Wind gone. Dead calm. Sun blazing at 30+ degrees. Sunny. Bright. Strangers kayaked by. 60’s-something city fella and his wife. All decked out…Gore-Tex, life-jacket, helmet, whistle, radio. Water-proof camera. Matching outfits. Probably got flares and a first-aid kit. Plus lunch and a plethora of water bottles. Bright yellow. Splashes of red. Real purty, don’t ya know? ‘Nuff equipment to do Alaska! And all brand new!
God bless ém. Mind you, the likelihood of any danger was zero except, perhaps, from overheating from all the laid-on equipment.
And, since I was down on the beach doing some funicular work as they went by, we got to talkin’………..
After the introductory pleasantries he said, “Pretty impressive place you got here. I like that ramp-thingy. And all that alternative energy stuff, eh? Generators? Solar panels? Do you live off the land? How do you get your water? What about internet?” And on and on. So I answered. Kept it simple. Brief. To the point.
Practically made him beg for more…..
He said, “I was thinkin’ that someone should write a book about what you folks are doing up here. Wife and I met some of the folks at the Wednesday gathering yesterday and they tell some great stories. This off-the-grid living is pretty cool. Know of a book on it?”
“Well, I replied, there are some homesteader books about living out here but most of them are dated. Out of print. Those were the real pioneers. The 70’s era hippy-back-to-the-landers have not made that much of a contribution to the larger-story library yet but they have been the force behind the alternative energy thing. They have done a few How-to books on design. I know that. And there must be a few published stories about living this kind of life. Just not so many. There’ll be more, I am sure.
“The unaddressed segment, I think, are the recently released baby-boomers escaping the city but that exodus hasn’t really started yet….least not so much up here. I’m one of those recent converts. And there are a few more. But it is not a phenomenon yet. Not a trend.
And, I went on, “I think the more civilized and gentile ‘cabin and cottage’ society may have begun in the interior on some kind of still-on-the-grid scale but that is a bit different than living remote and off-the-grid. I often look for adventure-cum-self-reliance and primal-make-do books myself and haven’t found a great deal on the topic.”
“Boy! I’d sure buy one!”
It was all I could do NOT to ask for his address.