Bear's Odyssey: The Next Decade

Discussion in 'Adventures & Excursions' started by Bear, Dec 30, 2016.

  1. Car

    Car Newbie

    I look forward to reading it, Bear. Thank you for the update!
     
  2. Lynn

    Lynn Newbie

    Just read the article and went back and read a majority of your "Odyssey"... I am not a full timer ( working for a living), but your story is amazing and we'll written! Thanks so much for sharing...I've been wanting to attempt parts of the AT myself, but it would definitely have to be warmer! Best wishes and blessings!
     
  3. Betsey

    Betsey Camp-Inn Staff

    That is soooo cool! Great article & pics! Thanks Bear!
     
  4. Bear

    Bear Junior Ranger

    Thank you, Ladies (Car, Lynn & Betsey).

    Your feedback warms the heart and is greatly appreciated. Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts. I hope to continue to intrigue the imagination with the next rendition of The Odyssey Letter which should be out soon.

    Walk in Beauty,

    BEAR
     
  5. Van_and_Terri

    Van_and_Terri Junior Ranger

    I have read it several times. Bear is living the life many of us dream about. I appreciate the honestly within.


     
  6. Bear

    Bear Junior Ranger

    Camp Wisconsin
    Sunday, October 1, 2017

    THE ODYSSEY
    Live the miracle that is life today, and do not worry about “bad omens.”
    Remember, nothing is evil, lest thinking make it so.” ~William Shakespeare

    Howdy Sunshine! Hello America!

    It’s time, again, to grab yourself a cup of joe and saddle up to the digital campfire, for the next tale from the Whispering Wind. Get comfortable and stay awhile. I hope not to disappoint you.

    MOURNING THE APPALACHIAN TRAIL

    The weeks and months that have since followed the departure from the Appalachian Trail are jumbled together like one big blur. With each passing day I’d like to say that I was thinking about the future and what adventure to strive towards next---but I can’t. Little thought was vested in thinking about much of anything. Most days there was simply this numbness filling the void that had once been the passion to just keep moving in a forward northerly direction, along a narrow footpath through a green tunnel, towards the unknown, in anticipation of experiencing the mystery that would unveil itself along the way. Instead, the sunsets have been presenting themselves faster than the speed of light as the calendar has been lost on me. Normally that would not be a problem and I would have it know other way. Through these eyes, losing sight of the calendar is a reflection that each moment is being enjoyed as the gift it was intended to be when delivered upon from the Heavens. However, that was not the case. I had returned to the West Coast Base Camp and planted myself like a mushroom in a forest, absorbing the electromagnetic energy like a sponge. The headaches that started from the four day bombardment of Amtrak’s WiFi service and the plethora of train passenger cell phones, continued with vengeance once within range of the cellular tower on the other side of camp. In the end I felt like I had been punished for a crime I didn’t commit.

    In my heart I’d like to think that the Appalachian Trail hasn’t seen the last of me. There is still a desire deep down inside of the spirit that hasn’t given up on the dream of walking great distances through narrow, green passageways, and over rocks and boulders. Maybe the third time is the charm. Maybe it would be best to start in Maine and work south to Georgia, vice doing so in reverse direction as was the case in the previous two attempts. Only time will tell what the future holds for a relationship with this historical trail.

    DUCK, DUCK…CHICKS?

    It had been hoped that by the time this date had rolled around the trail would have been completed on foot and plans would be in the works to return to the Stagecoach and Ponies parked some 3,000+ miles away. But that wouldn’t be the case. Nonetheless, one can’t waste a beautiful spring and summer thinking about what coulda been. So allow me to share some of the highlights of what was.

    During one beautiful Saturday morning this past spring, a friend, JP, and I walked into Tractor Supply, in Oak Harbor, to pick up supplies. While there it was soon discovered that this new store was holding its first annual duckling and chick sale. I saw an opportunity and capitalized on it. With the flute in hand (the flute and I are inseparable these days and so it goes everywhere I go) I began to serenade the little noise makers. Within seconds of striking the first note the chicks took roost right where they stood, and the ducklings huddled together and went to sleep. On and on I played. So long as the music continued to croon there wasn’t a peep to be heard from the makeshift pen. The moment the flute rested the chicks stood and returned to the business at hand, and the ducklings would separate and returned to quacking. I’d repeat this practice time and again and with each new song the young critters responded the same. With time a crowd began to form and customers were awestruck by what they had witnessed, including JP. At one point the store manager jokingly asked, “Would you like a job?” This created a chuckle from the crowd. It wasn’t long before four ducklings were fleeing the coop and on their way to new homes with new families. Now that was truly one blessed moment.

