Back to the Cliffhouse

Twice a day for the next five, I’ll be going across the plateau and up T&S’s little mesa to tend their dogs and horse.


I really wish I could show you this house – there are other impressive houses here and there in the Gulch, all with much more substantial water and electrical infrastructures, but this is the only one I’d describe as an art house. It’s a real pain to get to, but once you’re there you want to just sit in the courtyard and enjoy.

It’s kind of inside-out like an old-fashioned hacienda, with the whole structure wrapping around a central courtyard that’s cool and watered and filled with a thousand plants you’ll never find anywhere else in the high desert. Even when the sun beats down, it’s completely surrounded by long covered porches – and the whole thing is built of stone or logs that came from who knows where – we don’t have that many big logs here – or rough lumber, with whimsical touches everywhere…


Of course utilitarianism rears its head here and there – You know how dogs always know when you’re getting ready to go away? T told me yesterday they knew the jig was up when he c-clamped this board across the low courtyard gate to keep the little one from launching over it, as he’s easily capable of doing…


The dogs spend their days in the courtyard, and I come up twice a day to let them out for a poop and feed them, check water and cat boxes and generally try to keep entropy under control. On Sunday, unless it rains a lot before then, I’ll spend an hour watering everything. I don’t think the dogs do a lot of pooping during their run because it always turns out there are messes to clean up. And at the last before I leave they each get a biscuit, which at first they’re quiveringly eager for but toward the end they get so love-starved they don’t even want it because that means the human is going away again.

I’m very glad I got the Jeep fixed. You might recall this particular gig has been a problem in the past because if you’re going to do it you really want a reliable 4X4.


I spent a lot of money in July getting long-standing problems with the fuel pump and water pump and front axle/steering looked to, and it’s really nice to be able to shut the engine off with some degree of assurance it’ll start back up. Plus today the Jeep clawed its way uphill with its traditional confidence instead of rather-more-or-less and my heart was never in my throat. This’ll be a much more pleasant gig than the last couple of times if everything continues to go well.

About Joel

You shouldn't ask these questions of a paranoid recluse, you know.
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Back to the Cliffhouse

  1. Anonymous says:

    Very nice, I’m sure the photos don’t do justice to the views from the cliff house. One question, how does Torso Boy do in dealing with the dogs you’re feeding, walking and picking up after?

  2. Joel says:

    Stays in the Jeep and demands that they cease to exist. Gets loudly upset when I walk off with them.

To the stake with the heretic!