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Meet the masters of social distancing: Couple live alone in wilderness for decades

  • calendar 06-Jun-2020
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Meet the masters of social distancing: Couple live alone in wilderness for decades

To leave society behind was a wedding vow Wendell and Mariann spoke only to each other. It was a solemn one, though, and to save for it Mariann spent only $66 on her bridal gown. Once they were married on that winter day 35 years ago, they just started driving. Wendell and Mariann Hardy had lived most of their lives in the fast-growing southwestern city of Tucson, Arizona. But each was drawn to solitude. Mariann began distance-running into the mountains on high desert trails. Even before they met, both relocated to log cabins up on Mt. Lemmon, the 9,157-foot peak in the Catalinas range that overlooks Tucson. Still, city types came up to party there on the weekends. It wasn’t isolated enough. Wendell took a job installing windows at Mariann’s cabin. Shy at first, the two got to talking about how they weren’t made for crowded places. One afternoon, Mariann offered him gin and tonic. Just how far, Wendell asked her, would she be willing to go?

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