    DUCKLINGS.png

    FLAGPOLES

    On another spring day, I saw a need---not mine, but that of a community---and addressed it. The campground that has become base camp had two rickety flagpoles mounted to the side of a storage shed, as though someone halfheartedly placed them there. So I set out to erect two flagpoles to hoist both the Canadian and United States flags from. The job was easy enough to perform as it had not been the first time I carried out such a task. With each transfer during the second half of my naval career, I’d honor the new home (rented or owned) by way of erecting a flagpole within a planter (whiskey barrel half) and accenting it with deer resistant flowers. In this fashion the flagpole could be removed if ordered to prior to the next transfer. When the job was done I was quite proud of what had been accomplished. Unfortunately this feeling only lasted until the next wind blew in.

    And before you even ask, yes, the flags are positioned correctly as per 4 U.S. Code § 7. Marking the entrance to the campground the U.S. flag should be to the left as seen by the incoming driver or pedestrian, but from this camera angle it is not clear to see that the poles are standing like sentinels at the entrance to the grounds.

    FLAGPOLES.png

    PENN COVE WATER FESTIVAL

    Spring was filled with abundance. While attending the annual Penn Cove Water Festival, in Coupeville, Washington, I’d learn that Mr. Peter Ali (who taught me how to play the Native American flute, also known as the pentatonic flute) would be kicking off the festivities with his own performance and what a performer he is. (His music is available through Facebook and YouTube.) Peter was on stage for the better part of an hour when he spotted me in the audience. To my surprise he had invited me on stage to perform alongside him, though, this is not the first time he has done this. He is well aware of my abilities and quite proud of his student, and he knows he won’t be embarrassed should I accept his offer. As a former teacher, coach and navy instructor stage freight isn’t something I submit to. Besides, I love the stage and enjoy performing, which all began upon donning the Cubmaster hat for Scouting back in the early ‘90s.

    Yes siree bob, it was a fine afternoon watching one Native American after another take to the stage to put his or her wears and talents on display. Each performer put on a show and in doing so told a tale of their heritage through regalia, song, music or storytelling and in some cases a combination of them all. One such performer I look forward to each year is Mr. Lou LaBombard. He enjoys sharing the stories of creation on how some of the tribes came to be. Being that he is an educated man and a college professor by trade, I was wondering if he could address a question I had pondered for years and was no closer to knowing the answer than the first time the mystery presented itself.

    “Mr. LaBombard, why is it that the Native American has not taken the resources gathered through the casinos across country and pool the money together, to purchase the sacred lands that were lost to them?” His response wasn’t even one I had considered and yet it made so much sense: “In short, it has everything to do with the (Christian) boarding schools.” The indigenous children, for generations, were sent to these schools in order to break them of their customs, traditions and especially their spirituality. It was the mission of the Christians running Capitol Hill to eradicate the indigenous culture, if the church couldn’t do so. It was the mission of the church to assimilate the “savages” into their own belief system. Well the Christians were successful in disrupting a way of life, but they were unsuccessful in their attempt to carry out genocide---which was the ultimate goal. Mr. LaBombard went on to say and I’ll paraphrase here: The generations that are now leading the tribes are doing so from the examples shown while attending school in a “civilized” society. So they know nothing of how to live as one as their ancestors had, but fight amongst themselves for greed and power. Imagine that. Sounds allot like Capitol Hill. And in today’s "civilized" society, what is the one common denominator between the majority in congress and the men in the White House? Their religion. A religion that can’t seem to remain at peace, within our borders or with the rest of the world, as the powers that be are always on the lookout to wage the next battle.

    So it is the elders amongst the tribes, that weren’t forced to drink the Kool-Aid, that are struggling to hold on to a valuable way of life. And it is the younger generation that appears lost, which is why their suicide rate is off the charts. It is the generations between the elders and the youth that are fighting amongst themselves. If that does sounds allot like Washington, D.C..

    As I mused over Mr. LaBombard’s response, I thought more about the history of this continent. The Red Man and the White Man were as different as night and day and as much alike as the Sun and the stars. Both saw each other in the form of color vice creations of God. Neither could live in peace amongst their race. Tribes in the Americas were notorious for fighting amongst themselves, kidnapping women from one another for procreation, and capturing men and children for slaves, and stealing livestock to name a few comparisons. And the history in Europe is well documented that clans and nations couldn’t live in peace with one another for many of the same reasons the tribes couldn’t on this continent. So if the Europeans hadn’t infiltrated North America, would or could the Indians have ever reconciled their differences to bring peace to the land? Man being man I suspect not. The evolution of man thus far has proven that even with greater communication modern man still can’t live with himself; he fears not having enough of anything and losing what he does have.

    What I value about the indigenous cultures of the Americas, are the principles that they shared and were generally respected for on all sides. Their respect for the Heavens, Mother Nature, Mother Earth and the Creator is quite impressive. And there was a time when they didn’t believe the earth beneath their feet could be owned by any one man or a nation of men, and yet they did designate areas as sacred ground. Generally speaking, these sacred lands were respected by all and weren’t trespassed upon. I admire these concepts.

