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Tested in the Wilderness
6,709 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Here is the new pic thread that quite a few have been asking me to post and tell about what I did last summer near and on my mtn place / BOL / remote mtn survival retreat.

If any out there even just look at most or all of the pics in this long thread then it would be like following me around last summer. If people do read what I have written then you will know what is happening in the pics.
Hope some will find this interesting since it shows how bugging out works or sometimes does not work too well. And it shows the challenges / problems that can come up, such as my truck getting stuck in snow and then mud.

Many things happened, even more than usual last summer. If I tried to tell Everything it would have taken a book to tell about. But I did try to show and tell much in this thread. Hope it is not too much but maybe some will find it interesting, even helpful.

This summer - from June to about Nov. began on June 1, 2011.

On that busy day I first picked up Glen from New Zealand at the Greeley, CO bus station at 8:30 A.M.

We first went to Anderson's salvage yard to take a large roll of old metal fencing I had obtained from a neighbor in Greeley. I wanted to show Glen one of the best and most interesting sites / sights in town. At least I think so. I only got eleven dollars for that heavy roll of fencing though.

And I also took Glen around town to get a tent. We went to the Super-Walmart and a couple sporting goods stores. I went to the biggest one first which that sporting goods store had many dozens of guns. Even a couple AR's as well as other guns I was sorta surprised to see.
I thought Glen would buy a gun but not sure how he would get it back to New Zealand, maybe FedEx?
Glen only bought a 500 round box of .22 ammo which he and Steve shot quite a bit on my land in late July.

I picked up Steve from the bus station at 9 p.m. Steve had ridden a bus from Washington D.C. since he lived in southern Maryland. And Glen and Steve camped in my backyard in Greeley for almost a week until we went up to my mtn place on June 7th.

Below are Steve's light brown MSR tent and Glen's $20 blue dome tent although later in the summer he bought a $200 large MSR tent which UPS delivered to a motel in Encampment, WY

After Glen, Steve and I went to a dollarstore and the Super-Walmart and bought over $400 worth of supplies, mainly food then we built a wood box in the back of my truck and loaded it. I did not buy anything that day since all winter I had slowly been buying canned food etc. etc. on sale.

Mike building the box in the back of his truck June 5,2011 >

Mike standing by his truck with the completed box and Glen and Steve in the backyard in Greeley, CO >

Glen on left and Steve in black shirt >

Mike placing the last piece to seal the plywood box on the loaded down truck. >

Glen and Steve and my brown truck at the Encampment, Wyoming free campground.

Blue bird nest just under the roof of the building / restroom at the free campground >

The following will be long but there were quite a few pics taken by me and also by Steve. We could have taken even more but these are maybe enough. I have not posted All of the pics taken last summer.
And hope that any who will read all of the following will not think that I am bashing Steve or Glen. I did like them and it was a different summer having others around all the time. By the end of July after having them around so much I guess I just wanted to be alone. Although Glen had "camped out" at the Bighorn Motel in Encampment, WY much of the time since we got there on June 7, 2011.

IF anyone thinks I am bashing, ridiculing or anything like that I do not intend that. But I do have to tell much what is shown in the pics and so I do have to tell what we all did and did not do.

We left the free campground since there was a sign that said "Limit 3 day camping"
And we all wanted to get up into the mountains.

So we went up WY state highway 70 but as I thought, the gate about six miles downhill from my mtn place, was locked. The road was still closed until the state could plow all of the snow and open the road.

Here is a pic of the Road Closed sign on state highway 70 which is about 6 miles downhill from my mtn retreat. Notice the holes in the sign which this sign was probably shot up sometime in May 2011. I did not shoot the sign but likely was someone who did not like the road still closed although I have seen signs shot up in various remote areas.

So we went down a rough 4x4 road to get to a remote campground I knew about. I had seen this old campground which was a 20 or more year old hunter's camp.

I drove my truck through this drift although Glen and Steve insisted on shoveling some. I knew I could keep my right tires on snow free dirt and not get stuck and it was going uphill, so I knew I would not slide or get stuck. Glen and Steve did not seem to believe that and thought they had to shovel much which took too much time.

My loaded down truck about to go through the snowdrift and spraying Glen and Steve with snow, which would have made another good video >

The next pic shows my truck going down the 4x4 road >

My heavily loaded down truck going thru a large snowdrift that we shoveled open by hand. My truck did get stuck here since I was in a hurry for some reason. Should have shoveled more on this very large drift. This was around June 10, 2011.

