“There is no real ending. It’s just the place where you stop the story.”

― Frank Herbert

Saturday, June 21, 2014

A Good Place to Live


I got up early today and rode up to a gap in the mountains, about three miles from the house. It's a perfect place to view the sunrise.  Professional photographers go up to that spot to catch the sun coming up against the mountains.


This is a view of the Chattahoochee National Forest.  There's nothing out there. No houses, no roads. The Appalachian Trail runs through it, usually along the mountain ridges.

Not all of the county is mountainous.  There are flat places, called coves.  Most of these are used for crops like corn and beans, but there are some pastures for cattle and horses as well.



I took this picture from the Appalachian Trail.  It's looking down towards Atlanta and the "flat lands."




This is the shop (first floor) and the apartment (second floor).  All of my buildings are under the forest canopy.  That serves to help keep them cool in the hot months.  If you look at an air photo of my place, you can see the meadow but it looks like nobody lives there unless you blow up the picture and look very closely. Then you can see the outline of some of the buildings.


I live so far out, and so far away from people, that I can do whatever I want to out here. I don't have to worry about whiny people bitching to the Sheriff if I want to shoot. Nobody hears me in the middle of this forest.


The dogs and I used to spend a lot of time out in the woods, exploring.  I'm good with a map and compass, so I never got lost.  I also had a hand held GPS for verification purposes. I don't go out into the forest much anymore, it's really tough on the legs because it's all up and down.


Nobody can escape problems and worries, but I do think living way out in the desert, or the mountains, or the woods, makes life simpler.   You don't have all the issues inherent in interaction with people.  It tends to be a very uncomplicated existence that centers around your immediate needs.  You can be very comfortable, and have all the amenities that city dwellers do, but without the issues they deal with.


23 comments:

  1. I would hope than in my next life, I would have the good sense to make better choices and find my own little piece of heaven on earth. I realize there are always problems, but those that don't involve nosy neighbors seem easier to deal with. Thank you for the tour. Absolutely stunning.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. In 1986, when I left the Marine Corps, I wanted to get away from concentrations of people. I just wanted some peace and quiet, and to be left alone. This place on the edge of the Chattahoochee suited me. There have been times when I wish I'd gone to the desert instead, but overall I can't complain about how things have worked out. Anytime you have people around you, you have to take their likes, dislikes, and foibles into account no matter what you want to do. I don't have to deal with that aggravation.

      You seem pretty well set up, Vicki. You have a nice comfortable place there, and you have family around. You are doing nicely I think.

      Delete
  2. Sometimes I wish I lived closer in....so that I could just walk to the store or even have my mail delivered to my front door. Luckily, that feeling doesn't last long. I, too, like my privacy and solitude and not having to deal with people and barking dogs. Your place is so beautiful...so much greenery. Thanks for showing us.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. There are times when living way out, and being hard to get to, are not a bonus. The time the wood stove chimney caught on fire comes to mind. But generally, it's perfect. I go to town once a week or so, and that's enough.

      It's very green here in the mountains in summer, and my wife says all this rain has made it the most verdant summer she remembers. The trees and brush have grown up over the jeep trail to the extent that in some places, you are driving through a green tunnel to get up here.

      Delete
  3. It's very pretty there. My husband would be jealous of your shop.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. All men need a shop. Someplace to work on things where nobody will bother them. A place to keep all the equipment and bits and pieces that don't fit anywhere else. Sometimes just a place to smoke your pipe and listen to the radio. Especially in winter time.

      Delete
  4. Harry - your place is beautiful and i love all of the trees! i also love the seclusion and privacy. that's why we are living here at the manor. between our 2 communities, there might be 80 people and they are all very private people as well - they must be - they live out here in the middle of nowhere! we love getting together with these people for the various functions and fundraising and whatnot - but it is at our choice. today was the community "hungry man's breakfast". for 4yrs we have gone, cooked, served and then cleaned up. this morning was just not good timing for us in regards to getting more stuff in the ground - and to be frank - we weren't in the mood. so we didn't go. we love having the ability to be up here alone, just the two of us, and go out in the community when we wish. we enjoy going to our nearest little town because the people are very friendly - but we only go every 3-4 weeks. when we have to go in to the city - arghghghghgh! i break out in hives. and it's a very small "city" (pop. about 34,000). however, even though we love cooking everything from scratch and enjoying very healthy meals....every now and again we wish we could order a pizza - bahahahhaha! but not too often. much love buddy, to you and yours - i can't wait to hear about your garden progress. i love reading about other people's gardening adventures as everyone is dealing with different weather, different growing seasons, different pest and bugs - i love it!

    your friend,
    kymber

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Kymber, you have the one thing I don't. You have a view of the river. I have a big creek I can listen to at night, but the mountain is so steep here where I live that although it is very close to the house, I can't see it through the trees and the steep drop off.

      I was watching "America Unplugged" today, I'd taped it on Thursday but hadn't had a chance to watch it. The man they were profiling had a beautiful little place he had built for himself in North Carolina, off the grid. He said his whole philosophy on life was to be useful to other people and help them with his skills, in the knowledge that they would reciprocate if he ever needed it. That's what you and J do and it's very wise. I think a small, self sustaining community has a lot better chance of surviving disruptions than a handful of individuals.

