Monday, January 30, 2012

Misery Ridge Worth a Read

My latest reading, “Tales from Misery Ridge, One Man’s Adventure in the Great Outdoors” by Paul Fornier was a Christmas gift I had been anxious to receive. I tore through the 195 pages in a single day and was very pleased with the content. 

Do a search for this book on the Internet and you will likely find a dozen different reviews. Rather than bore you with another review that mimics that plethora of others online, here is my brief account.

The book contains several short stories of adventure from Paul’s life as a Maine Guide, bush pilot, sporting camp owner and employee of Maine’s Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife. As would be expected, anyone who lived a life pursuing these professions is strongly likely to have dozens of impressive stories. Paul whittles down his diverse life experiences and weaves an impressive tale. Of course my interest centered on his life as a guide, bush pilot and sporting camp owner, as it made a direct connection with my passions. As the book progressed into his critical role in supporting IF&W public relations campaigns, I could feel my eyes beginning to glaze over and I felt actual dread at having to read the chapters on the Eagle Nesting Project and the Caribou Relocation. However, I paid for the book and gosh darn it I was going to read them anyway and get my monies worth!

Paul’s account of the attempted reintroduction of caribou to Maine really provides a close and heart felt look at the hardships and difficulties faced by all involved in that monumental effort, ultimately ending in failure. To my surprise, I found this the best chapter in the book and was very happy I “struggled” through it. Overall the book contains a fantastic collection of short stories filled with variety of fun, witty and classically “Maine” tales. 

Friday, January 20, 2012

Harland Hitchings Turns 90!

Harland Hitchings
My Grandfather Harland Hitchings of Princeton, Maine turned 90 years young this past weekend. His party at the Princeton Rod and Gun club was attended by well over a hundred people, ranging from Masonic brethren, ham radio operators, Inland Fisheries and Hunter safety personnel, family and friends. Many in the audience spoke of some of their various adventures with Harland and the many good times that they had. I certainly was no exception.

Below is my account of one particular adventure I had with Gramp that I shared at the event. Enjoy! 

I only have a few minutes to express how I feel about a man that I spent a lifetime with. Not what one would necessarily categorize as an easy task, considering all of the incredible times I was fortunate enough to spend with Gramp. It is likely couldn’t sum up what he means to me if I was given hours to speak instead of the few minutes I am provided. I must start by saying that I am very fortunate to have a Grandfather, who shared my passion for the great outdoors. In our times together, his love of Maine’s wilds and water was always tempered by his “safety” minded disposition and his strict following of all our state’s game laws. It would be rare, if on any outing we were not properly prepared for any cataclysmic event from a finger boo boo to zombie attack. This mindset has certainly served me well on many occasions and potentially saved me from harm or possible incarceration.

In thinking back to some of my favorite memories of Gramp, one particular calamity comes to mind.

It was a bitterly cold February sometime in perhaps 1980. I was about 10 years old and excited because I was about to leave Princeton and embark on an expedition with Gramp to that most famous of ice fishing hot spots, West Grand Lake. Somehow, perhaps through my trickery or his own daring (he was a young man of about 60 at the time!), we managed to get Gramp to drive his GMC pick-up onto the lake surface to the spot we intended to fish at for the day.

As I stated before, it was BITTERLY cold and it wasn’t long before Gramp and I were piled into the cab of the truck with the heater on full blast, playing cribbage, drinking hot coco and watching for a flag. Not to waste any chance at catching a fish, Gramp had rolled down his truck window a few inches and had his jig pole sticking out the window. Every once and awhile he would give the pole a little tug.

Getting eventually bored and restless from sitting in the truck, I decided to go out and check the ice holes, chip out the ice and check the bait. Gramp was busily talking with a few people on his Ham radio and momentarily distracted. I sense this was the perfect time to have some fun with old Gramps, so slowly and quietly, I crawled down under his truck.

As I belly crawled from the passenger side of the truck to the drivers side, I finally reached his ice fishing line, grabbed it and started pulling on it with all of the strength that a 10 year old could muster.

Well, the yelling and shouting that ensued in the cab of the truck had me barely able to contain myself as I continued to tug on the fishing line.

Now, in a horribly erratic and haphazard position Gramp began to simultaneously attempt to exit the vehicle, roll down the window, set down the radio handset, not spill his steaming hot coffee and still fight the WHOPPER fish he thought was on his fishing line.

