The sun is waking us both up earlier. Getting out of bed this morning was easier with the temperatures warming up. With the extra time I decided that enough with procrastination, I would venture out into the bush, brave the early morning spiders on the path and head up to the summit of the hill. It should be a good walk and climb and I’d be back about midday.
Yet how many times had i put off the climb, always one imagined rationale after another. Mentioned in bars or at the dinner table, being too busy or too many conference calls. So definitely glad to be making it after all that time not making it. Actually I had never been before and that momentary fear of the unknown had frustrated my minor ambitions in the past.
As i neared the summit however – fork in the path led off slightly down and around to the southern darker side of the mountain. The bush got thicker and darker even mid morning and a bit of scrambling and blackberry bashing ensued to get to get along and see how it ended up. As it happened I came across a bush cabin in the path, probably 50 years old, made of shingles of stringybark and crudely cut. It had a door and a window and a fireplace outside in a small clearing leading up to the sky. It was quiet when I stopped and looked around. Couldn’t see anyone. No birds. Just me creeping along the path in a kind of frightened way.
The door had an ancient roman style lock on it, far older than the cabin itself obviously. We’ed only been in the country 200 years, and the lock was older than that no doubt. It was in fact locked, so the bolt would not pull back. I tried to see through the window but the reflection on the glass was too bright for me to see clearly in. Calling out though just echoed through the bush with a kind of no-one-else-here sound. Creepy.
Well this was not getting me to the summit so I turned back, but as I got back to the main ascent path, suddenly had a fit of curiosity and ventured down the mountain – not up.
As I walked down the plan came to mind. I would get a portable saw, strong enough to cut through the metal of the lock to open the door and just see what was inside.
Down in the town I found just what i needed and started lugging it back up the mountain in my backpack. My wife called up on my cell phone:-
‘Where are you ?’
‘Just on the way back up the mountain honey,…. I’ve come across an old cabin and just want to try to get in and take a look’.
‘Ok well don’t be all day !. I’m expecting you home this afternoon’ – she said.. click.
I quickened my steps up, breathing hard carrying the extra weight of the saw. Finally made it back to the cabin. Went up to the door and thought hard about the destruction of the lock. It was obviously an old lock. How could I saw it through and then what would it be worth. Wouldn’t that also be kind of break and enter ? A terrible fit of conscience got me and I just couldn’t do it. I sat down wondering what I’d do to pick the lock.. Who would even know how it operated. Just a simple hole in the outside of some casting.
Time for a drink perhaps. I sat down drinking fresh water from the walking flask and wondering for a while. How to get into the cabin ? How to pick the lock ? How not to break the lock or break the door or break the window…and would I even make it up to the summit – which was my real objective after all. Who would put such an ancient lock on such a bush cabin. Had anyone even been inside it inside the last half century ?.
I got up and left again, this time running out of time, I went down the mountain at a loss and returned home.
Photo courtesy of Tersiiska on Flickr – all copy rights reserved.