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  • Writer's pictureParker DePond

Solo Care Taking Stint 1

2/8 Day 1.1

My first night in a hut officially working a stint. There are six guys from the ages of 40–82. The youngest got drunk and attempted to set up our telescope. When he called me over to look at it, it just looked like a narrow field of view.

The crew room feels like it is in the 60s I’m going to sleep well tonight. The hike in was amazing, full sun and 40s. Skis didn’t work well on the trail so I carried them. With less people hopefully comes more interesting entries than this. I hiked up

A Sand County Almanac today so I might take a crack at that before going to sleep. I'm going to close the crew room window now and cut off the fire good night.

2/9 Day 1.2


The group of guys last night told me about this deer carcass down the Ethan pond trail. Upon investigation A story emerged. How much the mountain moron fabricated from previous biases in the world we will never know. But here it is from the mountain moron's eyes.


Home is warm, both Iowa and the hut, multiple days of 40° days with bluebird skies has warmed the hut to hoodie temperatures. Persuaded by the grim forecast to come and the lack of midday visitors I sought to find a foretold deer carcass not far from the hut along the Ethan Pond Trail.

The old timers that were here last night told of what they saw regaling me with photos. But I saw the story that could not be told with pictures the kind that move or not.

Three day old yellow blood stained snow blew off the trail and down the hill. A story of paw and hoof prints sprinkle the upslope face. Carefully placed paws lying in the shallow runoff/ravine downhill from hoof tracks. Below the trail a slide of blood traced with tufts of fur slide down the slope we’re all that remains is a human chest size amount of hide. The previous regaled photos show the rib cage and head that has since disappeared. I dared not follow the paw prints any further away.

Hiking back to the hut a clicking sound tugged my ear and directing my eyes to a woodpecker. Just like the predator in the story he too was looking for his next meal. Bouncing from tree to tree unbothered by my interest in him. I wonder if he saw what happened? I wonder if he took time to look at what happened just as I? Probably not but it is fun to imagine the things he has seen from the dead limbs of the forest.


I am still missing five guests from the expected 15, there are currently two groups, one 16 person group and one 4 person group. One Québécois one American, sitting at different tables speaking different languages.


Full guest count has been reached. 15 people and one flirtatious girl. As I write this behind my perch in the middle of the hut I keep catching eyes from across the way. These days it doesn’t take much to make Parker blush, but damn. I am trying to work! And you are here with your parents! And you’re going to be hiking the AT in spring! All sorts of no!

With that being said her dimples have yet to be any other color apart from ember red. I can compare the fire's reflection in her eyes to her skin with the same glace. Her nose hoop is polished silver and her hair a contrasting black, short neat locks of hair unaffected by the hike in or her hat outline her flushed cheeks. When she first walked in the hut I knew she was attempting to catch my eye line and the one time I met her gaze my diaphragm inverted and my cheeks too took on an ember glow.

2/10 day 1.3


I truly am a spring caretaker. Today is partially cloudy skies brought 50°F weather and the scent of spring to Zealand Falls. I am sat on the porch watching ones crystallized water fall off the roof with a Quebecol that stayed behind from his group headed up to Zea-Cliff. The GoPro at my feet records a time lapse of the clouds passing over in the air smells like home.


The boy Scout troop is here 7 scouts 4 adults. They look so much younger than how I remember from shorter eyes.


However the entropic energy remains the same.

The crew room sits atop the kitchen at the crest of staggered stairs. The slanted ceiling provides compact shelter from the question prone young minds below. I want very badly to go have a conversation with the chickadees and Robbins who have been fooled into thinking that the groundhog did in fact predictively Spring would come early. But I fear people will perceive me as working/not working enough. I’m grateful that my biggest concern is currently not enough solitude.

2/11 Day1.4


A group of nerdy looking guys in their 50s stayed here last night I found out today that two of them went to Harvard for their undergrad, Polly-sci and English and one of them is an MIT professor. He teaches Japanese pop culture, as he said “ justifying Weebs existence and anime clubs.”

