the animal's journal

Where are you and where are you going?
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Seppia
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Location: Italy

Re: the animal's journal

Postby Seppia » Wed Mar 08, 2017 12:14 pm

Awesome as always!
I have subscribed to your blog, allow me a suggestion: MORE PICS!
Your pics are astounding, you should have as many of them as possible.

Jake9870
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Joined: Sun Feb 12, 2017 1:22 am

Re: the animal's journal

Postby Jake9870 » Thu Mar 09, 2017 6:04 am

Where to start..

@Animal, your journal is a work of art, really.. I'm sure you're getting quite the big head with all these compliments :), but they are very deserved. Your accomplishments are inspiring. I
I'd like to mention your 53 hour run (seriously??) and becoming one with the Alaskan bush people ;) ..

But what stands out the most to me is how dynamic you and your journal have been. The lightyears you've grown in A short time.. The maturity your writing shows now. Just,
Thank you for the great read!

Some slight connections:

You attended Miami of Oxford in Ohio? I grew up in/around Cincinnati and have family in Oxford as well as many, many friends who have gone/are attending uni there.

I moved to Bozeman, Montana three years ago and while not nearly as rural as where you are I feel the culture shock of both living here, visiting the VERY rural parts of MT, and going back to a city. I have so much to say about this place and the contrast of life.

I am also (from what I can tell) one of the younger members of the forum at 21.

@Jacob

The more meaningful posessions I've come across in life have always been second hand with an attached story. Usually coming from a close friend, or loved one. Glad to see this thought is universal.

....

I was apprehensive to post for a few reasons. First and foremost this is my first forum that I've come back to for more than just a few laughs i.e. Reddit.. This group of people, this concept of an alternative, more fulfilling, and grounding lifestyle has been toying with my thoughts since I stumbled upon the site in early January. I haven't read Jacob's book so I'm unprepared, but I thought this would be a good time to jump in.

Well, it's 4 AM for me now after reading the latest bits of Animal's journal and finishing my rant. Sorry for anyone who actually reads all this!

I'll be posting a journal at some point I think, but next time not on a smart phone! Apologies to Animal for hijackng your space :)

Cheers everyone,

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Gilberto de Piento
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Re: the animal's journal

Postby Gilberto de Piento » Thu Mar 09, 2017 8:15 am

You can find it at [url]arcticessays.wordpress.com[/url]


The link to your blog in your earlier post is broken. You have to put the "http://www." in the link or it won't work. http://www.arcticessays.wordpress.com

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theanimal
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Re: the animal's journal

Postby theanimal » Sat Mar 11, 2017 7:35 am

@WI- No trapping on my end. I've gone with neighbors out to individual traps including one instance a few weeks ago where they caught a wolverine. Upon being trapped, a wolverine will tear up the surrounding brush and even chew at its leg to get free. With this in mind, we raced to get out there, not knowing whether or not it would still be there. It was and was killed. After that, we discovered that it had only had one toe caught in the trap. I have mixed feelings about the whole experience and trapping in general. I've only seen one other wolverine otherwise, a quick glimpse while on a hike this past October. Many consider themselves lucky to see one in a lifetime.

@Seppia- Thank you! I'll certainly make an effort to add more pictures.

@Jake- Welcome! And thanks for your kind words. ERE and this forum certainly deserve a lot of the credit in helping shape who I am today. It's great to see another younger person on the forums..I'll keep an eye out for your journal.

@GdP- Fixed. Thanks.

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theanimal
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Re: the animal's journal

Postby theanimal » Sat Mar 11, 2017 8:20 am

Days are getting brighter and brighter. I've hinted to it elsewhere or mentioned it indirectly, but light takes on a greater significance here than I've found everywhere else. Due to the extremes no doubt and the always changing nature. Winter lacks the sun but has beautiful twilight and auroral displays. Summer has the endless light. Right now is a blend of both. 13 hours of light/day and bright auroral displays at night. We are still in our winter season here. This past week saw 3 nights drop below -40 degrees F. The days would warm up to a balmy (I say this somewhat seriously) -10 F. As the singer Johnny Horton once said, "When it's springtime in Alaska it's 40 below..." Warmer days are ahead.

Image
Skiing on the river

My days have been blending into a routine of exercising, skiing, learning and reading. I have lots and lots of free time. I was somewhat dissatisfied with the last update I wrote where I portrayed myself as being very busy and full of activity. People who say they are always busy often annoy me, as they either aren't and are doing it for status purposes and/or are mismanaging their priorities. My sin is likely that of the former. Forgive me brethren!