What I heard form the front of the cab sounded something like this: HOLLY COW I GOT A BIG ONE, I MEAN A HUGE ONE! OUCH, OUCH HOT COFFEE!  WHY WON’T THIS WINDOW GO DOWN! THIS IS K1HHC IN NEED OF ASSISTANCE . . . SOS!

Finally, with Gramps outbursts, I could no longer contain my laughter and I exploded with giggles. As Gramp exited the truck, he saw me flat on my back waving up at him. The look on his face was priceless, as he knew he had been had by a 10 year old. At that moment, on his face grew a HUGE smile and his stomach started to violently shake and suddenly he was laughing harder than I had eve seen him before. It was one of those moments that even 30 years later still makes you smile.

Happy Birthday Gramp! I love you!

Monday, January 16, 2012

Ned’s Dead

Ned Green
President's Day weekend of 2001, long time friend and climbing partner Scott Fisher and I were climbing the various ice gullies on New Hampshire’s Mt. Washington, one of our favorite winter playgrounds. Though dwarfed by most west coast peaks, the relatively diminutive Mt. Washington is still a formidable opponent not to be underestimated. Standing a mere 6,288 ft, what Mt. Washington lacks for in impressive height, it more than compensates for in famously dangerous and erratic weather. The summit holds the world record for the highest wind gust measured at the Earth's surface, 231 mph. Freak storms can instantly transform any day on the mountain from a peaceful climb into a full blown survival scenario. 

Smart climbers know to keep a watchful eye not only on where they place their feet but also on the sky monitoring the fickle meteorological conditions. Despite knowledge and preparation even the best and the brightest climbers occasionally stumble, leading to tragedy on a mountain that allows little error. Stories echo out of Tuckerman and Huntington ravines, telling the sad tales of hikers, climbers and mountaineers who have succumb to its wrath. Being young, determined and a bit fool hardy, when we first started climbing in the Presidential Range of the White Mountains we thought little of the dangers associated with a winter ascent of the highest peak in the Northeastern United States. 

In those days, we were knowledgeable enough, seemed to operate within the limits of our skills and were always watchful of impending danger. Our favorite weekend excursions, involved breaking out of work early, packing the truck with our gear, racing out of Machias, Maine and attempting to cross the typically snow and ice covered route two to Pinkham Notch in one piece. Usually this drive was uneventful but occasionally our evening jaunts are fraught with blizzard laden terror. Upon arriving at Pinkham we would spend the night in the back of my old pickup truck, comfortably tucked into our -20 mountaineering bags despite the nighttime air temperature that was rarely above zero degrees Fahrenheit. The next morning would be spent enjoying a hearty breakfast at the Pinkham Notch Visitors Center (one of our few weekend indulgences), conducting a final gear check and then we were off for a day of climbing, in either Huntington or Tuckerman ravine. On rare occasions, like the long MLK weekend of 2001 we would climb for two days, on the harsh slopes of the mountain, retiring each evening to the simple yet comfortable Harvard Cabin.

Harvard cabin was originally built in 1963 and since that time has been lovingly maintained and administered by the Harvard Mountaineering Club. Under a special use permit with the US Forest Service, the cabin is open throughout the height of the winter climbing season from December first to the end of March. The cabin is a favorite of winter climbers and a historical spot not to be missed on any trip into Huntington ravine. Though many will stop by the cabin and admire its rugged beauty, few will ultimately see the cabin in all its glory, when it is filled in the evenings with its typical melting pot of hikers and climbers. Evenings are often rowdy affairs, filled with climbing stories, card games, sung songs and even the occasional reading of a manly poem.

Ned on Katahdin
Upon the kindling of the fire, the building warmth brings new life to the cabin’s rabble and the evening ignites with assorted tales of days lived gloriously in the mountains. On every clothesline, rafter and exposed nail head is parked a wet piece of winter clothing, slowly being dried by the over worked wood stove. All of the best spots, near the stove, have been taken and late arrivals will likely have to suffer through the next day with damp socks and mittens. Pots rattle and pans crash as individuals attempt to rally for cooking positions, around the cabins small gas powered range. A five gallon bucket and small hatchet rest beside the stove and serve as a means of collecting cooking and drinking water from a small stream in back of the cabin. Nobody is ever picked for this or any of the other cabin task; rather individuals freely help whenever and wherever they can stacking firewood, shoveling walkways, sweeping the floor, etc. There is a distinct smell in the air that is best described as a mix of cuscus and wet dog.