      Delete
  5. That is a stunning sunrise - breathtaking.

    Yeah, I know where you're coming from. Man NEEDS time out and space to think clearly / enjoy the silence. Life has become too hurly-burly generally.

    Being able to stand back and experience life au natural - aren't we privileged :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I remember when my wife had a brain tumor, and we had to stay in Atlanta for awhile at the Holiday Inn. I would go up on the roof for some quiet, where they had a small pool and some tables. But the traffic noise, the sirens, all that was so disruptive it wasn't peaceful. I couldn't see the sky at all, no stars, because of all the city lights. That was a bad time in general, but I remember how out of place I felt. I guess even by then I had been off in the woods too long to adjust easily to a city again.

      Yes, we are very fortunate. There aren't many people who can actually live way out there away from the hive. I admire the views from your place. You can see all around, and I can only see into a tree line unless I go somewhere like that gap.

      Delete
  6. Wow Harry you are truly blessed with such a breath taking view.. I thank god every day for leading us to our home in a small town. We love going for drives out around the farms so very quite.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. So people still do that, just go out for drives for the pleasure of seeing the countryside? I thought my wife and I were the only ones' still exercising that entertainment venue. When I was a kid my whole family would go for a ride on Sunday afternoon. We went on "the deer road." It was just a country road but you always saw deer in the glades along the road. It was a highlight of the week.

      Delete
    2. Well there are two more down here Harry. My wife and I often fill the Thermos with coffee, grab some cake and the picnic basket and head off for the day, we choose a direction and take off and stop when ever we see something interesting (which in my wife's case means any antique or junk shop we come across). I like to find a country pub to stop for lunch, you can almost always get a good counter lunch for as good price and of course a nice cold beer!

      Delete
    3. That's a good way to spend some time together, Sgt. It does't cost a lot, and you can set your own pace. You don't have to be gone from home for weeks at a time but you get the feeling of having been "out."

      We like little country restaurants. There are no pubs up here because only the expensive places can afford a license to sell beer and wine. I think in my whole county there is only one place you can get beer with your meal.

      Delete
  7. Amazing views you have there. Sure wish I could live like that, but having a child with autism makes that almost impossible. Oh well; I have a job, house is paid for, and my health is pretty good so I should be thankful...90% of the world has it worse. Perspective they say.

    I agree with Dani about living life "au natural" but I'm afraid if I tried that, my neighbors may not come outside anymore. Then again that may not be a bad thing :) --Troy

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It sounds like you are coping with the hand life dealt you pretty well. That's all any of us can do.

      One of the nice things about being out away from people is that you really don't have to conform to other people's ideas of normal. If I want to mow the meadow on Sunday morning, I do. If I want to shoot a gun in the evening when it's cool, I do. If my dogs bark, I don't have to worry about disturbing anyone. Nor do I have to put up with the lack of consideration on the part of other that seems to be endemic where people live closely together

      Delete
  8. As a lover of all places sylvan, it looks like an ideal spot for me to watch the world spin. I like a small cove to raise a garden, and watch the kids grow up. I'm a little jealous, well perhaps jealous isn't the right word, but I really like your place. Uncomplicated has many benefits. Keep on Prepping.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The fewer things I have to deal with, the better. If I wasn't constantly having to deal with government at some level, from the county to the federal, I'd have almost nothing to be annoyed about. But the bloated bureaucracy reaches it's tentacles into every nook and cranny now, no matter how isolated.

      Delete
  9. Your area looks a lot like Southern Missouri especially the Central parts. Very rugged. Certainly a good place to ride out the decline I would say. Rugged isolation is better than shear distance in minimizing unwanted visitors I think and being so isolated means there isn't enough others around to make it worth a looting groups time to move into the area.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Plus you can always drop some trees across your road :)

      Delete
    2. I have a big oak that goes completely across the jeep trail at the gate. That's why the gas company I had said they wouldn't come up here anymore, their new trucks couldn't get under it. I can lay it down across the road with a chain saw in about twenty minutes. I'd hate to, because it's very old, but I would in a pinch.

      Appalachia is rugged, and the locals are rough people. I don't mean that in a negative sense, only that they tend to be poorly educated, low income, close minded, and easily angered. That doesn't mean they aren't good people, it does shape how they react to others, though. I know plenty of people here who have not traveled any further than Atlanta or Chattanooga, and who have never seen the ocean.

      Delete
  10. Beautiful! We are about as isolated as I can get and still work in town but if I had a choice, it would be farther away. We live in a subdivision but it's only a few homes and all acreage, the only thing we share is the road. We seem to attract people who are self sufficient and are willing to band together to get things done when work needs to be done. I think you need a network of people but when things go bad I would want to be as far away from the cities as possible.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's the big problem. Trying to make a living way out in the woods is tough. I commuted 78 miles a day round trip, to the other side of the mountains, for twenty years, in all kinds of weather.

      It sounds like the place you live has decent people in it, and that's the main thing. I know you have a nice place because I've seen your pictures, and your tractor! Most people interested in self sufficiency agree with you, that a network of local people is the best system. I tend to go it alone because I've really avoided having much to do with people who live around here over the years. Like the old saying goes "I work alone. That way I know everybody I depend on."

      Delete