Besides masturbate - what would you do alone in the woods for nearly 30 years?
Hendy Woods State Park in northern California had a hermit for a reported 18 years. My guess is that guy was psychologically and emotionally affected by that enormous conflict mid twentieth century.
I remember my first winter backpacking trip in the white mountains. Came across this character who lived off of backpackers scraps and kept talking about how "things were just getting too crazy down there, needed to get away up in the hills". Had been up in the mountains all winter.
Well, he did a tremendous amount of reading, but really the goal of all that alone time in the woods was...being alone. There are people for whom being around other people causes them nothing but anxiety.
He used to visit the "The Valley of Longing for Company" but less and less often as time went on.
I'm of two minds about this guy. My initial reaction was anger; I've had my home and car broken into more than once, and while the losses were not great (the greatest cost was from the breaking in; the car window replacements cost much more than the relatively trivial items taken), there really is a sense of violation by proxy. On the other hand, the guy does seem to have had some real problems, enough for him to risk living outside in Maine in the winter, which seems extreme. I've fantasized, more than once, about telling civilization to fuck itself and pulling an Into the Wild.
But then the article reminds us that the people that he stole from were unwilling participants in his lifestyle; it kind of broke my heart a little that one person was willing to give him stuff if he'd just not break in, and he ignored it. I feel sorry for him, but I'm glad that he was caught.
What would I do? Probably train a squirrel army.
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