Notice on the lower right side of this pic where my truck was stuck in the deep snowdrift. I hated that but I got in a hurry and slid into the side of a tree which I had just told Glen and Steve that would be the worst thing to happen. I slept in the truck while Glen and Steve walked 1/4 of a mile to the campsite and set up their tents.
Early the next morning I got out of the truck, shoveled for about an hour and just as the sun was rising and while the ground was still frozen I drove out of the snowdrift to the camp.

The following pic shows Mike, Steve and Glen's remote mtn campsite. Here are their clothes hanging on a line after they washed them in Beaver Creek. This is about 5 miles to the SE of my mtn land at about 8,000 feet in elevation. My land is at 9,500 feet and covered in at last 5 feet of snowpack - this was around June 12, 2011.

The next few pics will show the most terrible part of this summer.

But first I must explain what is shown in the pics.

After camping at the remote campsite for a couple days near Beaver Creek, WY Glen wanted to go back to Encampment to check the post office which he thought might have a package for him. I reluctantly agreed although it was a long hard drive on the 4x4 road. I should have done what I wanted to do at first and that was stay put at this remote campsite where we could hike, explore the nearby 50,000 acre pure wilderness of Huston park, even fish and practice primitive survival. And after a couple weeks the snow would have melted more, the paved state highway would have re-opened after it was finally plowed open in late June and we could have driven the rest of the way on this 4x4 road up to the state highway.

But no, after a couple days we did go back to Encampment, although fortunately Steve stayed alone at the remote campsite. Which later I learned he did not enjoy being all alone for a couple days.

But anyway, Glen and I went back to Encampment which we made it back down easily but coming back up in the early afternoon that day on June 10th, was more difficult. It was a hot day and the snow was melting more than ever.
After we had traveled a little over a mile on this rough 4x4 road we were going along fine then hit the mud hole. I had had no trouble only 3 hours before coming down this road but going back up it was muddy with a rushing spring through it.

I was talking too much to Glen and so I was distracted and hit the muddy hole too slow and got stuck. And could not get out no matter what. I have never been so stuck even after driving on 4x4 roads for about 30 years.

To be short, is that my truck was stuck there for at least 4 days. It had a well packed very heavy load, possibly over 3,000 pounds of food, some bags of concrete and other supplies in the plywood box etc. in the truck. i slept every night in the truck, just in case someone would come along. Most of the time no one came along, except for a very few ATVers riding along on their large powerful ATVs. Although none tried to help. They just went around my truck.

I had dug and tried most of what I could to get out. And possibly could have If I would have had more help digging and dug a long slope out. But it was terribly muddy with the spring flowing. Steve and Glen mainly just dug a small narrow trench to try to get the spring water to flow away from my truck. But that did little good.
I did what I could alone. Although all 3 of us did hike up to my land which was a long hike up the mountain. My mtn place was at least 7 miles up, first a couple miles up the 4x4 road then another five miles up the state highway, which was covered in snow the last couple miles.

We got up there after dark and lucky there was a full moon, which with the snow was easy to see at night.
We slept for a few hours until it got light and then hiked the last mile to my land. And I dug near the A-frame shed where there was a large farm jack that I was able to get out of the shed in the back.
And then we carried the jack and a shovel back down to my truck. Which did little good.

On the way back there was Beaver Creek which was flowing high and fast. And which we had to cross. Steve and Glen did not want to cross at the 4x4 road which crossed this creek but they hiked on to beaver ponds which they were able to cross at the beaver dam and so not get wet crossing the creek. But that was much more than a mile out of the way.
I did not have time or energy to take that detour so I just got the jack and with the shovel for support I crossed this cold deep creek. The water went way over my knees and was very cold since it was snow melt water and even snow drifts around.
It would have made another good video but Steve, who had the video camera was over half a mile away hiking with Glen to the beaver dam.
But after I crossed that very cold deep creek I went on and after another mile up and down the mountain I made it back to the stuck truck.

And after trying for another day to get the truck out of the mud hole, I almost gave up. It was quite depressing, more than I have ever been. I hate to say it but some bad thoughts flashed though my mind. Such as the Encampment River was flowing fast and deep only about 100 feet from the stuck truck. I thought, very briefly, that it would be so easy to jump in the river, or even practicing survival / evasion etc. if I could try to get across quickly such as using a small tree that I thought might be able to climb and bend over most of the river and then jump over... But fortunately those were very brief bad thoughts.
I kept thinking you are a survivalist and should never think of dying but trying and keeping on no matter what!

