Essay: The joys of a remote Alaska cabin

In an essay for Outside magazine, "Meat Eater" author Steven Rinella celebrates his purchase on a whim of a remote cabin in Southeast Alaska that's "in the slow and steady process of accumulating memories." 

When friends come to visit, they often scrutinize the engineering as though reluctant to commit their full weight to the structure, let alone sleep inside it. While doing so, they’re prone to asking questions like “What made you guys buy this place?” with a weird inflection that seems to betray a hint of pity.

My usual, flippant reply is that real estate cliché about location, location, location. The appeal of our shack isn’t so much the structure itself, but rather the bare-bones nature of its locality. Surrounded largely by the Tongass National Forest, it’s a place where black bears gnaw mussels from the rocks in what might be described as our yard and killer whales pass by so close that you can hear them even with the door closed. But in truth that’s only half the answer.

The other half is more difficult to explain and also a bit masochistic: Saltery Cove is a place where everything—the weather, the ocean, the mountains, the people, the trees, the animals, even the buildings—seems capable of kicking your ass in a very physical way. And in today’s increasingly tame and virtual world, where our primary sensations tend to be delivered by our Wi-Fi connections, a good old-fashioned ass kicking is something worth paying for.

Read more at OutsideOnline: The joys of cabin living in Alaska