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Great Northwoods II

It is fitting that I still have this from my childhood.  I had it in a frame and hanging on the wall here for awhile.  When this place was our getaway cabin I sometimes referred to it as Camp Many Ha Ha(s).

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The business end of the 1950 Farmall M.  I took this picture after partially mounting the after market 3-point hitch.  I had to make a few adapters.  It just got new tires this spring.  I'm over six feet tall and that seat is higher than my head.  This old girl is my connection to civilization in the winter.  I have a half mile of driveway to plow.

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Winter warmth.  The fireplace, doing its thing.  There's nothing like a visible, warm fire in sub-zero February to cozy up the place.

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A picture with a sentimental story.  In 1978, my parents had finally scrimped and saved enough for a down payment on a home of their own.  My father was a gardener from way back.  For Father's Day in 1979, I bought him some grape vines.  They were a hit, and they took off under his care. There are still bottles of his wine floating around.  Around 2003, he was having problems and could not tend them anymore.  He died young in 2006.

Two years ago, I took some root cuttings from them and planted them up here at my new place.  I took this picture today.  You'll have to click to enlarge to see anything.  It's early, but I'm going to go ahead and say that the grapes are a success.  I didn't expect a sight like this until next year or the year after.  Dad would be happy, I think.

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Very nice indeed.

Getting ready to do some canning.  This is not from this year.

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Perspective (thanks to MadBrad)

So, is life a dream out here, the way I sometimes try to make it out to be?  Hell no.  It's a lot of hard work.  The house is a dump compared to our other house.  I have one setback after another.  I wiped myself out financially to make this happen.  Yes, I love the country life, but, really, why make such a drastic move?  Why cause myself so much more hard physical labor in my older years?  Well, I bought this place in 2009 after searching for about a year.  What else was happening at that time?  The Revo knew because I stopped by every now and then.  So did other places, like Survivalblog.

So, I see what I am writing about as a logical progression from what has been happening in this country that I do not and will not ever agree with.  I see it as trying to make the best of a bad situation.  I can't change the slide, but I can . . . well, I think you all know what I mean.

If, God forbid, there ever comes a time when my grandchildren need a safe place to run to, I hope they will have that here.  In the meantime I will get by and enjoy what I can about this total change in my lifestyle.  Just two short months of Obama as president changed me forever, especially after seeing the media go after Bush II like a pack of rabid wolves, and he was as progressive as hell in my opinion!

I would appreciate any feedback on how others feel on this subject.

I can tell you that everyone here is pretty fascinated with what you are doing up there.  There isn't a one of us who doesn't think about it.

I have spent a lot of time reading about the Middle Ages in England and France.  There were times of lawlessness.  There were times of invasion by Danes.  I think if the world fell into a postmodern equivalent, there is much to be learned from that period.

One important lesson from that period is that being off by yourself is only a survival strategy if you are well hidden.  Otherwise, your little house in the Wessex forest just becomes a target of brigands or Danes and their one day feast as they eat up your storeroom.   You, of course, are dead.

People gathered homes around castles.  They established fyrds. They prepared arms.  In other words, it takes a village to turn back the Danes.  I suspect the same would be the case in a lawless future.

Now, if the world just turns into a modern recreation of the Great Depression but some degree of law and order remains, you might be a lot more comfortable than those of us more dependent on the economy, that's for sure.

The bottom line, your strategy is good for some scenarios but not so much for others.

You are right, of course, RD.  Good defensive preparations and a few like-minded friends in the immediate area would go a long way in the return to medieval times.

I can tell you that I was very limited financially by what I could do.  In addition, my decision was made in huge part due to spending weeks at a time at hunting camp as a kid, totally cut off from civilization, electricity, gas, running water, phones, TV, etc.  We did this in summer, fall, and winter and I absolutely loved it.  We had to walk in for half a mile in the winter, carrying everything we would need.  I always felt more at peace when surrounded by forest.  The state of things just gave me the  extra push to do what I always  wanted to do anyway.

Now, about those extra friends, there are two, may three properties for sale here . . .

Storm damage.  That's not a little chainsaw; it's an 046 Magnum with a 26" bar.

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On the far right, my granddaughter plays in the sand on the shores of Gitchee Gumee, by the shining big sea water.

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Anybody know what kind of frog this is?

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RD is 100% correct. It is absolutely amazing what you're doing up there.
If anything you show that it is still possible to do what you're doing.
Nothing has changed so much that it's no longer possible to live a simple, if hard, life.

Just out of idle curiosity. How do you guys connect to the outside world? Is it one of those deals where you can do so from home? Or do your updates come in when you visit town and the like?

I know Sprint was fairly aggressive in their rural build-outs through Michigan. When I was working western Michigan we were putting in base stations all over the Nat'l forest area up and down the state. How is the communication density in the UP? Tmo is planning on blitzing the western UP with some spotty coverage in the eastern UP. But who else is out there?

I never thought the words "fascinating" and "amazing" would ever be used to describe my mundane life, and it really is mundane.  🙂

We use Verizon for cell service and the coverage absolutely SUCKs in the central/eastern UP.  Verizon is pretty big up here.  I think they built up their system in the western UP a couple of years ago and I'm still waiting for them to do the eastern half.  We have a booster that gives us a barely usable signal most of the time.  There is some AT&T up here, too.  Their signal sucks in our area, too.

For other communications, we have satellite TV and Hughesnet satellite internet.  The internet is both expensive and shitty.  We hardly ever turn the TV on anymore.

By the way, we are on the 153rd consecutive day with exclusively solar power today, with no generator startup to compensate for lack of power in all that time.  November, December, and January we can expect a 2-hour generator run to charge the batteries almost daily, though.


Mrs. CL on a winter walk.  This is a part of my driveway.

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Wild and primitive, just the way I like it.  The river just down the road from my driveway.  I sent this picture to my daughter when I took in in 2012, then I started seeing it online in other places.

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Another backyard fossil.  An isotelus maximus trilobite tail section with a mouth part on the right.

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Today.  Juuuust about ready to pick.

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It is SOOOO nice to have electricity here.  Before installing these, we lived here for a year with about 3 hours per day generator power, and no power for the other 21 hours of the day.  It is amazing what you can get done in three hours with electricity.  That year without power was good for us, as it trained us to be conservative for when we did finally get power with the solar panels.

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. . . about that frog up above.  I read the link RD provided and I was surprised to learn that this frog can color-change like a chameleon, only slower.  I think this particular frog may have spent a few hours sitting on a petroglyph somewhere, judging by that strange marking on its back.

I dug up some nice white potatoes for supper today.  I'll break from the diet for that.

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Made this from rendered deer tallow. Sorry for the poor picture. In case you were going to ask, no, it does not smell bad.  The trick is to get all the meat bits trimmed off before heating, and then to heat only enough to get it to melt.

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Pretty cool place ya got up there.  About the only thing I can think that is missing is a tire swing.  A place like that needs a tire swing.

No tire swing, but we did have the "bouncy branch" for quite awhile.  The kids would have to climb on each other to pull it down and then they would be able to jump real high when holding onto the branch,  It had a lot of spring to it.  Good Grandpa that I am, I cut that tree down to make way for the solar.

Spring cleanup in the back yard.

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A clean and crisp January morning, and with that, I think I'll close this topic out.  I think it was turning into a mini-blog within a blog.

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Autumn mist.

This is like a curtain call for all the views this topic is racking up for no reason that I can think of.

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“Those who forget the past are condemned to repeat it.” ~George Santayana
“Those who remember the past are condemned to watch as everyone else repeats it.” ~RD Walker

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