Candy B. Harrington
I was raised in the mountains. The forest was my playground and my father taught me to love and respect nature from a very early age. I adored the solitude of the winters on my mountain; so much so that I went back there in my twenties to winter there.
It wasn’t easy, as the road wasn’t plowed and I had to trudge through six feet of snow to get up to my car on the main road.
It wasn’t unusual to go without power for several weeks either, but again I stuck it out. And there was always firewood to lug inside. That was my least favorite part, but it just came with mountain life.
Soon my travel writing career took me away from my mountain. I went back for brief visits, but never to live – that is until my father passed away. After that, something drew me back to my mountain. I wanted to winter there and I hoped I still had the physical stamina and fortitude to do it. And this time, I wasn’t alone, as I also introduced my husband to my mountain.
We had snow by Thanksgiving in our first winter and by Christmas we were surrounded by six foot drifts. And then there came the blissful solitude, where we’d go weeks without seeing another human being. And the quiet was simply amazing.
Then, the big storm hit in January. We had over 100 trees down on our little road and we lost power for almost two weeks. It was challenging as we had to scramble over chest-high downed trees just to get up to the main road.
But I did it! And, I’ve continued to do it every winter since. And when I’m gone, my ashes will winter on my mountain.
The moral of the story is, yes, you can go home again. Sometimes it’s a very personal journey, but you can do it.
Photos by Charles Pannell