Everything did finally work out although that is even a longer story.
After 4 days I did call on my tracfone / cellphone to the Bighorn Motel which is the only number I had of anyone in Encampment. They knew me there, since for a couple summers I had been supplying them with firewood.

The son-in-law of the owner of the motel came up on that Sunday afternoon and tried with his large 4x4 truck to pull my truck out. But he got stuck in the mud also. Which is his orange truck shown in the below pics.
He said it would be the next Saturday before he could come back with help and get the trucks out. Which was six days away.

The next day, Monday, Glen came back after having stayed at the campsite with Steve. Glen had his large backpack on and said he was going back to Encampment. I knew it was over 7 miles to Encampment but said if he really wanted to hike back ok. But after a couple hours Glen came back in a state patrol vehicle.
I had hiked up to the state highway with Glen helping him carry part of his load. And I was hiking back the couple miles and I was almost back to the 4x4 road when this brown state patrol vehicle pulled alongside and I saw Glen in the passenger side.
I did not like it and I hope I Never have to be in any law enforcement vehicle ever again. I had to be in the back which there was no way to get out, even with a cage separating the front of the vehicle. Glen did let me out when we stopped at the beginning of the 4x4 road. The state patrol guy was friendly at least. He looked not much over 25 and tried to be very helpful.
He would not even look at my drivers license when I thought maybe I should show it to him to prove that it was my truck. But the help this patrolman offered was calling his friend with a winch truck.

Now that I think back on it, I wonder if this patrolman and the winch truck driver had done this quite a bit with strangers who were stuck. The winch truck driver said it would cost $250 for Each truck to get winched out. $500 total for only a few minutes of work. NO towing or doing anything that would take over ten minutes. Only winching the trucks out. Which I got muddy hooking the tow chains up, which were my 2 tow chains. The winch truck driver just stood by his truck although he did adjust the chains.

Fortunately Glen paid $150 he said was for emergencies. I told him this was an emergency and very glad he helped pay that much since I barely had enough of the rest to pay the $500. I wonder IF anyone out there thinks that this was maybe highway robbery or is this the Normal fee to just winch out a truck or two? NO towing just some winching.

Anyway, enough about that. Much more I could say but hope that is enough to tell about one part of this "interesting" summer. Glen was able to go to an ATM machine at the Riverside gas station store and get at least $200 a day in cash.
I had no more money until I was able to work some for neighbors, although I did have a little more in emergency funds which I would not touch. I tried to not spend anymore money that summer. Although I did have to buy gasoline a couple times.
Hope these pics are self explanatory although if anyone read what I just wrote you can now know about all that is shown in these pics >

truck stuck from back in above pic.

After getting the truck out I did not go back up to the campsite but went back to Encampment which was another "challenge" since I had 2 flat tires. The tow / winch truck driver took off and did not see that I got a flat tire trying to get back to the main road.

I was able to walk and then get a ride back to Encampment actually to the Riverside garage surplus store which is next to Encampment. Rocky at the store drove me back up to the truck and we put on a spare he had. He also fixed the flat which I have not used since it was a hole in the side. It does bulge even after he patched the tire.
But Rocky did give me a fairly good although looks like a 10 year old truck tire. He said I could pay him back with 4 loads of cut pine firewood which I had much. Although that took up more time away from building and other things I should have done last summer.

I did go back up after camping again at the free campground in Encampment. The one police officer in Encampment came around to check us out but we were all friendly and the officer said we could stay as long as we needed to. He was from the same town I grew up in - Sterling, Colorado - so he was even friendlier.

After spending about a week in the Encampment campground, which I mainly read a lot and went to the small library much, I drove up to get as close as possible to my mtn place. I had heard they finally unlocked the gate and the road was open after taking at least two weeks for the state of WY to plow it open.

My truck getting ready to go thru some small drifts on my private dirt road which is at least 2 miles in a circle and which I share this private road with some others who have cabins >

My truck parked at the beginning of my private road and where I slept the last week of June until July 2, 2011

Below showing truck down the road at the beginning of the huge 12 foot snowdrift blocking the road

Might be at least five more posts to try to finish showing all of the many pics

Tested in the Wilderness
6,709 Posts
Discussion Starter · #2 ·
After I spent a week shoveling thru the 12 foot drift ALL by myself for a week! kidding, although I did shovel snow a couple hours everyday for a week, shoveling along the side of the road, making a path and the hot sun that last week of June melted quite a bit. I shoveled for a couple hundred feet on the road through 2 and 3 foot drifts up to the 12 foot huge drift. I did not shovel the more than 100 foot long and 12 plus foot high snowdrift.