When I inquired about what the vibe of going to Harvard was and ivy league schools as a whole. Neither one of them entertained my question. When I asked if it had a special place in our hearts once again no answer. I wonder if they were dancing around the answer that we both know there is an undertone of pretentiousness.

They were my least favorite guests this weekend. But I have a feeling that I could find my least favorite in every group. It makes me wonder if I truly didn’t like them or if they just became villainized in my head as a primal response to having in entropic personalities.

I should’ve asked the behavioral psychologist in the Boy Scout group. She would’ve entertain my thoughts in conversation opposed to having been intentionally talked over my head in a sad attempt at an ego-boost.

I pity them away. Here I am sat by a fire with nothing more than my unmedicated thoughts. Happy, and, content. They did not speak of spouses or budding semen sprouts. They found contentment in being the world's expert in the smallest portion of the world's pie. I hope they know who they are if you were to take that away.


I feel no anxiety, no fear, no sorrow, merely peace. Gentle peace. Not gentle as if holding a newborn but gentle as if placing the final stone on top of Karen, I’m sure when the next storm will blow, but certain that it will. Gentle, gentle peace.


I do not study this piece as I do my anxiety it feels dangerous as if I will discover that it is unearned and merely fabricated. Awakening the sleeping Bear that is my sympathetic nervous system, my lizard brain.

2/11 Day 1.5


Guest walked in promptly after writing that. I quickly had to hide the meat that I was attempting to incinerate left by the nerdy guests. Now I can’t find it… so there might be rotting room temp meet somewhere in this hut.

The guests that walked in were a man and a woman both very energetic. Their plan was to hike the Bonds today and hammock or stay at a shelter. If all else fails they said they might be back late tonight.

By energetic mean ADHD, the gentleman 58 years of age told me about his psychiatrist and how she upped his dosage of methylphenidate to 50 mg per day. He told me many stories about how he was more organized and productive in his shop. I inquired what kind of shop he owned and he said he was a cobbler. We went back-and-forth a tad about the local Limmer Boots Company and a few other shoemakers and cobblers around before he gave me a surprising recommendation for a cheap disposable boot.

The woman 46 is an ICU nurse that confided in me she liked gore when I brought up the death in the bonds that I was at the hut for. We then proceeded to talk about folk artists and ghosts/spirits that are said to have a presence in these mountains. They seem like the type of people to open up to a river If they were seen looking at each other. This is an interesting part of the position I did not expect this , people are very open with me about things you would typically not share with a Stranger. People get very comfortable with you very fast.


I don’t feel like writing today, I just had found a good poetic groove when my unplanned visitors stopped in last night. Now I am currently OK with sitting in front of a fire without a sound and merely my thoughts. But when I step away the fire seems to snap commanding me to return. I don’t know if these are merely my childish instincts or the same sympatic bear that I fear to wake.

2/13 Day 1.6


Today I picked up a book Forrest and Craig it is said to be a Bible to the mountain history of the north east. I did not realize that mountaineering and romantic views were such a recent event in human history. I knew that mountains and wilderness with things that people considered foreign but did not fully understand.

I oftentimes question why anyone would climb a mountain. There’s no answer or reason other than recreation. When I find myself in doubt I side with the early settlers of the East and the natives looking upon the winds scoring desolate rocks and do not see anything more than hazards. Even when I am not in doubt, I see them that way and the fear fuels my cells upwards.

2/14 Day1.7


Snow fell last night accumulating 2.1 inches of dust that is being blown around rather violently by the winds. The white temps beyond these walls is blowing glimmering crystals through my clothes doors and windows. The same tempest that intrudes my home also is cleaning my solar panels with its breath. I sit at my desk writing this with minimal excitement for the two guests that I supposedly will have tonight. Unless they’re in their 20s and looking for a third are really old couple this is about to be a very uncomfortable Valentine’s Day for me.


It turned out to be a father daughter couple 62 and 30, thank god. The daughter has an interesting job of working on boats and dropping sonic detectors on the ocean floor to find oil. And the Father retired after working IT for LL Bean.

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