Coming Down

☆ September 25, 2011



43 Responses to “Coming Down”

  1. NG in NH
    September 25th, 2011 @ 8:15 pm

    Wow. What an amazing experience — thanks for sharing parts of it with us.

  2. Katie
    September 25th, 2011 @ 8:50 pm

    I’m an envious of your summer, yet, I know I have obligations right now in my life and can’t life off the grid for that long. Maybe one day. Thank you for sharing these bits of your life with us!

  3. Maggie
    September 25th, 2011 @ 9:28 pm

    Wow, sounds like a very intense day. Glad you’re safe.

  4. Claire
    September 25th, 2011 @ 9:33 pm

    Glad you and family are back safe. Look forward to your posts on your 3 month off the grid adventure. I’m sure Mike is thrilled to have you back.

  5. pogonip
    September 25th, 2011 @ 10:10 pm

    The Universe seems to have known that you needed a slow transition off the mountain–no brakes were a blessing in disguise!

    Thanks for taking us along for the summer :)

  6. mady
    September 26th, 2011 @ 12:58 am


  7. Karen
    September 26th, 2011 @ 5:42 am

    Having the brakes go out with 4000’of vertical descent to go is a “tiny bit stressful”???? I would have been “AAAAGGGGHHHGH!!!!” You are a brave and adventurous woman, Shreve.

    I think, though, I’ve felt your sense of displacement in miniature, coming home from a several-day geology field trip. To spend glorious days looking at the most fantastic rocks in the desert, thinking about how they came to be and how they arrived where they are now, and then to go home and pick up the old routine is a real down (except for the hot shower!!!).

    The sense of displacement is GREATLY reduced by writing about the experience. It may be that another book is in order here, or at least a detailed description that can be added to and turned into a book after doing it a few times. “Summers On The Mountain” by Shreve Stockton.

  8. Chris
    September 26th, 2011 @ 7:17 am

    It is amazing how living in elevated solace (so to speak, has the ability to de-age us and cause us to learn what truly matters. Equally amazing how the animals that love us, implicitly trust us, too!

  9. Meg
    September 26th, 2011 @ 7:22 am

    I am glad to hear that you made it back safe and sound. I will miss the mountain adventure posts however =)

    I cannot imagine how you would feel coming back after so long away in the comfort of nature. I know after 1 week of being away camping, I go into a mild state of depression having to come back. I don’t wash my camping clothes right away so when I need to I can smell the campfire, the windblown shirts and the sap stuck to my jeans from adventuring.

    I’m sure you will have loads of memories that will always come flooding back to you at random times, that always happens to me!

  10. Susie
    September 26th, 2011 @ 7:24 am

    Hmmm, I “see” another book ahead. Welcome back “down” and enjoy your memories and dreams of the mountain. We will await your insights from your return next year.

  11. Ticia
    September 26th, 2011 @ 7:47 am

    Well, welcome back to your other home. Change can really suck. I’m sure it won’t take you long to acclimate, though. Can’t wait to hear more about your adventures up high and the new ones you will be having in the valley.

  12. Robert (Gideon-x) Mowers
    September 26th, 2011 @ 8:10 am

    “Welcome to the Low-Lands” …. can sort of relate to what you experinced, did a summer at a high sheep-camp here in Arizona, years ago.
    Any critter pic’s ?

  13. Marg
    September 26th, 2011 @ 8:13 am

    I’ve heard meditators complain about the shock once they return from their retreats. Too loud, too hard too much sensory overload. I wonder what the balance would be? Ummm, do you think it’s time for some TLC for that faithful old truck of yours? How’s that for a reality slam.

  14. hello haha narf
    September 26th, 2011 @ 8:15 am

    i am interested in reading about the “ending process” you briefly mentioned…

  15. Loran
    September 26th, 2011 @ 8:24 am

    Re-entry is a challenge! Fortunately, as humans, we are somewhat adaptable.

  16. rottrover
    September 26th, 2011 @ 8:34 am

    welcome back to this world…

  17. Gertrud Stockton
    September 26th, 2011 @ 9:25 am

    Shreve, I am glad you are back. Hope you are back to normal, whatever that is for you.
    I am going to the health food store today to pick up a sprouting jar and I will take along your cookbook to show them again what a loss it is for them; when they do not re-order. I am not allergic to Gluten but I find so many wonderful recipes there. Or is that book out of print. If you told all your present followers about it, it would sells many. I almost used a word that starts with M.
    And I noticed you left your rocks on the mountain.Do you want me to send you some of my small beach rocks?

  18. Theresa Szpila
    September 26th, 2011 @ 9:40 am

    Does the world feel smaller and more crowded now that you are back from the wide open spaces of the mountain? Are you “adjusting” to home again?