But actually on Saturday July 2, 2011 neighbors came to open the road. Mainly one guy had rented a large New Holland bobcat loader for $150 for the weekend and spent 3 hours digging through the snow drift. Maybe all can see the loader in the back and the neighbors watching - the guy Randy is sitting on his $10,000 ATV which he had driven all over the drift and back and forth to their cabins. >

Guy from Alberta, Canada = Dave - at our campsite on July 3rd, waiting to go fishing. Which all he wanted to do was go fishing which was ok but it did rain a few times the 4 whole days he was up there. At first he said he wanted to stay 3 weeks on my mtn place but the 4th day I guess he got tired of it and also said he was cold at night.
He also came out too early since there was too much snow. The snow melt runoff made the fishing creeks and N. Platte river too high for good fishing so Dave did not get any fish. Later I will show the fish that Steve and Glen caught after mid July.

The orange tent is Dave's and the hard to see light brown tent, to the left of Dave's blue car, is Steve's. I slept in the cab of my truck since it had maybe 1/4 of all that I owned in the plywood box and backseat. We had to camp here for 4 days until the snow melted more and until, mainly I, shoveled the road near my mtn place which is at least 1/3 of a mile down this road. Dave and Steve went fishing and hiking about everyday - the 4 days Dave was there in early July >

Here is a pic of a cabin, one mile from my land, that was crushed by the terribly heavy snows from the winter of 2011. It was probably crushed by March or April 2011 when the deepest snowpack has accumulated. There was at least 200% above normal snowpack which means possibly 20 to 24 feet of snowpack at the height of last winter.
And why there was still so awful much snow in early July 2011.

Here is a small pond with a white tube going out of it which a black plastic 200 or so foot long tubing goes to the bunker. Steve made this and connected the tubing one day in late July >

A small aspen tree in middle of chicken wire fence which I had to put the wire around since deer etc. eat the aspen >

Large beautiful aspen near the above small aspen ....

The next pics show how I re-built the tuff shed which I obtained for Free from a neighbor. This neighbor did not want to re-build this shed after its roof was damaged from the heavy snow. So with a long tow chain hooked up to this shed I pulled it for half a mile down the dirt road. It was on 2 large heavy 6 x 6 inch wood beams. That also would have made a great video but Steve and Glen were out hiking.

Then I had to take it apart and carry it up the mountain about 100 feet and re-build it. Glen and Steve did help me that day for a few hours, mainly carrying the parts of this shed up the mountain.
But I re-built it completely by myself in August 2011 since Glen and Steve left to travel around the western USA, leaving July 31st. >

Tuff shed half built and showing propane stove / oven >>

starting put roof on shed >

Back of tuff shed showing two shades of green. I was fortunate to have enough green paint from the previous year and also lucky that it had not froze and got ruined. But there was not quite enough so I had to buy some gloss green paint which was only 8 ounces but still about $5 at the hardware / surplus / general store in Riverside which is next to Encampment, Wyoming.
White propane tank shown also plus one other reason I made the shed a little over 2 feet off the ground was to store ladders etc. under it. This old logging road which I have built and stored lumber on is not level. The front door is higher than the back although when I finished it the floor and shed are level.

Tent I slept in with camo tarps over it on left and finished tuff shed except for the roof, on right >

Side of shed camo tarps etc on top. I placed a large clear plastic sheet over the top of it all, for more waterproofing and also so the snow would slide off the shed. And I saw the snow slide off this roof when it snowed a couple times in October 2011 >

Tuff shed and ATV and chain. >

ATV inside shed >

Tuff shed mid October 2011 >

A gazing stone I painted in a rare spare few moments >

My dirt bike under tarps in a 4 tree shed >

The container garden area showing lettuce, spinach, radishes etc. >

More plants that I could forage that grow near and on my mtn land >

Oregon grapes that grow in a rocky area less than 1/2 mile away and also grow near the bunker >

Wild raspberries that also grow in a rocky area 1/2 mile away and I have a few growing on the bunker roof also >

Radishes shown coming up in a black container that is the bottom of an old trash can

There are also carrots planted here but not come up yet >

Small yellow sunflower near the middle of my mtn place on the sunny hillside. >

Mike walking on sunny hillside >

View to the left of the above pic looking out to the east, private road winding thru forest and the Snowy Range in the distance from the sunny hillside >


Hardcore survival
635 Posts
Awsome, Mike ! - True freedom!... total respect for that!

