Day 144… A House on a Hill

Morning View from the House on the Hill
“I find it wholesome to be alone the greater part of the time. To be in company, even with the best, is soon wearisome and dissipating. I love to be alone. I never found the companion that was so companionable as solitude.” 
― Henry David Thoreau, Walden, or Life in the Woods

Another day, we wake up to another day on the surface nothing is different, but somehow a seismic change seems to be taking place, the planets are realigning themselves a certain weight seems to be starting to lift. This feeling I felt this morning. I am not sure if it was the result of the “Phoebe” run from yesterday or the evening spent in a quiet house in the woods away from it all, disconnected from the outside world for a few hours. Whatever the case I woke up this morning with the world a little clearer. 

I have come to realize just how important, getting off the grid is for me. I know I have written of this before but when the noise seems to engulf me and the outside stimuli becomes too much to handle this is when I shut down. I have lived off the grid, for a fleeting moment in my life but an important one.
This time taught me how to live without things, yes we had electricity, hot water and modern amenities but if we wanted to use them we had to first check how well the batteries charged in the not so sunny Northwestern Montana climate. This house was a little piece of heaven nestled off an old logging road it was my first experience with self sufficient living and solitude. Sure I had spent my summers growing up in the Adirondacks but always surrounded by family, no here in Montana it was the hours on end I spent alone that I had my first taste of simplicity. If I wanted heat in the house I had to keep the wood stove  going throughout the day. If I wanted electricity I had to check the batteries, and if they wouldn’t suffice I had to hand-pull the generator. At 23 years old it was a lesson in self sufficiency and solitude. I learned to embrace the natural surroundings and soak in the quiet.
I need the solitude, as I sat last night at my friends house buried in the woods atop a mountain I realized this quiet had been missing. It brought me back to my time in Montana. The simplicity of it all got to me, a movie on the TV and a fire in the wood stove it was all so simple and simple is good. I left the house this morning feeling like I had been away for days. The disconnect recharged me. I then did something unprecedented in my workday, I just left. I used the time I would have taken for lunch and left between meetings, I wasn’t gone for more than an hour but in that time I was able to climb to the same overlook as yesterday and continue my journey out of my recent darkness. I was almost leaping down the trail today as I headed back to my car and work. I may have even sang along out loud to my Pandora station at times. I didn’t really care for the first time in a while my legs weren’t feeling like complete led. The weight is slowly starting to lift and I can focus back in on what started this all, the urge to get in the woods and embrace the simplicity of it all.
After leaving the house on the hill, I hearkened Thoreau, yes the one Henry David Thoreau for I have been to Walden Pond many times and envied the convictions it took for him to move into that small cabin alone in the woods. Many profound thoughts were evoked during his time there and I to one day hope to find my own Walden Pond Cabin, only mine would be nestled on the side of a mountain, and I think it would have to include wi-fi. The twenty-first century Thoreau with an Internet connection they can turn off at will.
Margaret Schlachter

About Margaret Schlachter

Margaret Schlachter is Founder of She has been part of the OCR Community since 2010. When not working on the next article she can be found running from race-to-race. She is Editor-in-Chief of She authored the book Obstacle Race Training.
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3 Responses to Day 144… A House on a Hill

  1. Paul says:

    Great post. Glad you are re energized and focused. The quiet solitude is simply epic. Alone in your thoughts and able to wax nostalgic of simpler times. Have a kIckass weekend and may you get away more often.

  2. he blog was how do i say it… relevant, finally something that helped me. Thanks

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