Cascade Mountain Range - Wolf Study Project
Day 1 - September 15th, 2021
Arrived at cabin this morning. The cabin provided by the rangers is small, but nice. I should be able to get everything unpacked and ready for my study to begin in a few days.
Found generator has broken down, so I’ll have to wait to start taking samples until I can get it repaired by the caretaker. Thankfully it looks like shelves are well stocked with provisions, so at least there’s that.
Hoping to be able to get trail cameras set up in the next few days.
On a personal note, I have to say I love this place already. I can see Mount Baker from my porch and it is so majestic.
Jayne closed her logbook knowing she should probably prepare the rest of her study papers, but without a working generator she didn’t want to risk running her laptop battery down without the ability to charge it or her phone, let alone keep her study samples refrigerated.
Sighing, she lifted one of her boxes to the table and began to unpack her laboratory supplies. Quickly tying her long bright purple hair up into a messy bun, she pulled out her pocket knife and cut the tape sealing the box open.
Setting up her microscope, slides, and specimen jars while checking and double checking her inventory to make sure she had everything listed, Jayne didn’t notice the sound of heavy boots walking across the porch that ran across the back of her cabin.
Suddenly, the door of her cabin swung open with a resounding boom causing Jayne to scream and drop a graduated cylinder making it shatter on the desk.
Turning, she saw the largest man she’d ever seen walked in, carrying a bundle of firewood on his shoulder, his feet tracking in mud.
Trying to back away, Jayne caught her foot on one of the many boxes that littered the floor. Loosing her balance, she fell back against the table, her hands slamming down onto the broken glass.
"Shit!" she hissed, looking down at her bloody hands, several large pieces of glass sticking out of her palms.
Looking up, Jayne realized that the stranger was just as surprised by her presence as she was of his.
Slowly, he lowered the bundle of wood to the floor before moving across the room to stand towering over her.
Without a word, he reached out gently took her hand in his own large, calloused one. Looking it over, he looked up into Jayne's sea foam grey eyes with his own bright blue ones with a look of concern.
Breathing heavily, Jayne waited to see what this monster sized man would do. Even with a black belt in karate, there would be little she could do to stop him from hurting her if that was his plan.
Cupping her bleeding hands, he tugged her towards the kitchen where he turned on the faucet, adjusting the nob until the water was warm before guiding her palms under it.
When he could see the cuts clearly, the stranger used his large fingers to pick out the shards of glass gently.
"Ow," Jayne hissed.
The stranger looked down at her through a curtain of tangled black hair, his gaze apologetic.
Jayne nodded her understanding wishing he would say something, anything to her.
Nodding in reply, the stranger returned to tending to her hands.
When he was sure that all the glass was gone, he grabbed a first aid box she'd never noticed before and began wrapping her hands in bandages.
"Thank you," Jayne said, her voice soft and gentle.
"Who are you?" she asked, unable to hide her curiosity.
The stranger looked at her sadly, then turned away to begin collecting the wood he'd dropped earlier.
"My name is Jayne," Jayne said, hoping he'd reply.
The stranger looked back at her, his eyes now hard as he moved the wood to a box next to the fireplace before tearing the logs to bits with his bare hands and building a fire.
"What's your name?" she asked, the strangers continued silence beginning to make her nerves stand on end.
"Are you the caretaker the rangers told me about?" she asked, trying to get any reply besides a nod.
Instead, he silently nodded as he continued to work.
"Can you not speak?" Jayne asked, the idea that he was mute finally occurring to her.
She watched as he hung his head before shaking it side to side.
"I'm sorry," she breathed, her bandaged hand resting over her heart, "I didn't realize."
Shaking his head again, the stranger stood up and moved to the door, looking like he was just going to leave.
"Wait," Jayne said, reaching out to touch his shoulder.
On contact, the man snarled and turned on her, his teeth bared.
Frightened, Jayne pulled her hand away as if he'd burned her.
Seeming to realize what he'd done, the stranger looked contrite, his feet shuffling as his sad eyes examined her face.
Turning, he walked out into the growing darkness of the early winter evening, closing the door firmly behind him.
"What the fuck?" Jayne breathed out moving to look out the back window trying to see where the stranger was going.
As far as she knew, there wasn't another residence in this part of the mountains for at least forty miles, and she hadn't heard a car or ATV coming up the road before the stranger entered.
Seeing only snow covered wilderness, Jayne craned her neck to look as far to the left and right as she could, but all she saw was endless, untouched nature.
Shaking her head and sighing, Jayne turned back to look at the table cover with glass and blood.
Rolling her eyes, Jayne rummaged through the closets and cabinets of her cabin until she found a worn out broom.
Grabbing the trashcan, she picked up everything off the table and put it back in the box, then she swept the broken glass from the table before beginning her inventory once more.
As it grew darker, Jayne finally gave up emptying boxes and taking her kerosene lamp moved to the kitchen to make herself dinner.
Opening a can of chicken noodle soup and a pack of crackers, she poured the oily contents of the can into a small pan, she nibbled on a cracker while it warmed up over a propane cooking plate.
Tomorrow she'd finish unpacking and organizing her equipment, then her real work could begin.
"Shit," she cussed aloud. She should have asked the stranger if he could take a look at the generator.