    I’m glad the lack of brakes didn’t matter, though I think I would have been very nervous coming down the mountain without them.

    Welcome home for the winter!

  19. Deanna
    September 26th, 2011 @ 9:55 am

    Shreve, I’m so glad you were able to have that experience. But then you are an adventurous soul. Very few people could do the things you do, stepping into the unknown with an open heart. Perhaps you can consider coming back as another kind of adventure. I will be thinking about you a LOT. I hope you can feel the love.

  20. rhonda
    September 26th, 2011 @ 10:13 am

    My “mountain” is a tropical island somewhere….away from everyone. After reading about your summer, I have never wanted to go as badly as I do now.

    Love the handwritten letters….

  21. Nathalie
    September 26th, 2011 @ 10:47 am

    Re-entry is always so hard for me after a few days of backpacking (we just spent 3 days in the sequoia’s and I’m in civilization denial) but I can’t imagine being gone so long and then coming back to the city. Your city and mine are so different, but still, it’s the mindset of coming home after being so fulfilled in the backcountry. I feel your tears and really am digging on the handwritten posts. Regardless, glad you made it safely down. Now you can plan the next ‘getaway’!

  22. Coral
    September 26th, 2011 @ 11:21 am

    Rhonda’s comment about the tropical island made me want to post: our honeymoon was in the British Virgin Islands. It had been a life goal of mine to see the Caribbean. I think I must have always instinctively known – those islands are my soul’s home and always will be. It was terrible to come back, and I miss them everyday. It sounds as if the rugged wilderness is your soul’s home.

  23. Green Goose
    September 26th, 2011 @ 11:41 am

    Wonderfully emotional post. Best wishes in your re-acclimation, I can only imagine all of the huge and minuscule ways your life will be changing this week. Thanks again for sharing your adventure with us!!

    ps, Have you by chance seen the Robert Duvall movie, “Get Low” ? He is a mountain hermit and on his first automobile ride (albeit in an early-century Ford), he commented on how fast it felt. LOL He’d only ever been on foot, horseback, or mule-drawn buggy before.

  24. linda
    September 26th, 2011 @ 12:14 pm

    What a great life you have!

  25. SuburbanPrairie
    September 26th, 2011 @ 12:15 pm

    Even if it feels weird, and means your summer of bliss is over… Welcome home. :-)

  26. Stacey
    September 26th, 2011 @ 12:36 pm


    I don’t know if anyone has shared with you yet, but in Scotland up until maybe the mid 20th C people in the country used to do the same thing! They’d spend the summers in the upper pastures and take their whole “farmilies” with them too. I finally found an article to send you about the practice: Very very cool. I wonder if they cried too…
    Be well!


  27. LJ
    September 26th, 2011 @ 1:34 pm

    To Karen – Yes wonderful – “Summers On The Mountain” by Shreve Stockton.

    Please do Shreve!

    Welcome back, I can’t wait to hear more ;-)

  28. Patr
    September 26th, 2011 @ 2:00 pm

    You post makes me go hum and ponder the deer and elk that journey to the low lands in the winter if they feel the same displacement. Especially with all the people and lack of solitude.

    Emerge into your low land life slowly….Keep some of the milk to cheese process running at home. Incorporate the simple things into everyday. Location needs not matter if it is something you love doing.

  29. Pat D.
    September 26th, 2011 @ 2:52 pm

    Welcome back! Glad to hear everybody made it safely off the mountain. Now you’ll need a vacation to recuperate from your vacation…

  30. Julie
    September 26th, 2011 @ 6:03 pm

    Thank you, Shreve, for sharing your intense move back to “civilization.” I can surmise the grieving process it entailed, and am so glad you took this holiday – wish I could too!

    BTW, how has Charlie responded to being back at home?

  31. PatH
    September 26th, 2011 @ 6:03 pm

    Wow! I enjoyed the symbolism of the last ride down the mountain with no breaks in first gear at night, cats for company! Guess after the first trip down you had to reenter slowly!

    I’ve attended a few meditation retreats and reentry is similar to a peaceful vacation or living in the wilderness. Reentry is important to keep connected to the solitude and silence within. Zooming back to reality (whatever your reality) after solitude can cause sensory overload with many emotions and reactions coming up.

    I’ve learned to “reenter” slowly either at night or very early, return a day or two before going back to work, not answer the phone or use electronics, eat lightly and keep quiet, etc. Then I’m more mindful returning. Some do transition easily.

    One time I drove home after a three week meditation retreat and started work the next morning where I felt like a stranger in a strange land and it took days to adjust.