Image
Winter version of my cabin.

I'm still working on trying to get a tourism based business started up here for the summer. It has proven to be pretty difficult to do without easy access to reliable, fast internet so i'm likely going to have to make a trip into town over the next couple weeks. Other income opportunities keep popping up. I was offered a job working at a small local mine over the summer, and can make it permanent if I want. $20-25/hr work as many or little days as I choose. As of now, I'm thinking of pursuing it a couple of days each week. I don't have any interest in the permanent position as I don't have any desire to do any underground work. A neighbor is wondering if I'm interested in cutting a couple cords of wood for them, with more work available down the line. One of the local bed and breakfast's has guests in the summer that are looking for a private guided tour of the area. They referred them to me. Income opportunities keep sprouting up. I'm still not sure which I'll pursue, but this money thing is seemingly becoming more and more like Jacob's tap water analogy.

Otherwise not much is new. In early April, I'm participating in the winter version of the race I did this past summer. I'll be travelling on skis and over a longer route. I'm looking forward to the challenge and the chance to meet more people with similar interests. After that I have one last winter trip planned to climb a remote mountain with some friends in the area. April should be nice.

Image
Neighbor's guest cabin in evening twilight

Over the past 8-9 months I've been wrestling with the question of location. I love the area I live in. The environment I live in is near pristine and the views are remarkable just outside the front door of my cabin. I know the history well and have developed a relationship with the area and its inhabitants. Yet, there seems to be something missing. I don't think I'm currently able to live the life I desire to live. My best experiences over the past few years have been the wilderness trips I've done. That's the stuff I live for and wish to do frequently. But I have found that, at least in the winter months, I do not have the motivation to do these trips by myself and do not enjoy them. With such a small population in the area, there isn't anyone who is interested in doing what I wish to do. One of the things I find sad and perplexing about Alaska is that often the people living in the most beautiful places (rural and remote areas) are the least likely to explore them, and if they do it is often solely by motor.

I don't think trips are the only thing though. A girlfriend would be nice and the selection is non existent up here. I sometimes also wonder if I'm limiting myself by living secluded in my early 20s, I think this is a time when many my age don't have the commitments and are more willing to make friends then later on with a spouse, kids and/or increased focus on career. Dick Proenneke told those in their early 20s that wrote him about wanting to pursue his lifestyle that they were crazy and should wait until 50. That may be a bit extreme but I think the point stands.

Its with all this in mind that I've been bouncing back and forth where to live. An urban area isn't particularly appealing for many reasons, but I don't think I can develop the community that I am seeking up here. Of course, it isn't a dichotomy. I have thought of doing both (there ya go Dragline ;) ). Maybe something like the bright 6-8 months in the wilderness and the dark/cold 4-6 in the city. I'm not entirely sure. But this has been causing me some mental anguish and a feeling that I need to do something. Otherwise, it just seems like time keeps passing me by without me accomplishing what I want to accomplish.

If anyone has any suggestions, I'm all ears.

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Gilberto de Piento
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Re: the animal's journal

Postby Gilberto de Piento » Sat Mar 11, 2017 5:24 pm

Your life right now looks really interesting, thanks for sharing the pics.

It's great you got to see a wolverine though it sounds like the circumstances sucked. Trapping is disgusting and unsportsmanlike.

Subscribed to your blog.

AussieGirl
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Re: the animal's journal

Postby AussieGirl » Mon Mar 13, 2017 2:17 am

Hi animal,
I've read your journal from the start with some interest. I'm a bit older and would like to offer some perspective, which you can take or leave as you like. I'm married and have two kids. For me all three are an amazing source of joy and meaning. A family is not easier but for me the challenge, opportunity and delight is worth it. Just as you may find a relationship is. Although it would be something that you would need to give time to finding the right thing for you. Working out the right level of give and take. I still haven't got it worked out, but open communication keeps the discovery going. The 20s are an amazing time for discovery and I think setting yourself up for that and more social mixing is great. Bigger cities and towns offer it, but it can take a while to find a group that suits you and make the connections that work for you. A balance between what you know and love and new discovery seems a great idea. Just don't expect it to be amazing on day one. It can take some time. Let me know if you have any specific questions further to my more general thoughts above.
Good luck!

