Ridge | Badger Mountain, WA | February 2020

Houses up high with magnificent views sometimes feel soulless. Many are built on shaky egos — too big, too empty, too lacking in what makes a house a home. They beg for cozy reading nooks, a compact kitchen, small quick-clean bathrooms and dog-proof floors. And then there’s the Camaquen. Years ago at college, my Peruvian roommate explained why our third-floor dorm room gave him the sniffles. “We’re much too high,” he said. High above what? “Oh, you know,” he said. “The Camaquen — the Presence that pools in low places. The stuff of life.” The following semester he moved off-campus to a basement apartment and thrived.

[In photo: Big houses jostle for the best view on Badger Mountain. In the foreground is the roof of a maintenance shed located a couple of miles from the ridge.]