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settling in

July 12, 2010

The view from the porch.

Friday, June 25 — First day at the cabin. 1.5 hours and a quarter tank of gas from Missoula. Drove Thursday morning into Opportunity, where I found Skip’s Mini-Storage and rented an 8×12 unit, unloaded, and dropped off the U-Haul on Landfill Road in Anaconda. They didn’t charge me for the extra days. Unloaded the truck at the cabin, opening it up for the first time, and then drove on into Anaconda, picked up another load of cabin stuff from the storage unit, and stopped at Safeway to spend $140 on groceries and supplies. It’s 13.3 miles from the cabin to the Anaconda Safeway, and another 7.5 miles to Skip and Millie’s place in Opportunity, with the sheet steel cutouts of the moose on the side of their house. Passed a dead moose on the side of the road on the drive in.

All the creeks are up right now, it’s been a wet spring here. I’ll need to do my Silver Bow and Warm Springs Creek paddling before the water runs too low.

There are several theories on the origina of the name Anaconda, good at suggesting how, but not entirely satisfying as to the why. The most popular seems to be that the town was named by the local postmaster for a Civil War campaign after founder Marcus Daly’s original choice—Copperopolis—was found to be already in use. I suspect that unlike Opportunity, which was a clear case of reverse psychology, wishful thinking, or outright deception, Anaconda’s suggestive originas are pretty straightforward. And anaconda strangles and then it consumes. If it shat poison, the name would be even more perfectly apt.

I’ve spent the day piddling, putting up bookshelves and setting up the computer and doing laundry and unpacking groceries, uploading pictures from the trip and taking a few more from the porch. The sun has gone down and twilight is settling in. It’ll be dark in another 30 minutes.

I can’t see Opportunity from here, but I can feel it out there, 21 miles down the road, fading. True dark at close to 10:30, with a last glimmer of light rimming the mountains behind Georgetown Lake.

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