The management of the cabin and all of its various patrons is assigned to a caretaker. This individual is responsible for collecting the usage fees, assisting overnight visitors and providing climbers with critical weather and avalanche danger updates. On our particular visit, this task was assigned to a man named Ned Green. Ned fit all of the qualifications you would expect to see in a cabin keeper, a deeply gregarious soul, a hearty love for the mountains and his fellow man, he was an instant hit among the various “guests”. With Ned and I both possessing a healthy affection for tall tales and hard alcohol, it wasn’t long before we were both sitting at the cabin’s picnic table, swapping stories, photos and the occasional shot of Jagermeister. I believe Ned and I were the only ones in the cabin that evening "man" enough to drink the foul tasting substance.

Ned on Katahdin
Ned was pleased to hear I was from Maine and had also completed multiple winter ascents of the rugged Mt. Katadin. He shared that he had recently climbed Katahdin and it was apparent from his enthusiasm that he shared my love of this remote and challenging peak. Retreating to his loft “apartment”, he soon returned with a number of photos documenting his trip into Baxter State Park, climbing some of the areas more formidable rock formations. Though his accomplishments on the mountain were vastly more difficult than anything I hoped to ever accomplish, he was not one prone to bragging but rather content to tell a good tale by simply stating the facts. By the end of the evening, half a bottle of Jagermeister had been consumed and I had made a new friend.

As our time for sleep approached, Ned inquired as to what Scott and I had for climbing plans the next day. After sharing our plan to climb central gully, Ned invited us to instead follow him up one of Hunting Ravine’s more demanding ice climbing routes, a near vertical ice gully named Damnation. Ned also stated he planned to accomplish the task unroped or without the use of any protection to guard against an accidental fall. Knowing Ned’s ability to climb the route, was with a level of skill beyond my comfort level, Scott and I declined but thanked him for his gracious offer. Ned then made a counter offer, inviting us to work with him the next evening, practicing building ice anchors system. To this new proposal, we anxiously agreed.

Ned on Katahdin
As our well-worn bodies, retired to the cabins small loft, we were soon joined by over a dozen other sleepy mountaineers and winter campers all with very little understanding of the importance of bodily hygiene. In the warmth of my heavy sleeping bag, I was quickly asleep and snoring deeply. It was not until the next morning at breakfast, I realized my throaty reverberations kept several people awake most of the night.  The groups breakfast conversation was spent attempting to determine who the offensive snorer was and making them sleep outside the next evening. I remained VERY quiet throughout this exchange, simply pointing a silent finger toward my climbing partner Scott, who later remarked that he thought people were scowling at him during breakfast. I supportively told him he was nuts.

That next morning and into early evening, were spent climbing Central gully, continuing on to the Mt. Washington summit and finally descending Lions head trail. As we approached Harvard cabin all was quiet and the chimney showed no fire burning in the stove.  We at first believed that perhaps everyone was still out climbing. Upon opening the door, I was surprised to see the cabin was filled with around a dozen people. The look on everyone’s face was deadpan and any conversations were being conducted at barely above a whisper. No food was being cooked on the cabins small stove and everyone appeared to be still wearing their damp clothing. The mood was dismal.

When I inquired what had transpired, a young man in the group came over by my side, grabbed my arm, pulled me close and whispered "Ned's dead". Ned’s dead? Ned’s dead?!? My mind raced and I found my inner monologue failing. I uttered, “Ned’s Dead? How?” Further details supplied by the assortment of climbers and rescuers were fuzzy at best and ill stated. There was mention of an ice dam, a fall of close to 1000 feet and a shattered climbing helmet found at the scene. Given the mind set of the crowd, further questioning was pointless, accomplishing little and only been more troubling to the group. I sat on a bench and mutely tried to sort through the limited information.

Later that evening, I choked back a bowl of food with little care for what I was eating, only fueling my body because it was a repetitive task that would keep my mind from drifting to thoughts of the tragedy. After eating, I looked up on the shelf and noted Ned's bottle of Jagermeister. I took the bottle down off the shelf, lifted it back to my lips, took a hearty swig and nearly gagged. I opened the door of the cabin and poured a little on the ground. I believe in my distraught state of mind, I was sharing one last drink with Ned and I prayed to have him walk through the door, sit down at the table and tell perhaps one last story. Unfortunately, that was not meant to be and I had to face the facts that Ned was in fact gone.

