"A great civilization is not conquered from without until it has destroyed itself from within."

Ariel Durant

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Last Call

I live in a log house up in the mountains, as everyone knows.  I live up here because it's secluded, and peaceful.  Although I always have a firearm, I don't hunt. I would if I needed to, but I don't have much taste for it otherwise. 

Deer Camp, Sept 2016

Red Stag, New Zealand
My middle brother, who is a year younger than me, is an avid hunter.  He retired at age 50, and since then he has spent a lot of his time hunting, as far away as New Zealand but usually in Montana or Wyoming.  In the picture at the top of the post, he's the middle man in the top row. The fourth from the right in the front row is one of my nephews, also a hunter.  This picture is the occasion of The Last Deer Camp up in the Sierra Nevada's.

He built his compound using mine as a model, so it has a lot of the same lay out though he spent a lot more money on his, and it's very lavish. For instance,  I have a diesel generator that powers essentials, he has one of those propane generators with an inverter that kicks  on as soon as the grid weakens, and runs the whole house without so much as a flicker.  My buildings are comfortable but  rustic, his are something out of Cabin Living magazine.  He's very much into the self sufficient mentality and his property is very well equipped for come what may. 

The garage with apartment overhead.

The main house

For more than twenty years, my brother has hosted a big deer camp for his old cronies and family. Used to be, as many as 35 people would come up there to his place and spend a week hunting. The sick, lame and lazy stayed in the apartment over his garage, or in the main house. The rest pulled up trailers or campers with them. But over the years, people got married, or they died off, or they moved away.  Now my brother has decided to sell his home in the Sierra's and move to Oregon , to be near his grand kids.  So this year is the last deer camp.

previous deer camps 

Like Bear Claw Chris Lapp, my brother surely liked the "wimmins" when he was younger.

When he sold his business to a British company, he had a big farewell party for his employees. The picture speaks for itself. He made sure they all kept their jobs, didn't cut anybody loose . 

The " Old Gringo" bought himself a condo in Mazatlan.  Used to spend part of the winter down there.

But all good things must come to an end.  We were never really close, and over the last few years we haven't seen each other or communicated much.  My brother is generous to a fault, considerate, and honorable. He is also overbearing, arrogant, cynical, and can be even more obnoxious than I am.  It's one of those things between brothers.  I regret  being back here in Georgia while my extended family is in Oregon.  But maybe we will take a trip out there to visit. We're all getting older, so it's probably a good idea.  His closing down the house in the Sierra's has kind of shocked me. It's like me moving away from here.  It's an indication that my brothers and I are all getting older, not that I needed any help recognizing that fact.


  1. The west side of Oregon is worse than California with all those crazy liberals. I wish him well. Wish we could move to Idaho, but we have too much stuff and are too old to start over. Good luck to him.

    1. His two sons both work in Oregon, and he has grandchildren that he wants to be near to. I am waiting with great interest to see what kind of home he gets. I can't see him living in a subdivision or a condo, but then again, I thought all this about selling the place in the Sierra's was just old age grumping. Turns out he meant it.

  2. I never thought I'd sell the farm where I was raised, either. Now, I'm considering selling my country home and acreage to buy a little one-story place in town. Yech!

    1. Well, if you think you can get by and not be unhappy, I guess that would not be bad. You wouldn't have to keep up a lot of property or buildings. But in town, you'd always have to put up with other people and the way they constantly impact on your own life, well meaning or no.

  3. It's been a long time since the deer camp was in my family. My dad sold it when he moved to FL. You'd go about 9 miles up a dirt road then another quarter mile down a fire road. Absolutely loved it there. In the summer it would be a base for hiking and brook fishing. Good times. For many years I regretted not having the chance to buy it. Since then the area has been logged flat and the roads opened up. No longer regret not owning it. This year I'll be doing some hunting while using the camper van as a base.

    I am lucky to have so many of family members within easy driving distance and that we get along so well. Lots of friends here too. Glad I gave up the chance to have property in FL. Besides, I don't love FL so much as I love the water around FL.

    All indications are this is year to hunker down in a place where I've allies.

    1. My uncle had a deer camp up in the Florida pan handle. It had land to hunt on, some shacks to sleep in, a big fire pit to cook in. I never really liked it but fortunately at the time I was living in California and we only went back to Florida from June until the end of August every summer. I am the only one in my family , and extended family, besides my son who isn't a big hunter so I guess that's why it just never caught on with me. Like your experience, the old deer camp is long gone now in Florida and has houses sitting on where it used to be.