    PENN COVE WATER FESTIVAL 1.jpg
    PENN COVE WATER FESTIVAL 2.jpg
    Photos compliments of Susan O.

    To be continued...more to come on the subject of life after the Appalachian Trail.

    God bless you and yours.

    That’s it from the road. This is Brother Bear signing out.

    Walk in Beauty,

    BEAR
     
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2017
    Tom & Diana P, Evan and Jenn like this.
  7. Bear

    Bear Junior Ranger

    Camp Wisconsin
    Sunday, October 1, 2017

    THE ODYSSEY
    Live the miracle that is life today, and do not worry about “bad omens.”
    Remember, nothing is evil, lest thinking make it so.” ~William Shakespeare

    {Continued...}

    FOR SALE

    The months that host spring are long awaited by so many but I’m not one of them. I’ve spent more seasons than not cursing the prolong summer swelters than basking in the winter wonderlands. When the Department of Defense finally released the clutch it had on this life, I ran far and fast to the Last Frontier---Alaska! Though, it is with great certainty that Black Jack didn’t appreciate the jacket weather as much as I had he endured.


    Forty-two years being forced to live in places like the deserts of Arizona, California and New Mexico; the tropics of Hawaii and Guam; having to deal with the high humidity of the Midwest in places like Indiana and Ohio and it snowed so little in the wintertime it’s not even worth remembering. My saving grace was places like Washington and Maine. I only wish I could remember what it was like to live three years in Newfoundland, Canada.

    This past winter new precipitation records were established for the Pacific Northwest. The water fowl must have sensed change in the air back in early autumn because there more birds in the area than normal. Even the nearby pond was habitat for 35-45 ducks over the winter, which is about 45 more than normal. While Camp Coddiwomple (West Coast Base Camp) was teaming with wildlife, I was coming under fire from the electromagnetic energy in the area. Depending on the geographical location, electromagnetic energy can be very subtle in its approach. Before one realizes all the symptoms he or she is experiencing, electromagnetic energy has already secured itself like an anchor to the fiber of every cell. You think it is by coincidence that the phone companies refer to the wireless handheld devices as cellular phones? I think not.

    The villain in this story did a fine job of throwing the one-two punch time and again. Before I even realized I was under attack lethargic behavior had me laid out on the canvas like I’d just went 15 rounds with Muhammad Ali. The burning sensation beneath the skin as well as the rashes and the unexplainable aches and pains in the muscles should have been key indicators what was at work. But once the sleep disorder began to set in, stress wasn’t far behind and all of this was blinded by the headaches. Once the realization was made as to what was going on, I came to the conclusion that my days in this camp were numbered.

    Electromagnet energy was turning me into a grumpy old bear. I lost focus on the joys of life and began to tune into all that was wrong with the world around me. I truly dislike such experiences. It’s enough just to try to correct the errors of my ways, I don’t need to dwell on perceived wrongdoing of others. But that’s what happens when you become a slave to this villain. It saps the life force from you and with it your motivation to live life, not just survive it. If you haven’t done so already, please clicked on the link in the opening paragraph and read about the story of a priest who took his own life because he couldn’t deal the ongoing torture of electromagnetic energy anymore.

    By the time spring’s end was near I didn’t like the person I had become or the people in the campground. I was finding fault in everyone I’d observe including myself. I knew I had to leave the area to purge myself of the harmful effects the WiFi world was creating, my health depended on it. Just as important I was concerned I was going to lose a precious friend, in JP, if I stayed too much longer. But I thought I couldn’t leave until measures had been taken to put the campsite up for sale. I was wrong of course but that was the mindset at the time. Sometimes it is hard to think straight when your head is throbbing. Once the ‘For Sale’ sign was in place I went in search of assistance to help spread the word.

    This led to one obstacle after another which prolonged departure day. The frustration stemmed from one simple fact: I don’t own a phone. Not because I don’t wish to own one, but because I can’t. Try placing ads online without a telephone number and not just any phone number, companies demand that it be a mobile device. The newspapers, Craigslist, the auction websites, they all insist that a mobile number be provided. Try opening a new email account without a cell phone number to provide---it can’t be done. Gmail won’t let you do it. Neither will Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail, or Outlook. Try contacting these companies to discuss the matter through a landline is nearly impossible. First of all try locating a number that the customer can actually dial and get an honest to goodness talking head on the other end. I still haven’t located such numbers. So these companies are making it loud and clear they don’t care about people with Electromagnetic Hypersensitivity. In their eyes, there is so few of us that by ignoring this new breed of minorities it’s not going to affect the overall profit margin. People like me have become the new minority in the world, and we all know how America feels about minorities. Don’t we!