Me Day of Accident
Days later, an article in a local paper shared the details around Ned’s death. The story depicted an account of Ned’s climb up Damnation with another climber named John Brochu. Both men were simul-soloing the route, as they had done many times in the past. They were approximately 1000 feet into the climb, beginning to navigate the final ice bulge 200 feet from the top when the tragedy occurred. John was in the lead followed closely by Ned. As John climbed over the final section of ice, Ned sank his ice axes into the ice bulge to anchor him while John cleared the section. At around 12:30 in the afternoon, his partner planted his left-hand ice axe into the top of the ice bulge and in the process, dislodged a 6 by 10 foot block of ice. Unbeknownst to John, lying just below the surface lurked a giant ice dam (1). What occurred next was catastrophic. Ned fell with the titanic block of ruptured ice, falling approximately 800 feet to almost the bottom of the gully. John at the same time, was forcibly ejected and “barn-doored” on his right hand ice axe and right foot crampon, only narrowly escaping a fatal fall. From his position, John watched Ned fall down the gully. The entire event occurred with such speed Ned had virtually no time to react.

John now realizing that Ned could still be alive and in need of immediate medical attention, continued up the remainder of Damnation gully, as descent at that point would have been almost impossible. Topping out of the climb, he raced south around the rim of Huntington ravine to the nearest down climbable gully, Central, descending it to come to Ned’s aid. Though we were climbing Central Gully earlier in the day, John was down climbing the route, on his way to Ned, well after we had already topped out and were on our way to Mt. Washington’s summit.

Upon arriving, John was met by several other climbers already on the scene. A snowboarder rode the half-mile to Harvard cabin, where he was able to use the radio to call Forest service snow rangers for assistance. Climbers on the scene obtained a rescue litter from the Dow First Aid Cache and were placing an anchor system to lower the litter down the steep terrain, when snow rangers arrived. I took four difficult hours and three belays to get Ned to the floor of the ravine. In the fall, Ned had suffered multiple trauma and an open head injury.  He was unconscious and having difficulty breathing. Nearby on the snow, shattered into several pieces was his climbing helmet, likely the only reason he had even initially survived the fall.

Ned was quickly loaded onto the forest service snowcat and taken down the mountain. An ambulance met the snowcat in the Pinkham Notch parking lot at 3:30 PM and transported him to Memorial Hospital in North Conway, where he died from his injuries.

In the weeks and months that followed, many criticized Ned and John for not using roped protection to guard against an accidental fall. In hearing these reports, it was immediately obvious these individuals had never set foot in the mountains and had no idea what they were talking about. In reading the USFS rescue report, it indicated, “Due to the tremendous forces involved, it was unclear whether belayed climbing would have saved Ned’s life. Additionally, Damnation Gully is considered a grade 3 climb. There is one small section of grade 3 ice, several sections of grade 2, and many pitches of steep-snow climbing. It is not unusual or uncommon for knowledgeable and experienced climbers, such as Ned and John, to ascend the route without the support of a rope and belay.”

What many fail to consider is that mountaineering is a risk filled pursuit with many hazards, some of which are able to be overcome and some that are not. Risk management and mitigating hazards must be a constant endeavor BUT even then, accidents in the mountains occur due to unforeseen forces. I saw Ned and John's climb, much like riding a motorcycle without a helmet, sometimes you just need to ride the open road with the air whipping through your hair. Sure it is much more risky to ride not wearing a helmet, but some experiences are worth the risk. Climbing without roped protection will always be viewed by some as foolish endeavor. For others, it will be seen as a personal choice, a way to reconnect with the mountain and focusing your entire mental and physical being on a singular task. At that moment of complete concentration, the world seems to slow and you are precariously aware of your fragility when climbing mountains. 

President's Day weekend of 2002 Scott and I were back on Mt. Washington climbing and staying at Harvard Cabin. During that evening, we were fortunate to meet Ned's mom Clare Green, who was visiting the cabin on the anniversary of her son's death. Scott and I were the only cabin patrons who had stayed at the cabin the previous year. We exchanged with Clare a few stories of our brief encounter with her son and how he had been a popular and a well liked cabin keeper and friend. Clare like Ned was a gregarious soul and Scott and I were very happy to have had an opportunity to express our condolences and share our brief experience with Ned. 

