For three weeks last summer I lived alone in a rustic dune shack on the outermost tip of Cape Cod as part of an artist-in-residency. I had no electricity, no running water, no neighbors and no wireless. The nearest inhabited area was a 45 minute walk, if you didn’t count the other two shacks which lay off in the distant hills. Water was hand carried after being drawn up by hand pump from the well less than fifty yards away. It was iron-rich, red and earthy tasting. Because of the fragile dunescape I had no mode of transportation; the closest paved road was a 30-minute trek, up and over soft sand. The Atlantic was a few hundred yards away with miles of deserted beaches. Most of the shacks are perched on a dune with the ocean stretching out in front of you. My shack was tucked down in the dunes, hidden from hikers and surrounded by fragrant salt spray roses, beach plums and stunted pitch pine and oak. There was no Internet. I used a solar charger to juice up my cell phone. Cell reception required climbing the tallest dune. All I could hear was the rumbling surf, occasional fog-horn and the wind. Talk about solitude. I was in my element.
Suzanne Lewis is an artist, photographer and world traveler.
Dune Shack Summer (Large Edition) Published May 05, 2009