I have a friend living up here, a neighbour of sorts. He moves about somewhat, but in the immediate vicinity, so he is a hard-to-nail-down neighbour but still a friend. And I find him fascinating.
D has lived most of his life up here. Well, actually, he lived a large part of it in an even more remote area. He kinda went all-civilized when he came down this way. He is, by any account, wilderness savvy and wilderness oriented. In fact, he is stereotypically reclusive at times.
But not all the time. Winters he sometimes travels to sunny climes and helps others down south build things from natural sources. Like he is his own branch of Habitat for Humanity or something. He is a green builder of incredibly practical and minimalist orientation. D can make a house out of anything. D is a real life McGyver.
When D wanted a boat, he went into the forest, felled a tree, milled it up with his chainsaw and then put it all together. It looks fantastic! Robinson Crusoe is a pussy by comparison. We’re talkin’ Grizzly Adams at his best here.
And D lives frugally. Less than 10G a year I am guessing. And that includes his trips to places as far away as New Zealand! I have no idea how he does all that but he does. And he does it well.
I mention D because we (Sally and I) are representing a basic, getting-back-to-the-land, minimal footprint lifestyle in this blog and, by comparison to many, I think we are. By comparison to urbanites, anyway. But by comparison to D, we are profligate pigs at the trough, wastrels of energy and resources and our footprints are huge. Like clown feet!
And, to be fair, we are closer to the urbanites or the spoiled brat syndrome – no question. I don’t think Inuit live with as little impact on the land as D. Hell, I don’t think bag-ladies in the alley-ways of the city live with as little impact as D. The guy is an environmental hummingbird in consumption and a Grizzly Bear of production and innovation in construction.
Great sense of humour, too.
Great with kids and Chinese students.
“So, what’s the downside, Dave? Butt-ugly? Mean as a junkyard dog? Weird theories about aliens and the Bush family or what?”
Well, that’s just it, isn’t it? Doesn’t seem to be one. No downside, I mean. Just a McGyver type who likes life and lives minimally. Alone. Creatively. Healthily. Sane.
I swear to God, you can’t make this stuff up!
He’s actually female? 🙂
He is not light in his cork boots but there are, in fact, a few more female equivalents up here. Author Chris Czakowski of Nek Tusli, another woman just ten or so miles further north from us, a few more closer to civilization but still wearing the check shirt, dungarees and gumboots while collecting nettles in the Spring, oysters from the beach and, in some cases, even plunking the odd deer. We have our fair share of Cougar Annys’ but the men kinda go ‘off’ as a rule. Smell bad. Get more than a little whacked as they age. Not this guy. He’s sane and pleasant. A real anomaly.
Oh well, count your blessings he’s one of the normal loners.
I’m off to the salt mine. Enjoy your day.
We do need the resourceful folks to avoid the tyranny of those posing as skillful.