Tag Archives: Jeremiah Johnson


7 Jun


June 7,  2020

Day 78

I woke to the quiet voices of twenty-six quail outside our bedroom window and went outside into the mist to feed them. This morning they seemed only slightly skittish and did not scatter as I walked slowly up the steps between them. The sun was rising in a blaze of gold behind a layer of cloud that blanketed the valley. It would burn off within a half an hour but I could not see the moon even though I knew exactly where to look. Photographs would have to wait.




Breakfast in bed and the joy of a letter from the lighthouse keeper. Wonderful way to start the day even if the news was not all good. My education is a work in progress and I know that events turn on jewelled bearings for reasons beyond my limited understanding, but still… I look for order in the world and am dismayed when, at times, I find none. I am, as I have said before, a slow learner.


At 11:00AM I geared up for the task set before me by the gift of yesterday and drove over to Rosie’s. Formed my own private and solo pyramid building crew and began moving the row of foundation post off-cuts.




Five trips, with lunch shoehorned somewhere in the middle. 13 posts. Approximately 4,000 pounds. 5 round trips.




I found a place to put them in the forest off our drive where I can winch them downhill and cut them to length as and when I need them for the piers of the new bathroom and storage room. Until then they will be almost invisible, the green treated wood blending into the brown of ponga trunks and emerald green of fern fronds. I finished after dark, working by the light of the car headlights to lever the last huge post into its resting place. I wrapped up, removed the tarp from the back of the car, stowed my tools and then staggered in to the warm sitting room and the golden light of love, well and truly thrashed. Valerie had set out a cold beer and bowl of sweet-chilli rice crackers to snack on and I checked today’s numbers while she went to the kitchen to prepare a steak and onion dinner. Paradise…





Zero New cases. Zero Recovered cases. The ratio of recovered cases to active and probable cases plus deaths is 99.93%….still.



This day has caught up with me and I am reminded of next to the last line of the letter Jeremiah Johnson found frozen to the corpse of Hatchet Jack, another trapper who had, as his short missive said, “killt the bear that killt me.” It was the scene where Jeremiah, ably played by Robert Redford, inherits the deceased trapper’s Henry rifle (after prying it from his frozen fingers). Matter of fact and to the point, it spoke of the rugged nature of the mountain men and their understanding and acceptance the price that must sometimes be paid for living in the wild. I feel that closing this entry with that line is fitting and apropos, considering that this day has thoroughly kicked my ass…

“Anyway, I am dead.”