    By the end of August advertising possibilities hadn’t improved, but I knew I couldn’t stay any longer. So I took to the road and was all too glad to see the island in the review mirror. I’d have to do my best from afar to sell the campsite and hope I’d get the asking price.

    MEMORIAL DAY

    Does the following name meaning anything to you?

    Norman E. Berg
    S1, U.S. Navy
    June 17, 1925 † November 14, 1989

    It didn’t to me until Monday, May 29, 2017. It’s Memorial Day and as I was strolling through Sunnyside Cemetery in Coupeville, Washington, playing Amazing Grace with the flute to every Veteran buried there. However, there was one grave that grabbed my undivided attention. That grave was Mr. Berg’s. As I stood beside the headstone of Mr. Berg, with the music filling the air, he was doing all he could to get my attention, and he achieved his goal. As I moved on to the next headstone the entity did not follow, which I was truly okay with because I was visiting that sacred ground to accomplish a mission. It was important to me to express my appreciation to the falling comrades who had served and sacrificed.

    Each time I returned to Mr. Berg, he was there like a child tugging on my pant leg. And each time I parted ways the entity would not follow. This told me that he was there to share a message and not to carry out an action.

    After playing Amazing Graze a few hundred times, I went back to Mr. Berg one last time before departing the cemetery to ask, “How may I help you?”, he simply responded with “Thank you.” I melted where I stood with tears racing down both cheeks. It is my belief that when the time comes to return to the energy from which we all come, my celebration of life will be minuscule as no one will be in attendance. Given how I live, I will be alone in the woods somewhere when that time comes. And it is my belief, based on a premonition, a vision, that I will outlive everyone I call friends---today---and given how difficult it is to create new friendships in the world as it is, there won’t be anyone to invite to the ceremony. So when I play for the fallen Veterans at different cemeteries across the land, I’m not only playing for them but for me as well. I’m also giving thanks to my services and sacrifices.

    Being that there was a crucifix embossed on Mr. Berg’s plaque, I placed two gold crosses on his headstone as a way of saying “thank you” in return. Over the years I have received as gifts, from friends and acquaintances, crucifixes in many shapes and sizes. Though I appreciate the sentiment, I don’t agree with man’s interpretation of the cross. The crosses were in my pocket that day because they were destined to be buried on those grounds, and fortunately for me they served a better purpose than returning them to the earth from which they came. Thank you, to the Spirit of Mr. Berg. Thank you, Great Spirit for the opportunity, experience and the means to be there that day.

    DUE TO… GLOBAL WARMING?

    I have shared stories in the past about the challenges of meeting women, on an island, in the Pacific Northwest. Being respectful in approach is often reciprocated with an alarmed or puzzled look, none of which does the male psyche any favors.

    Accumulatively, I have been associated with Whidbey Island for the better part of ten years and over that period I’ve never once been approached by a single (key word here: single) woman that would express any interest in getting to know me. Married women have but no single gals. Other than experiencing the casual salutation, the women on this island are a frigid bunch; few will give a man the time of day let along carry on a discussion of substance. Sadly, I’ve been approached by more homosexuals than I have females, a fact that I’m not exactly proud of. However, with just a couple of weeks remaining before jettisoning to parts unknown, I’m approached by not one, nor two, but by three different women. And no, none of them were under the influence of alcohol or drugs. It was one of the more bizarre events of The Odyssey. I had to leave, no question about it, and suddenly the female species woke from its slumber and realized there was a good man in their presence. Go figure! I attribute it to global warming. There couldn’t be another logical explanation.

    FRIEND OR FOE?

    Have you ever had one of those moments when you thought for sure you were being set up for failure? I had one over the summer. I’m sitting in Whidbey Coffee shop minding my own and reading a newspaper, when the man behind me asks, “How would you like to make some money?” The former law enforcement officer in me took over an engaged the conversation with extreme caution. Okay, so it may have been a little caution. I figured, “What the heck, it could make for an interesting chapter in the book.” Yes, you’ve heard me say that before.

    The man, who introduced himself as Barry, had just pulled into town from California the evening before and was looking for people who were willing to unload a U-Haul truck. As a male nurse, he had been hired by the local hospital to start work in two days but his back wouldn’t allow him to lift heavy loads. Listening to his story I began to wonder if my back would hold up to the strain. I sure could use the money and he was willing to pay $75 an hour. As sincere as the story came across, I still couldn’t help wonder if I was being set up for failure. So who better to ask than God, right? I asked if he was an honest man and was assured that he was. So I followed him back to his newly rented apartment where I met another homeless man who was going to assist in this effort. Between the two of us it took 2¼ hours to empty the truck and the new resident to Oak Harbor paid us each $200. I sure could use more paydays like that one.

    Barry turned out to be one interesting individual. In a previous life he was a traveling photojournalist. He showed us some of his work and shared the stories behind the photos. He had an amazing collection and was a joy to listen to and even allowed us to pick out a mated photo or two to take with us. I’d show you the photos but I don’t think it would be appropriate for a family forum. Now doesn’t that leave the imagination spinning?

