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Old 04-27-2010, 03:50 PM
 
Location: NW MT
1,436 posts, read 2,918,403 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MTSilvertip View Post
Walk in the steps of those great pioneers, it can be humbling to think of what they went through settling this country.
Call me crazy..... but I'd give anything to live in that period and do & experience what they did ! Humbling is probably putting it mildly.....
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Old 04-27-2010, 10:48 PM
 
Location: Where the mountains touch the sky
4,884 posts, read 5,765,841 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stephan_K View Post
Call me crazy..... but I'd give anything to live in that period and do & experience what they did ! Humbling is probably putting it mildly.....
You are not alone.

The way I grew up was not so dissimilar from what some of the homesteaders lived.
When I was 12 I spent an entire summer in a line camp. No power, water from the stream out back, cooking on a small wood stove I lived in a small sheep wagon.
The nearest phone was over 3 miles away. I only had a horse for transportation and if something happened to me no-one would have known until the once a week supply delivery.
There was a 14 year old kid staying with me at the time, but the bears and cougars were a constant threat as they had absolutely no fear of us, and the best weapon we had were some spears we made.

We spent the summer fixing fence, learning how to cook the hard way, fighting the bears for berries, taking an occasional grouse for meat with our slingshots. In many ways it really formed my way of thinking.
We had only ourselves to depend on, if a problem came up we had to fix it, if we were hurt we had to do our own doctoring as well as take care of our horses and get the job done. self reliance at it's best.

The only entertainment we had was a transistor radio that we could only listen to for a few minutes each night because of batteries and the fact we could only pick up one AM station after dark.

I loved it!

You can still experience some of that in the wilderness areas. If you get hurt help can be days away, and may not come at all. You provide for yourself and the only provisions you have are what you carry in or can find. You make your own shelter, shiver through long cold nights, hunker down and endure snowstorms or rain. You really become aware of dangers like rock slides or the smell of a bear on the breeze.

It is a tough way to live, but to be honest, I never feel so alive as when I am on the backside of beyond.

I really respect those guys like Lewis and Clark who had no idea of what they were walking into, if they would find food, if the indians they met would be friendly or hostile, what dangers they would encounter, but they soldiered on and opened a whole new land to create a nation.

Those guys had real grit, and I too would have liked to have walked along beside them.
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Old 04-28-2010, 07:16 AM
 
Location: a Montana state of mind...
271 posts, read 403,002 times
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Stephan K...you're not crazy. I'd love to have been there too. MTSilvertip~ thanks for sharing that story. Awesome. The history of Montana is so interesting. I can't help but wonder what "ghosts" I walked among while there and what stories they would have to tell.
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Old 04-28-2010, 09:22 AM
 
Location: Brendansport, Sagitta IV
7,540 posts, read 12,571,634 times
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I've lived rough too -- no electricity or phone, no running water, and sometimes I think we'd all be better off with that sort of simplicity. It's enough to turn a person Amish.

Great story, Silvertip!
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Old 04-28-2010, 10:14 AM
 
Location: NW MT
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MTSilvertip View Post
The way I grew up was not so dissimilar from what some of the homesteaders lived.
I envy you !!! At least you had a whole summer to experience something at a young age that today is next to impossible ! Put your kid in a situation like that today and the "gov" or some other "group" will be raping your life for endangering them..... or not having a permit or something !

I had to grow up in a steel town..... never had opportunity to experience any bit of life like that but have always dreamed to. My parents would get furious with me when I was a young teen. I had the "goal" to be a survivalist . Yep.... I set the bar high.... hehe

Every time my mother visits here now she says "you sure made it to the mountains like you always wanted to didn't you"..... Only in a modern way though. Technology is wonderful but we have all become slaves to society to some degree because of it. Got to take the good with the bad I guess.....

I'd be the first one to the power pole with a pair of cable cutters if possible. But the wife and kids couldn't cope with that outcome ! My wheels are constantly turning on how to become detached from the slavery we all so willingly take part in. No way out is always the end result.....

I went as far as looking into homesteading AK..... Wife asked for an instant divorce if I pursued it beyond reading about it ..... Wait a minute here ...... But found that you would be an even bigger slave in doing so with all the gov regulations that go along with it and what it would take to even get to a spot one could consider laying roots.

"backside of beyond" you say..... how about "destination back and beyond" ! Excellent read "One Mans Wilderness" was. I think PBS has a doc on Richard Proenneke and his experience ! Never saw it but read the book. Now that's what I'm talking about...... again, next to impossible today with how society and the economy is structured. Have to have a couple BIG bags of money to attempt it and you'd still continue to be a slave. I don't know.... maybe there are people/suppliers in AK that entertain a barter lifestyle to a degree that would work with you.... It's all about the greenbacks today. Like I said..... No way out !

