Saturday, January 31, 2009
last summer i spent a lot of time in the woods here in oregon, checking out a couple of different national forests, camping and exploring the terrain. it's really crazy what oregon and washington have to offer. there are so many hidden jewel's, so many endless logging roads, so much quiet. almost too much quiet.
at time's when i went i my own, without a friend to turn to, to converse with and, in the end watch your back, i felt an actual "fear" of something so big and open. until you get there and start thinking the way i do, you think of the forest as big, open and "empty", or at least that's the way i think of it... until the quiet, comes. because the forest is not empty. it makes me feel really small and week. even when i'm carrying my pistol, i can imagine this big ol cat, slowly pawing through the forest, not making a sound but the sound of it's fur rubbing against the tree's behind me, and then...
well then i try to think of something else but mountain cats.
i have the same affinity to the ocean. i used to have this fantasy of the surfer. the guy on the beach with shorts, smoking ganja and catching a beautiful wave, until i caught one of those waves and it tore me around like a rag doll, shot me up back to the surface and washed me onto shore. I had no idea what kind of power the ocean had and to be honest, i don't think the ocean wanted me in it. it probably doesn't want anyone in it (ie enormous boats that end up sinking)..needless to say i no longer surf and don't even swim in the ocean, because of the underwater mountain cats.
oops, sorry...i was sort of getting off the subject. on to the modern hobo, or as i call um- people who live in the woods.
i was down south of roseburg driving on I-5 south and my truck kept chugging(fuel delivery problem) up those big long mountains so i got a bit worried and pulled off the highway into a little logging town. i was on my way to the grants pass, but it was about an hour from sundown and i had to get into the forest and get my camp set-up. at the truck stop, the teenage girl at the fast food restaurant told me of a place i could camp for free up the road, past town, along a river.
it was a great spot. blm, but all setup with a local dug fire pit on top of a hill overlooking a river, right off the road. it even had an out house-> heaven, i think they call it.
got a fire goin set up camp and enjoyed/
the next morning i woke up to the sound of a chainsaw. not the worst thing i don't think. just reminding me abruptly that was in the woods. got up. made breakfast and chopped some wood for the fire. about an hour into that this old guy appeared at the bottom of the hill. after tieing up his dog he came up the hill waving to talk..."didn't want to startle ya, so waited until u were awake for a bit to come up". very nice guy that looked exactly as you would imagine a logger to be. big beard, red suspenders, flanel shirt.
we talked for a while about mountain lions. i guess there are a couple on each mountain. they have their territory and mostly stay to themselves. sometimes they mess with the logger's because the logger's are destroying the mountain they live on. or there was an incident last summer where one chased a couple high school girls. he didn't say if there were any injuries. i think he was just jabbing me, being the "city folk" i am. i deserved it.
we got to talking about where he was from and he was from the little logging town near the truck stop. i guess he is one of many who worked for the logging company during the time it took to cut down all the tree's on the mountain down the road, and before that a mountain a bit further down the road. they were now squatting the forest outside the town. i think he was in his late 50's maybe early sixties and his home was right down trail along the river. he said he had a truck, but it needed fixing and he also had a travel trailer a bit further into the woods. i have no idea how he got it all back there. i think he was trying to sell something to get the truck on a quick fix. i cant remember what was wrong with it or what he had to sell (my memory is shit) , but it sounded like he was quite happy to be stuck out there. he didn't seem like he was in a hurry to get anywhere really.
as i knew and he explained to me-we as American citizens actually have the right to live on blm land for up to 45 days, so these guys have mobile living vehicles, travel trailers, tents and RVs and they move every 45 days. they are near the town i guess. probably have some sort of hustle to get things done. i wonder if they can collect social security checks out there. without address.
he even told me of an incident where a woman had been forcibly removed from blm land and"she won a million bucks off the government in a lawsuit, because this is our land. they have no right"
it was a strange weekend out there. even met this sort of drunk tweeker and his girlfreind who were panning for gold. he was an ex-con who said he had a blackpowder pistol in his truck. said he could mail order them. it was the harley davidson commemerative black powder pistol. im not sure how much gold he was finding in that river, but those black powder pistols are a bitch to load in a hurry. of all the places and all the occupations. only people with mullets. he was an interesting chap. needless to say after meeting all these people in the forest, i felt even less safe. a good time to practice drawing my pistol. this year i have a better truck and i will get to grants pass and further into the woods.
the article at the link is about this group of people, who it would seem are starting "homeless camps in the national forest. this is all starting to remind me of the romantic time of hobo's, cheats and thieve's in jack black's book "you can't win". we are looking at some ruff times ahead and i think these sorts will end up surviving it, because they are already there
i've always always had this dream of getting land and putting a bunch of trailer's, school bus's, and sustainable/experimental housing and inviting freinds. but, as the article below shows, even when such things are done with the best intentions, there is no way to escape forces that will bring down a dream. sonoma grove had the idea right- buy a plot of land near a university (universities are a great location, becuase they usaully have a self-contained economy, plenty to read and plenty of people to advocate for said dream), plant a bunch of trees and call it home.
not sure this is how i would do it, but i give them the big 23 for trying.
anyone heard of this place? been there? know what happened since?
here's to big dreams that never end.
Monday, January 26, 2009
ive been meaning to start a blog containing links to things i find interesting, so here it is. i'd like to make a collection of idea's and thoughts moving toward the future, in a forward motion. things such as;
modern nomad culture/dreaming
off the grid shit
hope it works out.