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theanimal
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Re: the animal's journal

Postby theanimal » Wed Mar 15, 2017 4:28 pm

@GdP- Thanks for reading.
I had the same stance you do with regards to trapping, still do with regards to a lot of it. My view softened a bit after gaining exposure to people who trapped and learning more about the history. I find it makes much more sense historically then it does today. Now people mainly just do it for recreation, which is kind of sick if you think about it. The same people who denounce sport hunting are going out trapping essentially for sport. In the past, trapping was really the only source of income up here. There were essentially no other options. That is nowhere near the case today. There is significant skill involved in catching a wolf, but for other animals not so much. I've contemplated doing it before, but can't find anyway to really justify it. I can find other sources of income, I don't think I'd like killing the animals for fur and I don't like the waste. Lynx can be eaten (rarely done anymore in this area), but wolf, wolverine, marten and fox are just used for fur or as bait in other traps. So ya, i guess I'm not much of a fan. Especially adding the fact that all use snowmachines to travel, which I despise.

@Aussiegirl- I appreciate your input. I figure it's going to take time to build relationships wherever I am. Certainly much longer in my current area though than in an urban environment (in terms of people outside the community). Experimenting with something like this isn't permanent, I could always go back to what I'm doing now if I desired. The social mixing and discovery you mention is something that's been on my mind recently. Still pondering my options.

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Dragline
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Re: the animal's journal

Postby Dragline » Wed Mar 15, 2017 4:46 pm

theanimal wrote:I don't think trips are the only thing though. A girlfriend would be nice and the selection is non existent up here. I sometimes also wonder if I'm limiting myself by living secluded in my early 20s, I think this is a time when many my age don't have the commitments and are more willing to make friends then later on with a spouse, kids and/or increased focus on career. Dick Proenneke told those in their early 20s that wrote him about wanting to pursue his lifestyle that they were crazy and should wait until 50. That may be a bit extreme but I think the point stands.

Its with all this in mind that I've been bouncing back and forth where to live. An urban area isn't particularly appealing for many reasons, but I don't think I can develop the community that I am seeking up here. Of course, it isn't a dichotomy. I have thought of doing both (there ya go Dragline ;) ). Maybe something like the bright 6-8 months in the wilderness and the dark/cold 4-6 in the city. I'm not entirely sure. But this has been causing me some mental anguish and a feeling that I need to do something. Otherwise, it just seems like time keeps passing me by without me accomplishing what I want to accomplish.

If anyone has any suggestions, I'm all ears.


Well, my brother wanted to move to Alaska at your age, but settled for Western Montana and has been pretty happy living there. He works in Missoula, which is a college town, but frequently runs off into the mountains whenever he wants to be alone.

It's certainly not as wild and remote, but there are a lot of places to go in the wilderness around there if you want, including areas near Glacier in the north and Yellowstone in the south, and the Lolo National Forest and Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness just across the Idaho border in the panhandle.

I also have a niece in Juneau. She is about your age and most recently was leading tours to the Mendenhall Glacier, or what is left of it. But I think she has a boyfriend . . . ;)

Jake9870
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Re: the animal's journal

Postby Jake9870 » Mon Mar 20, 2017 11:35 pm

@Dragline
Missoula Is a fantastic mix of a small city and the nature around it. I frequently go up there for weekend trips. Western Montana is a great place for the mixing of both environments. Iive in Bozeman which is the other college town. If you're looking for a blend of both people/ social aspects and outdoor recreation/ independence Western college towns have always looked to me as great places to live.

I've been going around Lolo once every year. Lots of clothing optional natural hot springs ;)

Jason
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Re: the animal's journal

Postby Jason » Fri Mar 24, 2017 2:18 pm

Are those antlers on the side of your cabin? And if so, is it merely decorative or does it serve as some type of security system against bears or strung out methheads? Also, is there a reason you don't shovel your roof? I have no idea about these things. I mean your friend's cabin looks like some giant snow creature landed on top of it and is dry humping the poor thing.

As far as getting a girl to live up there with you, that's a tough one. I'm sure there are some Thelma and Louise types on the lamb but that could get dicey. I'm not even sure a mail order bride trying to extricate herself from an abusive family life in a dictatorship would be willing to live like that. I mean, they'd probably want to be in walking distance to a Starbucks let alone live in conditions even more primitive from where they came and they'd probably be worried you're some type of unibomber. And if you do find a girl, I mean, what excuse do you have to leave the house when she wants to talk? I mean, if she really starts to bother you, can you have her airlifted out?


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