Walking along side Lewis and Clark..... That "total package" is most likely uncomprehending for all but a handful of society today. Only a special select few could get their minds wrapped completely around that one..... me not being one of them !
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Old 04-28-2010, 12:57 PM
 
Location: Where the mountains touch the sky
4,884 posts, read 5,765,841 times
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I understand the frustration Steven.

I grew up on a ranch that was pretty isolated. Power was on if the weather was good, you might see 2 clear channels of tv if the wind wasn't blowing.
We usually had to park a vehicle down at the county road and walk a mile to get to it during the winter because the snow was too deep and blowing too hard to keep the road plowed.

I completely concure that if someone actually tried to let a kid live these days someone would be slapping the cuffs on them. Wouldn't want to actually teach a kid responsibility these days.

My wife is actually pretty good about living without a lot of the modern conveniences, (except cable tv, running water and the computer. She can't live without Facebook ).

I have to live in town at the moment, but I still can grow a large garden and several types of berry bushes. I raise rabbits for meat, Hunt, fish, and do a little trapping still.
I can make my own power, (no it isn't solar or wind, my stuff works), I am still hooked to the power grid because of regulations about being a small power producer, but I am working on it. But basically all I pay for are electricity, garbage, water and sewer and of course taxes. our grocery bill has been as low as $50.00 a month for the two of us.

Survivalism isn't just something you do in a wilderness setting, it is more a frame of mind.
I look for ways I can keep off the grid and away from having to rely on a lot of the things that modern life seems to think is essential.

I believe that by working to use as few of the amenities available as possible I am still able to keep the spirit of the first pioneers alive.
Self reliance, self determination, and a willingness to do without are hallmarks of the pioneer spirit.
It doesn't have to be something large, just take care of your own mechanic work, grow some tomatos in a window box, make meals from scratch instead of out of a box, keep a stocked pantry in case of something happening where you might not be able to get to the store for a couple days, All these things make you more self sufficent and I believe make you feel more secure in your home and person.

My great-great grandparents came here and carved their own place in this land. How can I do less?
You don't need a lot of money to do most of these things, but it sure feels good to make a meal out of what you have hunted or gathered, keep warm using wood you cut yourself, and relax in a chair you made yourself while drinking a beer you brewed in your garage.

The pioneer days were only a little more than 100 years ago, we can keep it alive if we actually wish to.
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Old 04-29-2010, 12:41 AM
 
305 posts, read 777,663 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stephan_K View Post
Excellent read "One Mans Wilderness" was. I think PBS has a doc on Richard Proenneke and his experience ! Never saw it but read the book. Now that's what I'm talking about......
EXCELLENT story about Richard Proenneke! I highly recommend anyone interested in that lifestyle to get the videos that show him building his lifestyle in the Alaska Wilderness. I never tire of watching them!


Alone in the Wilderness, DVD and VHS available, the story of Dick Proenneke
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Old 04-29-2010, 09:32 AM
 
Location: NW MT
1,436 posts, read 2,918,403 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gman2007 View Post
EXCELLENT story about Richard Proenneke! I highly recommend anyone interested in that lifestyle to get the videos that show him building his lifestyle in the Alaska Wilderness. I never tire of watching them!


Alone in the Wilderness, DVD and VHS available, the story of Dick Proenneke
I've always wanted to see those videos..... I missed them every time PBS was doing a special/fund raiser and they showed them !

I think i'm gonna bite the bullet and buy the whole package .... for my kids at least. They need to read the book and watch the videos. This will give them a real sense of what "camping" is really about .
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Old 04-30-2010, 07:00 AM
 
Location: SW Montana
352 posts, read 1,004,719 times
Reputation: 239
Had a chance to spend a few years living in a miner's shack, packing water, just an old Monarch cookstove for heat. It was quite an experience, more so that I was alone except for my dog. Had daytime contact with people off and on, so it wasn't really like isolation. I have to agree that it really was a life-molding experience, taught that when strange things happened in the middle of the night you look at your hole card and go out and meet them.

Thanks for the link to the new 3-7-77 theory; have studied that some in the past and that one makes as much sense as anything I've heard. There was a pretty strong Masonic influence in early Virginia City, and then as now a lot of meaning was given to the cryptic and arcane.

I agree about living back then, it would have been in some ways exciting and certainly much different than what we have now. I think, however, that if most of us were living in the middle of circumstances where there was a daily chance of getting robbed and killed on the way to town our attitudes would change abruptly. When you think about it, most of what you read about people's attitudes at that time suggests that they were very scared, and tired of seeing relatives and friends die just for trying to make a living and do business. They feared for both their lives and their families. It all makes for good history now, but I believe it wasn't a cakewalk back then, not by a long shot.
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Old 04-30-2010, 11:34 AM
 
Location: a Montana state of mind...
271 posts, read 403,002 times
Reputation: 453
I believe you're right Rangerider- no cakewalk at all. Thanks for sharing your story. I really enjoy reading about other's experiences in the "wild".
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