of a day by day narrative and more of an attempt to tell a story of the story, with some amounts of imagined bits that emerge on looking at the media from the trip, including the more than 1400 images, videos, and audio files collected in my digital time capsule, the Storybox.
    • Share

    Connected stories:


Collections let you gather your favorite stories into shareable groups.

To collect stories, please become a Citizen.

    Copy and paste this embed code into your web page:

    px wide
    px tall
    Send this story to a friend:
    Would you like to send another?

      To retell stories, please .

        Sprouting stories lets you respond with a story of your own — like telling stories ’round a campfire.

        To sprout stories, please .

            Better browser, please.

            To view Cowbird, please use the latest version of Chrome, Safari, Firefox, Opera, or Internet Explorer.