I followed your adventure on the "other" forum... - great videos too!

I wanted to come out for a couple of weeks, but when you're running an organic farm you are pretty tied down.

How many other guys actually made it up there to that rendezvous?

- Basey

(Mike is another guy that DOES instead of talks, he'll be prepared...)

Tested in the Wilderness
6,709 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Steve took all of the pics in this post, unless Glen took one or two of them.
Glen and Steve got along well together, which I am glad they did. They did hike quite a bit although it seemed like they could or should have told me where they were going most of the time. Such as when they were gone all day once and when they got back they said they had been hiking to Silver Lake 3 miles NW of my mtn place. If they had not gotten back for a day or two I would have had little idea of where they went. I could find them anywhere If I knew a general area they went to, hopefully without calling search and rescue.

110 year old cabin that I hiked to about 20 years ago. There is a 40 or so foot mine shaft under the old cabin. I placed a log across the entrance since it looked like deer or whatever couuld walk in and maybe fall in the shaft. This pic was also taken from my sunny hillside with a zoom in of the cabin >

Deer that hangs around quite a bit and actually is sneaky usually staying on the national forest that borders my land on two sides. At night with a full moon or real early morning I think this deer and a few others sneak in and eat many of the flowers and other plants, especially along my two springs.

Part of my main drinking water spring showing a small waterfall and small pond >

A chipmunk that ran around the camp all the time and got whatever food was dropped or thrown to him. I think this is the same chipmunk that has been around for at least 2 years. >

Mike on left, Steve on right in blue cap, at the main campfire site on Mike's remote mtn retreat
I had to burn quite a bit of wood, mainly slash to try to clean up the place more and also burned cardboard and trash >

Neighbors trout pond half a mile downhill where Steve and Glen caught some fish, with the neighbor's permission >

Steve and Glen's fish they caught at the neighbor's trout pond. >

Proof that Steve caught a trout. He caught at least two which were 14 inches. And while not seen in this pic, the first time I saw Steve after he had been fishing, I have rarely seen anyone so excited and one of the few times it looked like Steve really enjoyed the mountain area. He had repaired an old fishing pole I had and since we had no bait or lures I suggested using a shiny gold treble hook which he did and which he caught the trout with. >

Silver Lake which is 3 miles NW of my mtn land and where Steve and Glen hiked to one day. They did not fish here though since it is possible a game warden was watching, although it is remote and except on weekends unlikely to be a game warden around. I have also hiked and driven to this lake quite a bit since 1987.
There is an old mine shaft just above this lake which I looked into once but did not go into since I was by myself. Water was running out of that mine.

Another view of Silver Lake >

Continental Divide hiking trail sign which Glen and Steve saw which is about one mile straight west of my mtn place / BOL >

Night sky pic Steve took showing the Milky Way although it is infinitely better to see in person. No street lights up there to block out the stars. Only a lot of trees, mainly sub-alpine / Balsam Firs as seen at the bottom of this pic >

Here is a table Steve made one Sunday afternoon, when Glen was not up there, using whatever lumber he could find in my woodpiles.
Shown on top of this table is my Coleman gasoline stove and Big Berkey drip water filter and Steve's MSR backpacking stove which he used to cook for himself >

The inside of the food tent where much of the food was stored although I had about ten cardboard boxes of canned and other food in a plywood box.

Food tent which was Glen's "old" blue $20 tent that he did not use after he bought his $200 MSR tent. >

The blue tent shown here is the food tent >

The plywood box I use to store much of my canned and other food. Although I also have two 55 sealed steel drums packed with beans, rice, wheat etc. >

Two drums, one is behind the one shown, I have used these since Sept. 1999 >

Many more new pics and info which I Hope to have it all done in less than a week.

This long pic thread is the most difficult one I have ever made. For various reasons since it was a very difficult summer with the weather, some people and other things that happened.

Well all for now. At Least I got this thread started. Hope many will like it. And be able to see what happened last summer. ANY questions or comments are welcome.

Tested in the Wilderness
6,709 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Awsome, Mike ! - True freedom!... total respect for that!

