Tuesday, September 18, 2012
Poachers, smugglers, and drug dealers
Now it’s no secret I live out in the woods. My cousin, on the other hand, really lives out in the woods. My lovely wife and I went for a drive and ended up at my cousin’s place. It’s about a 50 mile drive up a winding two lane road. Then down a couple of dirt roads. She doesn’t get many visitors.
As luck would have it, that’s where the motorhome decided to have a flat tire, as the sun was setting. Flat tires are never much fun. Fortunately, the spare was inflated, the jack worked well enough to do the job, and the tire iron was heavy duty enough to crack the rusty wheel nuts. There are a fair number of those little beasts.
Tedious. Not super difficult, just tedious. As I slowly removed the rusty nuts, I thought of the can of WD40 sitting back at the house that I forgot to put back in the vehicle. By then it was dark. Fortunately, I’d put a Coleman lantern in the vehicle -just in case I ever had to change a tire in the dark or something.
It did give my lovely wife and I more time to visit with my cousin. She said it was a good thing I had everything I needed to do the job. There’s no cell phone service and the few neighbors are not the sort of people who take kindly to strangers knocking on their doors.
Her immediate neighbor is a poacher. Rumor has is his land is booby trapped. Further down the road there’s a drug dealer -who no one messes with. The other choice is a guy who’s suspected of smuggling people across the Canadian border.
“Nobody talks to the neighbors around here,” she said.
There are a few other cabins in the area, but they are owned by out of state people who are gone for the season.
It always was sparsely populated and remote, but the economic downturn hit the area hard. There used to decent jobs within reasonable driving distance but those are all gone. Now it’s a longer drive, with high priced gas, to poorer paying jobs, if you can get one. People are giving up and moving away.
There are some truckers based out of that area. Housing is cheap. Taxes are low. If you are a long haul trucker, it doesn’t matter a whole lot where you eventually park the rig. Some are getting by like my cousin and her elderly husband -poorly on a small Social Security pension. There seems to be some attempt to make a living by selling each other the same piles of junk at yard sales.
On paper, it might look like a pretty good bug out location: few people, isolated, plenty of fresh water, fishing, hunting, low taxes, cheap land. However, better check out the neighbors and see if they are poachers, smugglers. and drug dealers. That could change your mind.