This is it...the sheep herders shack. This was the accommodations where my grandparents stayed during the long deer season each fall from the late 1950's until my grandmother passed away in 1969. The cabin was moved deep into the desert sometime in the early 70's. I heard rumors of it's location but never knew exactly where to find it. I haven't seen it for nearly 40 years until today.
My cousin Ron sent this to me today in an e-mail along with the cabin's exact location. He is the one who obtained the pine cabinet that displays the signitures of all the cabin's visitors.
Ron took these pictures just a few weeks ago.
I was thrilled to see it again. Although I remembered it as being much larger. The wood cookstove were Grandma baked biscuits and pies and brewed coffee in the giant granite pot sat just inside the door on the right, directly across the room sat the seemingly large plank table under the window. Though looking at the picture now, I realize there couldn't have been much room for Grandma to manuver her wheelchair. It's funny how when we are small children the world seems so much larger.
It nestled under the old growth pines in the days of my memory. A small one room shack sat behind it. Huge metal water tanks sat up on tall wooden legs off to the cabin's side, their underbellie the cooling place for the tender forked horn buck killed opening morning and used as camp meat during the long season. Tents and camp trailers, pickups and old cars surrounded the home-site, the cabin, the hub of our little fall settlement. Now it sit's in the open desert, a stubby lone juipar grows at it's side.
I plan to visit and take my husband and daughter. To them it may appear only as a little rundown shack, but to me it's a memory of a grand fortress. During our time, my family would make the long journey from Bend over snow burdened roads a month after deer season to prepare and share a grand meal celebrating Thanksgiving in that little shack.
It has been renevated over the years, modernized with electricity, new windows and a metal roof. I think the old roof was covered in handmade wooden shakes. I vaguely remember being able to look up and see sparkles of light peeking through the weatherd wood. The rest appears to be much the same.
Although not much to look at it is packed full of precious memories. as it must have been packed full of family so long ago when the Brittain clan became it's tenants.
Sherrie Gant is a writer, photographer, and