    Welcome back…Did the animals go through any transition?

  32. Jenny C
    September 26th, 2011 @ 7:11 pm

    Aw mannn… feeling your pain, big time. I often cry when ending an adventure/leaving a place that feeds my soul. It’s rather startling just how physically painful it can be. That hefty price of leading an extraordinary life. I know you’re well on your way to a sense of equilibrium, but I’ll bet that entails looking forward – already – to next summer on the mountain.

    From your tweet on Charlie’s response to your dancing, it sounds like he had a pretty good sulk going with his bad self. Poor baby – too smart for his own good sometimes. Too sweet how the cows were cool and calm, and the cats were just happy to be where you were. If you have to be without brakes, it’s best to do it w/a truck full o’ cats, I’m just sure of it. I found myself more concerned about the lost-brakes part of your adventure than anything that could have happened on the mountain. So glad you made it safely home.

    Camped in the back of beyond years ago, and a hunter shot himself through the leg w/his arrow (bow hunting season – ijit). Had to stuff him in a jeep and drive to medical care down steep dirt roads turned to “grease” from a torrential downpour. Made no difference at all whether we had brakes or not. Harrowing. I do believe that jeep still has dents in the dashboard that match my fingertips exactly.

    Pat H., what a thoughtful post.

  33. Jenny C
    September 26th, 2011 @ 7:13 pm

    P.S. – I adore the “To Find a Hiding Place” photo of Charlie.

  34. TomT
    September 26th, 2011 @ 7:43 pm

    Loved the story Shreve. I can’t wait to find out what you were up to all summer. Here’s hoping it’s another book!

    BTW, I find it awesome that Charlie and Chloe get along so well.

  35. Lesley
    September 26th, 2011 @ 10:08 pm

    Welcome back down; and it almost seems as if those broken brakes helped slow it down so you could ease into it better. You never know when lemonade-making lemons will strike.

    It’s pretty obvious we enjoyed your summer, too. Thank you, Shreve.

  36. Carrie Mc W
    September 26th, 2011 @ 10:38 pm

    …cool experience…very interesting what our souls need to survive…

  37. sophie
    September 26th, 2011 @ 10:39 pm

    I love how your writing makes it feel so personal. I feel as if i know you! Your handwritten posts -with the wild Wyoming rocks holding the paper down- emphasize your humor and your love for the wild. Since reading your book, “The Daily Coyote” (maybe you’ve heard of it?) it’s a wonder how much you’ve accumulated since! A true dream you are living. Now stop reading comments and have fun with your gang! Love and let live ~S

  38. Janet H.
    September 27th, 2011 @ 5:35 pm

    Reading your posts is always a pleasure. Having traveled down a couple of those mountain roads back in our camping days out west I know that a 4000 foot descent is nothing to sneeze at, even with brakes. We had a couple of times when our car brakes threatened to give out, got hot and were smelling a bit burnt! We were going about 15 mph quite a bit of the time, too! Glad you had the gears to use to gear down. And the kitties for company!

  39. Anita Lowery
    September 27th, 2011 @ 6:45 pm

    I can’t believe it is over where did the summer go! Take us back next year if you go again.

  40. Evan
    September 27th, 2011 @ 8:12 pm

    I went to Montana for 10 wonderful warm sunny days. I drove back along I-90 towards Seattle. As I hit Cle Elum/North Bend, the clouds covered the sun and I knew I was back in the PNW. I cried the rest of the way home. It’s hard when you finally find “your place” to have return to the realities. Back to work!

  41. Sunny
    September 27th, 2011 @ 10:10 pm

    I am glad for your summer, and so pained to hear of your grief to leave it. I know it’s a part of life and all, but I wish you could always be where you wished.


  42. CathyA
    September 28th, 2011 @ 6:10 am

    I’ve felt the same displacement after coming back from a year in South America where I lived in the boonies. All that noise and glitter. Such busyness. So different from that truck ride into the mountains after a visit to the “big city” and the hour walk back to the house along a river.

    The trick is to find that in yourself wherever you are.

    And perhaps to not get sucked back into the same routine but change it to foster what you found on the mountain.

  43. carmel
    September 30th, 2011 @ 3:54 pm

    “She’ll be coming down the mountain when she comes” …welcome home!

Leave a Reply


    • mwchrdF
    • SBhrd
    • Ahrd
    • Bhrd
  • More, Elsewhere

    • tdcbuttonb
    • newshopbutton16s
    • IGflicka
  • Tweets

  • Follow Honey Rock Dawn

    Enter your email address to receive new posts via email.

  • My Books

    • tdccoverbutton
    • ten
  • What I’m Reading

  • Categories

  • RSS