      I'm not a big visitor, but it would be nice to be able to get together with my brothers and go out in the boat, and such. They are big football fans and go to the OSU games, even the away games when they can. I'd be bored to tears with that, so maybe it's just as well things are the way they are. In the past, all three of us in close proximity hasn't worked out that well anyway.

      It's not a good time to be moving around and changing things, I agree with you one hundred percent.

  4. Hey Harry,


    The old guard from WW2 is almost died out. Their kids, the 'worst generation' have turned America into a police state almost. The 'Hippe's have become 'The Man'

    The ones in your age group Harry cought the tale end of the hippe era. Some where excellent like Harry. Some where socialist bottom feeders.

    The generations that followed, including the infamous 'millennial generation' are 'disorganized, grabasstick pieces of dung' (line stolen from Full Metal Jacket) a few millennial's (a precious few) few shredded their entitlement papers and through away their participation medals and ribbons.

    'Generations come and go. Its the natural order of things. One can only hope the best of the previous generation, filters down the next generation. I guess you could call it a form of natural selection. Now with entitlements and special snowflake status. The worst of a generation is allowed to prosper and reproduce in large numbers.

    That is one big reason why America is becoming almost like one large scale, border to border, coast to coast 'section 8 housing project.

    Its sad to see the best of a previous generation pack up shop and prepare for retirement and slow down. Its the natural order of things. The older generations remember an America were federal involvement was unconstitutional in most cases and most people where willing to stand up for their rights. The younger generations see goverment as the answer too all of societies ills.

    That is the death of liberty. Reliance upon someone else to do something for you.

    1. If I had to choose between living in the 1950's and living now, I'd choose 1950's hands down.

      We were in the grocery store yesterday and this woman was paying with an "EBT" check from the state. She was buying creme pies, expensive soda, and big roasts. She must have been about 25 or so and weighed 400 easy. Something is out of whack with so many things these days.

  5. He has a really nice looking place. It must be hard for him to make the decision to move on.

    I did carry a camelbak on my run with supplies and water. It held 2 liters which in normal temps would have been more than I possibly could have drank. It was just so hot!

    1. I never thought he would do it. He talked about it but I didn't pay much attention.

      Heat stroke is really dangerous and it happens when people exert themselves in hot temps and don't have adequate warning. You ran on what is called a "red flag day" in the Marines. When it's that hot extensive outdoor training is cancelled. I'm glad you had the camel back. If it wasn't an adequate amount, and you can't stage more water along your route, I guess that's all you can do. I hope the 24 hour run isn't going to have logistic problems too!

  6. I understand Harry. My In laws sold/gave their summer home to my youngest BIL. Every time we ask about going up there we get the cold shoulder. Last year my BIL from Virginia got to go. This year we asked again. same story. My dad has put his property up north for sale going on two years. Has had one offer, The guy said my dad wanted too much money. I was hoping the 5 acres was going to be willed to me and my five kids. Don't look like it will happen. My brother has no family so i thought he would get the house. Things do change weather we like it or not..

    1. True enough. I never really believed my brother when he said he was going to move to Oregon, it just doesn't fit his profile. But I guess being close to his grandchildren is more important than I realized.

  7. My husband went deer hunting with his dad when he was about my oldest son's age - 11, or so. He shot his first deer. His dad was excited. My husband looked into the deers eyes, and felt awful. It was that time that he and his dad started disconnecting.

    I think if he had to he could hunt. If it was a matter of survival - he'd do it.

    1. I can understand hunting for food. I don't understand shooting elephants, lions, etc.

      It's strange that in my family, one brother is an avid hunter, one is so so about it, and one (me) doesn't do it. I would guess that it's a matter of different life experiences.

  8. Don't know where he's headed in Oregon. Close could be 10 minutes or a couple of hours...If he doesn't need to be in their hip pocket there are some decent rural places in the coast range or the Cascade foothills to hunker down.

  9. Great pictures.

    We have always been hunters and gatherers and fishermen. Some for fun, most from necessity.

    Uncle Crit always kept Snake Root drying in his porch rafters. They didn't even count their snake bites. Just took a chaw of snake root and went about their business. He lived in a very rule area with creeks, mountains and caves so no shortage of snakes.

    I think I would go to the hospital if a rattle snake bit me but they are rare in our immediate area...or we are blind to them.