I followed your adventure on the "other" forum... - great videos too!

I wanted to come out for a couple of weeks, but when you're running an organic farm you are pretty tied down.

How many other guys actually made it up there to that rendezvous?

- Basey

(Mike is another guy that DOES instead of talks, he'll be prepared...)
Thanks for the good words Basey.

I think you also have a bunker / underground shelter and probably much more than I have. Especially in food production. I have quite a bit of food stored on the BOL / mtn retreat but I have to build a good greenhouse hopefully as part of the new small partially underground cabin.

Here is a link to the 4 short videos that Steve and I did make. Wish we could have made many more videos but lucky we made these >

And last summer there were more than I have had visit my mtn place since the summer of 1999 when there were maybe a dozen.

But last summer there were Steve, Glen and Dave. Which I told about but will tell much more in the future posts in this thread. It will take quite a bit of time to put up the rest of at least fifty more pics. My cousin also visited me and took forty more pics which I will also post. My cousin only stayed a couple hours but at least he showed up finally. He seemed to like it but he was anxious to get down to Saratoga and stay in a fancy motel. :rolleyes:

Next summer there is already a new guy, whom I have been emailing and messaging with for about two years on this S-boards. I think he will be better than anyone so far. At least he sounds serious and truly wants to camp, work, learn and practice and live survival.

Much more later.

Master of Sparks
399 Posts
Good Stuff Mike. Adapt and overcome adversity, I like that kind of grit. Although it seems as if "Murphy" was an unseen and unintended companion on your trip into the mountains. I pass thru Greeley often on my way to the Pawnee Grass to shoot, If you want to go shootin' sometime in spring before heading into the mountains let me know.

Prepared Firebird
3,842 Posts
You are truly an amazing man, Mike. I've been following your posts about your BOL ever since I joined this forum. You are probably an inspiration and role model for more people on this board than you realize.

So.....this is a long overdue "thank you" for the time you spend to keep the board updated on your progress and the problems you deal with. (Reading between the lines of this post, I know this wasn't an easy year for you.)

The life you have chosen is no walk in the park. And, I feel comfortable commenting that there are not a lot of men who could do the things you do to live there in that beautiful state.........and not give up in defeat and look for an easier way to live.

Bear Magnet
3,766 Posts
Aaaah yes. Life in Wyoming. Dontcha love it? Those little sunflowers will have seeds in the fall you can sprout and they are simply delicious! Wild raspberries, wild strawberries. I chuckle a little every time someone who doesn't live up here says something like "You'll starve up in the mountains! You can't garden up there!"

Nice Mountainman. Very nice. Thanks for sharing.

Tested in the Wilderness
6,709 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I've been following your posts about your BOL ever since I joined this forum. You are probably an inspiration and role model for more people on this board than you realize.

So.....this is a long overdue "thank you" for the time you spend to keep the board updated on your progress and the problems you deal with. (Reading between the lines of this post, I know this wasn't an easy year for you.)

The life you have chosen is no walk in the park. And, I feel comfortable commenting that there are not a lot of men who could do the things you do to live there in that beautiful state.........and not give up in defeat and look for an easier way to live.
Thanks and I never know who all is inspired or even likes what I post unless some post, send me a message or even thank. Which I have plenty of thanks but with so many thousands of active members I wonder what most do like to see posted? I know that many have different tastes and too many probably never even come into this wilderness section. Some maybe even dislike wilderness?

And about an easier way to live is that actually I think camping, working and Living on my BOL / survival retreat is easier than any city job I have ever had.
I have always felt like I am not free, almost a slave to society and the world system when living in a city with a regular job that I had to go to day after day, year after year.
The wilderness and my mtn place which is barely one mile south of a pure true wilderness is the opposite of cities in everyway, good or bad.

While working and Living on my BOL is not physically easy, a day on my beautiful mtn retreat is better than an hour in any city. Working on the BOL is much harder physically than any other jobs I have had from being on a clean up crew at a slaughterhouse to being a security guard to a few other things, even working 12 hour shifts at an Anheuser-Busch can factory.

This was a very hard year since there were not too many things that went right. Especially getting the truck stuck in the muck / mud.
And I still would like to know if I was overcharged by that winch truck driver who pulled 2 of the pickup trucks out of the mud which took him about ten minutes with me helping him put the chains on. He was not the one who got muddy.

