Bass and a few others chose this place to settle in, for reasons that elude me. I find its stands of ash, hemlock, pine and cedar — the way they form dense green walls that block the horizon — claustrophobic.
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They holed up for a time in the Yaak, where their mother lived. He describes an infamous cop car dashcam video of the two, getting pulled over in Ohio.
Andrew, whose last name I never catch, says he grew up in Florida and sometimes spent family vacations in the Yaak. He and everyone else I meet here have made an uneasy home in the Yaak, aware of its marginal location on the map of America but loyal nonetheless. Once a real estate broker with offices in seven states, he says he was driving one day, talking on the phone with a business associate, when he ran out of patience with the conversation, with the lifestyle, with the phone.
He threw the phone out the window, quit his job and escaped to the Yaak. Some longtime residents, resentful over past squabbles, avoid the bar since he bought it. I finish my drink, and we drive the windy road back to our rented cabin. A great gray owl perches on the eaves, and calls. Behind the cabin, in the darkness, the Yaak River rounds a corner, rustling against the grassy banks. Although meeting a grizzly or other large predator is unlikely so close to the highway, I find the darkness unnerving. I walk closer, listening. Only silence, and the run of the river, rises from the shadows.
Kate Schimel is the deputy editor-digital for HCN.
An Interview with Rick Bass
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Bass won The Story Prize for books published in for his collection of new and selected stories, For a Little While. Little Brown.
The Book Of Yaak
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. American writer.
Southwest Writer's Collection. University of Texas. Retrieved July 25, Narrative Magazine. Retrieved San Francisco Chronicle. Henry Award Winners ".
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