    To be continued...more to come on the subject of life after the Appalachian Trail.

    God bless you and yours.


    That’s it from the road. This is Brother Bear signing out.

    Walk in Beauty,

    BEAR
     
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2017
    Evan likes this.
  8. Cary Winch

    Cary Winch Camp-Inn Staff

    "another homeless man". Interesting, and the other homeless man is?
     
  9. Bear

    Bear Junior Ranger

    Cary,

    Of all the material I have written over the years that simple statement got your attention enough to write? Hmm...
    Well, be careful of what you ask for.

    Merriam-Webster Dictionary and Thesaurus, Copyright 2006 defines:

    Des•ti•tute \’des-tǝ-,tüt, -,tyüt\ adj 1 ♦ : lacking something needed or desirable; 2 ♦ : suffering extreme poverty
    ♦ [1, 2] broke, devoid, impecunious, indigent, needy, penniless, penurious, poor, poverty-stricken

    ¹Home•less \-lǝs\ adj : having no home or permanent residence
    ²Homeless n pl : persons esp. in urban areas that have no home

    ¹Vet•er•an \’ve•trǝn, -tǝ-rǝn\ n 1: an old soldier of long service; 2: a former member of the armed forces; 3: a person of long experience usu. in an occupation or skill
    ²Veteran adj : of, relating to, or characteristic of a veteran

    Yes, Cary, there were two homeless men assisting Barry that day.

    I am well aware of the fact that the demographic that generally reads the Unofficial Camp-Inn Forum would not see me in that light. Why? Because I’m a well-trained soldier (actually a sailor), who knows how to carry out orders. The first time I was registered with this forum (before asking the administrator to delete every entry I had contributed), it was made quite clear to this Veteran that any entries expressing sorrow, pain or suffering and surprisingly love were not welcomed by the reader base. Why? Some use the play on words (and I’ve used them on occasion) that happiness is one teardrop away. However, it sometimes takes many tears to reach THE ONE. The reader base back then--- and it still holds true to some degree today---only wanted to read about the Good Ship Lollypop. They weren’t interested in a man’s cries for help or his evolution as he transitioned from the military ranks of 42-years to the chaos called civilized society.

    So when I started tailoring the articles to the readership, they were filled with half-truths and incomplete stories. I’d put on my happy face and tap dancing shoes while doing my best to make everything appear rosy, when in fact it hadn’t been entirely rosy. Very little of it had been in the early years, but the full truth was hidden from the reader because that was the demand at the time. So I carried out my orders like a good sailor. Then the day came when I had had enough and that is when Evan became involved and I asked him to erase my history from the forum. And bless his soul he did just that.

    So why return to writing the stories? Actually, I never stopped writing the stories. The stories began long before the forum was ever created and were---and continued to be---released in the form of emails and shared with friends and acquaintances across country. The difference between those emails and the stories on the forum was content. Through the emails I was allowed to be myself and to share my truths. I returned to the forum as per a special request from a fellow teardropper. Against my better judgment I fulfilled the individual’s request. I saw the importance of doing so in that person’s eyes. Now the forum articles are a challenge in perseverance. I try to find creative ways to express some of the truth knowing there could be young eyes reading.

    As time marched on, the setbacks started stockpiling and the transition to the civilian sector wasn’t going as well as I had hoped. All five natural emotions (Anger, Envy, Fear, Grief, and Love) were tested and retested to the fullest experience as The Odyssey lived and breathed with the passing seasons. But much of this was hidden from the forum. For the most part, I kept my misery to myself and sent up smoke signals about how wonderful everything was. When in truth there were many days I had seriously thought about tangling with a rattlesnake and calling it quits. And, yet, I’m still here and still standing and I’m no worse for the wear.

    When The Odyssey began (June 2005), I was still licking my wounds from the beating I had received over the previous three years while tending to matters on the home front and dealing with behavior that was unbecoming of Navy commissioned officers and noncommissioned officers in the higher paygrades. When I was finally able to see Maine in the review mirror, as I was heading west and then north, the adrenalin kicked in. I was on such a high as Alaska was finally in the crosshairs and a childhood dream of 30+ years was being pursued. I had purpose. I had direction. I had a goal. I had Black Jack (Love). All seemed right in the world. Then, when the Alaska adventure turned into a memory the bottom fell out in my world. Suddenly there was nothing. Black Jack would pass away seventeen months later. Try as I might I wasn’t leaning on my faith in the Heavens as I should have been. As much as I kept telling myself that was enough---it wasn’t. I couldn’t see the forest for all the trees. Now I had nothing. I had no family. No kin. There was no hometown to return to. No military community to lean on. No county. No state. And friends were scattered like leaves in the wind. I felt like a man without a country. And Electromagnetic Hypersensitivity (EMH) wasn’t going to make it easy to erase that experience by allowing me the feeling of being a resident in Small Town, USA.

