The Wall Street Journal recently reported enduring travel chronicler Tim Cahill, known for his horseback rides across the Mongolian steppes and fruitless searching for the elusive Caspian tiger, does his best composing at rest in a rustic, 500-square-foot cabin in southwest Montanna. The cabin is an hour’s drive from Mr. Cahill’s house in Livingston, Montanna and is hidded year-round by thick trees and an anonymous driveway.
Mr. Cahill, co-founder of Outside magazine and author of the descriptively-titled travel logs “A Wolverine is Eating My Leg” and “Jaguars Ripped My Flesh, spends several months every year holed up in the folksy retreat, writing and relaxing. There are two guest cabins nearby, which are part of his property, and an outhouse; the National Forest Service leases Mr. Cahill the half-acre the buildings sit on for about $2,000 a year. Fewer than 200 other cabins share similar arrangements in the area, and these comprise Mr. Cahill’s neighbors. Winters, an old Monarch stove heats the cabin. Summers, a screen door opens onto a small porch where Mr. Cahill enjoys making barbequed chicken “Simon and Garfunkel style”: with parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme.
A little further off the back porch, the Gallatin national forest begins: almost two million square acres of untouched, pristine wilderness which flow eventually into the Greater Yellowstone Wilderness Area. Mr. Cahill’s rambles in this vast woods became the subject of his 2004 book, “Lost In My Own Backyard.” Easily enough accomplished, apparently, when your “backyard” is roughly the size of Switzerland.