Sometime around 11:00 pm in the circle of life

Interesting times out here in Nowheresville.  And by that I mean, things are dull.  Like doldrums.  Can’t explain it…just NOT exciting.  Interesting, still, of course, but no sense of activity.  It’s like our collective feet are stuck or something.

It’s almost June.  You can count the number of recreational boats that have gone by on one hand.  And there have been kayakers but only one gaggle so far.  Not the half dozen or so that even last year presented.  And there has been only one single, lone paddler and that was about a week ago.  Typically, we see the iconic sole adventurer times five or six by now.  Air traffic has also been less.  Even the commercial prawners seem to be working at skeleton crew level.  It’s been a very slow start to the busy season.

In theory that should be fine with me.  And it is. I am seeking out people less and less these days.  Quiet is good.  But this isn’t about me.  It’s about the rest of the recreational public.  They just ain’t here. I have noticed a drop off in the hoi polloi for the last decade but the numbers seemed to level off about three or so years ago.  We had fewer passers by but we still had a countable, noticeable number every day.  This year days go by and no one enters our vision – and this with the Dog-who-alerts-us to every passing mammal even if it is a just another seal.  Trust me; we know who comes and goes.

I have several theories about why this is so but the reasons don’t matter.  There are fewer people working and recreating out here and that statistic has been well established over several decades.  That this year is even slower is simply part of a long trending decline in human activity both recreational and commercial.

Things will pick up, of course.  Our August is already full and, if they are coming to visit us, others are going to visit others and still others will come and go.  We’ll get people.  But this is an unseasonably slow start.  Weird.  It’s feels like a portent of something…

…the calm before the storm?  Or the calm before the death?

Ironically, a new TV series has been announced: America Unplugged (Sportsman Channel).  I am not sure what it is about (it has yet to premier and we don’t have TV anyway) but the ads indicate that it will be ‘hosted’ and that it will feature families (some with ‘gasp’ children!) who intentionally live off the grid.  They even had an excerpt from some discussion whereby the interviewee claimed to be able to survive forever with only a big sharp knife to aid him.  Oooh, tough guy stuff.  If the series is about eating bugs and tree bark in the rain while wasting away in front of a TV crew, it will be short-lived (as will be the star of the show).  But if it is about people like us, it will be interesting to at least people like us – who don’t have TVs and who number in the 00’s.  So, short-lived either way is my prediction.

I just discovered Wretha and husband at Wrethaoffgrid.something and they are four years into much the same adventure as us.  West Texas.  Learning the same lessons.  Loving it.  But, like us, they are amazed at how few actually do it.  Oh well…………

Conclusion: living off the grid is NOT popular.  Never will be.  Visiting (trekking, hiking, camping, kayaking) off the grid is becoming less popular than it used to be and may end all together.  Which makes sense: no people living out here, no visitors.  No residents no visitors, fewer resources to strip and exploit equals less people altogether.

And then the forest can heal.  The oceans can become rich again.  Then the people will come.  And the cycle may repeat.  Simba, Mustafa.

3 thoughts on “Sometime around 11:00 pm in the circle of life

  1. Well you are up and taking comments again after a bit of off air stuff or whatever it was. “Off the grid is not popular,” says you but I would offer not yet! Its been less than 80 years since large areas of North America were not on the grid and many areas are only on the grid today with the help of generators. Vast areas of the world are off the grid and destined to remain as such. Off the grid is the future as many areas return to the technologies of the 19th century as fuel prices spike and the lights are turned off for cost saving reasons. This is not some vision of doom and gloom but predictable with gas at $ 1.50 per litre as we subsidize the production costs of the tar sands.


  2. The lack of people wandering by might be due to the price of fuel. I remember the last economic slow down occurred when gas seemed to hit $1.50/litre.

    Or the debt that people have accumulated has finally caught up with them. Canadians are hideously indebted these days. I talked to a co worker the other day and he cant afford to take his family and go camping….. Food, fuel, fees. forget it.
    A liter of milk is $2. A loaf of bread is $4. Living aint cheap and something is gonna pop.
    Living off the grid is a wonderful way to watch it unfold.

    Or possibly its nothing more mysterious than the crappy Spring weather. Rain, rain and more rain doesnt seem generate a lot of enthusiasm for “roughing it” .


  3. You are both likely right. Cost and weather. Probably. And living OTG seems to have cachet with a lot of people so some of them may do it. Someday. Just a glitch in the calendar, I am sure.


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