I mean $500 to simply winch out 2 trucks? He did not have to tow my truck simply winch it out. But he knew I had no other choice especially with his state patrol friend. They said if I did not have this winch truck driver winch it out they would call the sheriff which would cost me even more...

The weather also was terrible especially in June and July. Much rain and terrible lightning storms also. I saw lightning that hit a tree less than a quarter mile away. It sounded like an explosion. Glad I was sitting in my truck. In the bunker would have been even safer but I usually only go into the bunker / storm shelter when it is cold and snowy.

Much much more I will post later.

Psalm 23:4
2,891 Posts
For me life just makes sense up there. Away from all the weird crap human culture has concocted. Its life the way God made it. Not easy by a long shot but simple and pure.

Its a shame the way they extorted you into paying to have your truck pulled out. Away from the cities folks are usually more inclined to lend a hand just to help out. But when it comes to people theres always some lookin to capitalize.

Tested in the Wilderness
6,709 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Its a shame the way they extorted you into paying to have your truck pulled out. Away from the cities folks are usually more inclined to lend a hand just to help out. But when it comes to people theres always some lookin to capitalize.
More I could say but I probably have said enough about my truck stuck in the mud.
And I agree many in the country have been helpful but quite a few really are not too friendly. Such as even at neighbor's who own cabins, they are friendly if I go and meet them or happen to meet them on the private road but they really just want to be left alone. Which I sure understand that.

But Encampment is possibly a typical small town. I would not want to live there permanently for small towns can be full of nosy people and some who won't trust unless you were born there.

And also in Wyoming there has been many business people who look at Colorado license plates as a money machine. They want and need Colorado and other out of state tourists to keep their motels etc. etc. going but I will always think that they took advantage of me. And why I plan to not do anymore business in Encampment. Although the grocery store, which was expensive closed as well as all the restaurants in Encampment. Riverside a town with 59 residents has the business such as 2 bars and a store but Encampment with a population of 450 is drying up.

well all for now. I am usually not on the net during the day with my dialup. And why I had to go to the library for several days to make this pic thread. I will post many more pics later, even over the next week or so.

5,282 Posts
I can tell this is going to be really really good, only read about 1/4 of it so far. Marked for later.

OK finally got an opportunity to catch up on what you have posted. Really great, I can't wait till you finish it off. I myself may have been more secretive with allot of my "location" notes that you added but I have a feeling that even if you gave someone GPS coordinates that they would still never find it. -wink- Or a way to get to it.

I guess if you had learned anything (if I was in your shoes) then it would be you need a winch hu? LOL

Seriously though, I think after its all done (if your looking for suggestions) a good comprehensive lessons learned, things you could have done differently post would be appreciated.

To tell you the truth Mike, I would have loved to accompanied you on this fantastic journey. Looks like allot of work, but at the same time a ton of fun.

I look forward to reading more.

old hand
7,441 Posts
I have always felt like I am not free, almost a slave to society and the world system when living in a city with a regular job that I had to go to day after day, year after year.
The wilderness and my mtn place which is barely one mile south of a pure true wilderness is the opposite of cities in everyway, good or bad.
I don't think you're bashing your guests, I don't intend to knock them either.
But, you see what happens when more individuals are added to the mix.
For some reason you became a slave to one of your guests.

Will you re-consider this idea next year?

Ringin Your Gong From 600
7,683 Posts
Another super post!

Even if $250 for yanking a truck out was a fair price, I would think since he was already there, doing the second for 1/2 price would have been appropriate. How much would rigging and a good winch cost you? They might pay for themselves in the future.

Thank you very much for posting this always! :thumb:

angel waiting
4,071 Posts
Great post Mike I'm sure the rest of it will be great reading. I love the tuff shed and hope it lasts the next winter comming up. That was super great of you to allow people to come up and see you and experience first hand what roughing it means. I look forward to future posts.

413 Posts
Thanks for taking the time to post so many pictures and write so much, this is the type of article I joined this forum to read.

The journey sounds like one of our 'adventures' in the Land Rover.

We are thinking of having some Wwoofers this summer
but it is pot luck who you get however much you correspond by email. We love having people to stay and help, even family, but it is lovely when they go out for the day or finally go home!!!!

Your videos are great as well.

Renaissance Man
7,503 Posts
I always enjoy reading about your adventures. Even when they're not so adventurous. :D:

Not only do I live somewhat vicariously through you, your writing style is so honest it's a joy to read. Thanks for sharing!

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