Mike ErvinThis is why Thoreau retreated to Walden Pond:

“I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately,” he wrote, “to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived … I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life.”

Well hell, who wouldn’t want to do that? And the way to do that, Thoreau wrote, is, “to live so sturdily and Spartan-like … “
That ain’t so easy when you’re crippled. But I’ll give it my best shot. Thoreau lived in a house that he built himself. Not me. I’m retreating to an accessible cabin that was built by a bunch of volunteers on a campground in a state park in Wisconsin called the Bong Recreation Area (named after Richard Bong, a World War II flying ace and recipient of the Medal of Honor … so stop thinking what you’re thinking). And it’s barely accurate to call it a cabin. Yeah, it looks like a cabin from the outside, with its sturdy log construction. But inside there’s a refrigerator and cooking burners and a microwave and a sleeper sofa and two beds and a roll-in shower and air conditioning and a whole bunch more.

This is Walden for cripples.

Thoreau wrote, “Simplify, simplify. Instead of three meals a day, if it be necessary eat but one; instead of a hundred dishes, five.” But that ain’t so easy either. Because the more crippled you are, the more impossible it is to travel light. Every night I sleep hooked up to a CPAP machine I call the Breathe-a-tron 3000. I don’t know what the real name of it is, but that’s what I call it. My doctor says if I sleep without it I might stroke out or have a heart attack and die. So even though my Breathe-a-tron 3000 is a big, bulky pain in the ass to lug around, lug it with me I must. I can’t suck out all the marrow of life if I’m dead.

I also have to bring a battery charger for my wheelchair. And the cabin is 99.9 percent BYO, so we have to