    2.5 years into the wanderlust, the recession/depression would hit the country hard and I wouldn’t be excluded. It was during this turmoil, my retirement gift to me, a paid-off 2002 Jeep Wrangler would be classified totaled by the insurance company. It survived the 9-12 M.P.H. impact with a 2005 Dodge Ram truck, 3,500 series, on a snow packed, dirt road no less, and did quite well. It was still drivable. The immobile truck on the other hand would be rescued simply because it was three years newer. The reality of this was a crippling blow to the wallet and the psyche. Throughout the early stages of The Odyssey each time I stood, I’d get knocked back down. There seemed to be no end to unfortunate circumstances. But the readership wasn’t interested in this and many made their thoughts known through private messaging.

    The Odyssey began as a six month experiment, but the start of The Odyssey was delayed. I was supposed to receive treatment from the Veterans Administration (VA) prior to retiring from active duty only it never happened. Because the base I was assigned to, Naval Air Station Brunswick, Maine failed to clear the Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) list, the medical clinic was sending all retiring personnel to the VA for out-processing physicals and follow-up treatment as the staff was making preparations to turn out the lights and lock the doors. The local VA couldn’t keep up with the demand and many of us fell through the cracks. Each time I would walk into the VA medical clinic to inquire about the status of the appointment I’d get brushed aside.

    In time, I had nowhere to go as I had already checked out of government quarters while waiting the care that was much needed. So I took a job at Camp Roosevelt in Maine because I needed somewhere to stay while waiting on the VA to get their act together. The position was seasonal and as the season came to a close, I was no closer to receiving treatment than the day it was applied for. To this day I’m still waiting on that treatment. The VA continues to balk each time I’d address the matter, to the point I got tired of sounding like I was begging for something that should have already been handled in a professional manner. So I stopped asking.

    That auto accident combined with having to pay out of pocket for treatment was the start of a downward spiral---destitution. These weren’t things the readership was interested in. The general population was simply interested in hearing about where the Stagecoach had been and where it was heading to next---it became real clear that I, as a person, mattered little.

    As the 2005 Jeep began to age and maintenance bills began to pile up, the treatment debt was compounding too. This has resulted in being turned down for home loans. The one I would have really liked to have seen approved was spotted in 2010. Yes, I was ready to abandon The Odyssey seven years ago. A beautiful, new, two bedroom, cottage in Northern Maine was available for the low asking price of $62K and the financial institution declined the loan; the debt to income ratio wasn’t balanced. And now, with the mounting debt there isn’t enough disposable income leftover from my pension to pay for first and last month’s rent let alone a security deposit to boot. As much as I disapprove of the apartment lifestyle, there have been times I was willing to compromise because I wanted to stop living the dream, as so many have referred to it as, so as to plant roots somewhere and to feel like I was a part of something. But the money wasn’t there to do so and it still isn’t. It didn’t help that in seeking esprit de corps through coffee shops and cafés across the land, to fend off loneliness, I was making matters worse and couldn’t see the reality of this initially.

    And when I’ve applied for employment, I’ve had to retract all but three applications thus far upon learning the toxicity levels in the working environment. Fortunately and unfortunately those positions that allowed me to work were seasonal. I tried to ignore the warnings when I applied for a full-time position that I was really looking forward to, that of paraeducator (teacher’s assistant) in a public school district on Whidbey Island. But when 20 to 30 laptop computers (and 20 to 30 hidden cell phones) in a classroom are pulverizing the assistant with their invisible death ray, it doesn’t spell fun.

    I subjected myself to enough electromagnetic energy while employed with the navy that it about crippled me. So I’m not going to put myself through that again to make someone else rich while I suffer. So the debt mounts. I’m nearly $36k in debt. This is new territory. I’ve made it a practice to live within my means throughout life. This debt weighs heavy on the mind and has caused undo stress. Combine that stress to the stress electromagnetic energy causes and you have the recipe for a ticking time bomb.

    In an attempt to hold true to personal responsibility and integrity, by keeping the promises made to pay back the lenders with interest, I live on a mere $700 on a good month; the pension brings in less than $23k annually, which is below poverty. When that promise is paid in full I don’t know what it will mean for the future. Will I plant roots, keep moving, or both? I don’t know. I do know I dream of a log cabin like it was the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.

