I long to awake in the morning, and put on an old flannel shirt and corduroy pants that are mended and moccasins covered with dirt – I care not a cuss where the place is, nor how far away it may be, so long as its up in the open where I can unleash and be free.
I remember a line in a book I was reading years ago that said you could blindfold someone and put them on the tarmac in any city, and all they would be able to tell you is where they weren’t. If you think about that for a minute you’ll realize it’s true. Everything looks the same, there is no uniqueness or individuality. As much as people complain (yet still go) to Wal Mart, as Americans we’re essentially living in one to some extent.
It always surprised me at the University of Maine when a student from an urban area of a different state would exclaim that there was nothing to do here. It’s true that you can’t go hit a few comedy clubs at 11pm if you want, and there is a small part of me that misses that too. But had I gone to college in an urban setting I would have said there is nothing to do here too. We had a great time in college – we hunted, fished, explored, snowmobiled, and canoed. I’ll always remember cutting classes on the first day of partridge season to go hunting in the warm October sun, and hanging out in the (now defunct) Rams Horn and Oronoka listening to live music in an intimate atmosphere.
Kids growing up these days aren’t exposed to the “other “ side of life that much anymore, and it wanes with each passing year. As Aldo Leopold aptly said – “There are two spiritual dangers in not owning a farm. One is supposing that food comes from the grocery store, and the other is that heat comes from the furnace.” I would propose that his quote has more meaning today than ever. With the unstable economies around the world, food prices being jacked up out of site because our nation’s corn is being converted to ethanol, and fuel prices never going back to the levels they were before, I think it behooves all of us to revisit the skills of our past. There is a fantastic book called “back to basics” that pretty much has everything in it you would ever need to know on how to take care of yourself and become independent again.
Land in rural areas of this country is still cheap to buy. When I built my cabin I had very rudimentary carpentry skills and yet with some determination was able to clear and stump a spot, cut, peel, and lug out of the woods each cedar log, and build it from scratch using hand tools. Imagine no mortgage, no utility bill, and a small food bill. Imagine the satisfaction of being independent, of not being tied to the latest woes of the economy. Imagine no longer being a beast caged in the heart of the city.
Here is a video of camp going up. I started harvesting the wood in 2003 and 2004. In the fall of 2004 the cement piers went in – 2005 it got build, and in early 2006 I finished the inside.