    So, yes, Cary, I am a homeless Veteran. I don't say that like it is a badge of honor but I'm not going to run from the truth neither. There is no threshold for these boots to pass through each night or permanent residence with a cement foundation. There is no shore power, running water, flushing toilet, or rain locker and reliable heat source in the hard sided tent that makes up 35 sq. ft. of living space, which is smaller than most family size tents. The first of each month I receive just enough money to put food on the table and pay for petro to keep moving, so that I don’t get run off for loitering. By the 20th of each month I’m wondering where the next meal is coming from. I may not be grungy in appearance and try smiling when others are present, unlike many of the homeless, and that’s because I won’t allow myself to fall that far---again. I’ve been down that road before. I’ve never known the experience of deep pockets and well stocked savings account. I’ve only known the struggle of living payday to payday. And on top of that, I miss the days of a healthy spine and when insatiable attention whores (the general population that is armed with electronic leashes) weren’t raping the life from the (new) minority with their invisible death rays. Despite the roller coaster ride over the past 12.5 years, I have been blessed in the sense that my relationship with the Creator has only gotten stronger. This bond is more important to me than any other. And if need be, I’d gladly remain homeless if returning to a civilized society meant giving up that bond---that freedom.

    There is light at the end of the tunnel, though, and it’s not a train. Over the next eighteen months two six-year loans will be paid off. Also, in the best interest of my health, the only thing I own of any value is up for sale and when the West Coast Base Camp is sold, I’ll be able to breathe a sigh of relief physically and financially. It won’t eliminate all debt, however, I’ve seriously thought about selling the Stagecoach to knock out the rest of it. Barring the unforeseeable, the door to new possibilities is surely looming on the horizon and with it the building of a one room cottage in the woods away from cellular towers and high levels of electromagnetic energy. I can see returning north to fulfill that dream in the bush country of Alaska. Barring any unforeseen circumstances, I’m hoping that the return trip will occur over the summer of 2019, if not sooner.

    I also know that when that cabin is built it will once again feel more like homelessness as friendships will fade away. Cell phones aren’t permitted in my camp and they won’t be permitted in my home. Without the electronic leash people won’t come to visit, the onus will be left up to me to make the trip if I wish to enjoy their company. How do I know that? Because that is exactly how it is now. In nearly thirteen years, the number of people whom I refer to as friend, who actually made the effort to coordinate a rendezvous point to meet up with me, can be counted on one hand. I’m grateful that they did so despite knowing it only happened because they were passing by the area on their way to see someone else. Even fewer have actually traveled the distance, traveled outside their city limits to come where I was camped hundreds or thousands of miles away simply because I meant that much to them. Oh, to know such an experience. I say fewer, but when has that ever happened? And when I do travel great distances to visit others, few will turn off the cell phones and place them in a different room out of respect for me. Even after reminding these “friends” of the harmful side effects I will have to endure without their support, some attention whores will make up all kinds of excuses as to why they can’t cooperate. The brainwashing that has gone on during this century, the past seventeen years, has made it so easy for people to forget how much simpler their lives were before cell phone companies took over the world.

    So, Cary, you wouldn’t have seen me as the other homeless man in the story above because the readership over the years wasn’t interested in the full truth. They were simply interested in the parts of the stories they could vicariously live through. Even you have made it clear over the years through subtle, delicate hints, as I’m standing in the heart of the factory, encouraging me to change the direction of the stories from what actually happens out on the road to what would be in the best interest of the product. You may not have even realized you were doing so. But. You did so again while attending the 2017 Camp-Inn Camp-Outt as you were comparing apples to oranges (Jenn’s stories to Bear’s). It may have been the alcohol talking but I suspect you were expressing long harbored feelings. The vehicle of a journey is mind, body and spirit. The vehicle found for rest at a particular destination may be two wheels, a tongue hitch and plywood. All play an important role in the adventure but it is the journey that feeds the Soul.

    Walk in Beauty,

    BEAR
     
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2017 at 3:21 PM
    Tom & Diana P, Car and Jenn like this.
  10. Evan

    Evan Administrator Staff Member

    Bear,

    I have sometimes gleaned a hint of your troubles from your writing, but have never understood your situation as clearly as I do now. Your integrity regarding the loans in the age of bankruptcy on demand is commendable. I sincerely hope that you are able to realize your dream of the log cabin in Alaska. And when I come to visit, I’ll be sure to leave my cell phone behind. :)
     
  11. Cary Winch

    Cary Winch Camp-Inn Staff

    Bear,

    Just wanted to hear it from you how you viewed your status. Most importantly defining the path to that conclusion. Was not sure if you viewed it that way when this all started as a 6 month experiment and then become a description you feel described you at some later point or was there more to the story that you were in a place at that time in the beginning of the journey that meant you were already homeless by your definition. If it was from the beginning of the journey then that is an element to this that I did indeed miss. Still a good read either way, this will help anyone who reads your blogs put a frame around some of it. That is actually the sort of description that makes for good story telling.

    We'll have to pick up the conversation about gathering tips and tricks from you at another time. Clearly I was not understood before, like you said, maybe it was the alcohol.

    Cary
     
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  12. Car

    Car Newbie

    Hi Bear,
    I can relate to your post. I too am suffering with EHS as well as being a homeless veteran, although I have been fortunate to recently receive a Section 8 apartment. I have crudely created an aluminum foil "foxhole" within, so to speak, to cut down on some of the radio-frequency microwave radiation from many sources. I am very concerned as 5G is looming ever closer, and I don't know how I am going to cope, or if I can. I seem to be getting worse every day as it is with 4G. We are becoming less of a minority everyday. Just one of many many groups I recently began following has over 11,000 members and averages 100-200 new members every day. People, animals, plants everywhere are getting sick, and they are fearful and as you articulated so well, often have difficulty thinking straight, this is a global problem. The more I learn about it, the more I want out of the city. This doesn't look like it is going to end well. I am trying to do my part to wake people up. I am attaching a link to a functional MRI study on people who have EHS. I am also posting a link to a short warning about 5G. Maybe just one person can be saved from coming down with this awful condition. Thank you for your service. ~ Car
    FCC: 5G Deployment & The Internet of Things 2017-2020
     

    Attached Files:

  13. Randy

    Randy Junior Ranger Donating Member

  14. Kathy

    Kathy Newbie

    Bear: even though I'm computer literate, I had never figured out how to find your posts until last night. You have touched my heart with your summaries of how this journey has affected you. We have a cell tower in the distance that I can see but we can turn off wi-fi and cell phones if you find yourself in Southern California in the future. I know you are drawn to large forests and colder weather but there is beauty here too. We would love to have you here. We fulltimed from 1997 to 2007 when diesel was under $1 a gallon up until the last few years. The upswing in fuel costs made it too expensive for us to continue traveling. I missed the sense of community that you mention too. I know first hand what a man of high character you are. You are a blessing to everyone you meet. Like you, I am not a believer in established religions. I believe in prayer and a higher being and will pray that you find your way to peace in your life and find people who love and appreciate you. Please remember we are here and value your friendship.
     
    Jenn likes this.
  15. Bear

    Bear Junior Ranger

    Mr. Evan, you're welcome around my campfire anytime!

    Mr. Cary, I hope I was able to feed your curiosity cordially.

    Ms. Car, we have shared some similar ground as in the U.S. Navy, it gave us both one heckuva going away gift for all of our years of service and sacrifice. It will be something we'll have to live with the rest of our lives. So long as I am aware of its presence, I will take tactical measures to avoid the negative energy that the rest of the world thinks is such wonderful Kool-Aid (the new cigarette). But I won't let it control my life in allowing it to become the primary focus of each day. That is reserved for the Holy Spirit.

    Ms. Kathy, what a blessing to hear from you. Your presence in my life has been missed. I've said it before and I'll say it again here, I have often seen you as a mentor and friend. And you are correct, it has been awhile since our last visit. We'll have to do something about changing that. Also, thank you for the warm sentiment as I know it comes from your heart.

    Ms. Jennifer, I see you have removed your entry and I think that is a shame. Your opinion means a great deal to many of the folks on this forum. Though the entry no longer appears the sentiment of your heart lives on. I know you were coming to me from that special place that only the closest of friends can respect. So I thank you for such a gift.

    Thank you one and all for the courage and strength to share from your hearts. It is not an easy task for most people, so I appreciate it even more when those like yourselves stand above the rest. Thank you.

    Walk in Beauty,

    BEAR
     
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  16. Jenn

    Jenn Junior Ranger

    Thank you Bear!
    In this electronic age, its easy to have a "like" button. I clicked the button to acknowledge that I read and support your post, not to say that I 'like' what you said. In some ways the Like button makes it easy to acknowledge receipt of information, but it also keeps us from responding. I felt I needed to acknowledge and respond.

    Its difficult but real stuff. We have talked about some of this and some of it was grittier than I was familiar with. I think a lot about what folks, who serve in the military, come out the other side with to deal with in their lives. Some of it is visible and probably more often than not its not visible. I identify with parts of what you said through my own life experiences. And there are probably readers in our community who have the same experiences from their own lives.

    You spoke to some of the deeper issues I deal with as well and that was a little hard. I didnt serve in the military, but three years of my life were spent in a 3rd world country. Two of those years were under marshal law, and the country was at war for independence from another country. In the last year we always had bags packed in case of emergency evacuation. The sound of guns, riots, burning buses, city shutdowns, and school closings were forefront in our lives. Even today the sound of a gun will take me back to that time and put me on alert. Unfortunately we all have those kinds of little things that want to try to hang onto our lives. But you smile and on you go. Right?
    As much as I was looking for a traditional 'home' I am liking the pattern the years have fallen into. There are some special folks in this community who have become my Tribe. You, Bear, in particular are my Camp-family. Its been a gift. Thank you.

    And you are welcome to show up and enjoy the winter snow and cold if time allows.

    See you when I see you!
    Jenn
     
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