Clare maintains a website and has published a book of Ned's journal writing and poems titled "Cutting A Bond with the Long Trail". She is currently sending me a copy I will be reading and reviewing on my blog. Clare also runs a scholarship in Ned's honor that has been successful in providing thousands of dollars to aspiring mountaineers and outdoorsman over the past decade. 
(1) Ice dams occur when large pools of ice, sometimes in excess of hundreds of gallons build up behind ice walls caused under conditions of a rapid temperature drop. The low temperature on the summit of Mount Washington in the previous 24 hours was –19 degrees F. Waterfall ice is formed when water flows over steep terrain in winter. The water that forms the ice is always flowing and constantly forming new ice. When the air temperature drops, water channels freeze up and water begins to pool up behind the ice. This creates hydraulic pressure behind the ice. When the ice dam is disturbed, the pooled water breaks out, often with an explosive force.Ice dams are unpredictable, practically undetectable and once ruptured they can burst forth with deadly results. Evidence suggests the intrusion of John’s ice pick had created a small fracture in the mammoth sheet of ice releasing the incredible hydraulic power of a massive ice dam.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Hypothermia On Mt. Washington

It is always this time of year when the winter snows fall and the mercury drops that my thoughts invariably begin to reminisce about my past excursions into the mountains. While I was thinking about some of these icy adventures, a particular memory was resurrected.  Though I had not really contemplated this particular incident much after it occurred, now close to a decade later, I often wonder what might have occurred, should my climbing partner not been in the right place at the right time. As unfortunate fate would have it, this particular incident was not the last my climbing partner and I would see in the mountains and before the conclusion of our careers as hobbyist mountaineers, we would be involved in a total of three rescues and see the deeply troubling death of a friend. Please excuse my inclusion of photographs in this particular posting having completely nothing to do with this story or Mt. Washington. Searching through my archives, I was unable to find any pictures from these past excursions . . . I sense that the Gremlins have been at work once again. Instead, I choose to provide a few images from some of my previous trips to other high places to provide a taste for what a life lived high is all about! Enjoy!
Inter-Glacier Mt. Rainier
It had been a hard day of climbing on Mt. Washington, on a long forgotten date sometime in late February. My climbing partner and I had started our summit attempt, well before the sun had managed to crest the horizon. Our plan was to hike from the Pinkham Notch visitor center, up into Huntington ravine, complete an ascent of Diagonal gully and finally cross the wind-swept alpine garden to the summit of Mt. Washington. On our descent, we had decided not to to down climb Escape Hatch gully but instead the popular Lion’s head trail, as avalanche warnings had cause other routes become less favorable. After climbing for around 10 hours, we finally came to the end of Lion's head trail. As the day turned to night, the temperature started to drop quickly and a strong northeast wind began to gust.

Summit Mt. Hood
Even in the relative security of “treeline”, things began to get bitterly cold but through the day, we had managed to stay relatively dry and were well fed and hydrated. Given our situation, we had no fear for our own relative exposure to this sudden drop in the mercury. Our conversations were light hearted and we began exchanging the occasional joke and openly voiced our dreams about the pizza, we were soon to eat at Flatbreads in North Conway, NH. As we hiked, I lamented about how my tired legs felt like two boiled hot dogs but I was still jubilant.

Just as we began to see the glimmering lights of the Pinkham Notch visitors center, we were suddenly surprised by a group of 5 people huddled around a young man. As we stepped closer, one of the groups members frantically ran up to us and asked if we had a stove and cook pot. When I inquired why, she said that her friend was cold and unresponsive. At this point, I became seriously concerned. This was not the first time I had seen someone injured in the mountains and as fate would have it, unfortunately not my last.
Mountains of Patagonia, Climbing Aconcagua
I ran up to the young man and asked his name and received no reply. Upon examining the boys face, he was expressionless; his blue lips visible even in the low glow of my headlamp. I shook the young man and two hand warmers fell out of his hands. “What are these?” I exclaimed! “Heater packs” someone in the group responded. Agitated I thought, well if this boy dies at least he will be able to greet St. Peter with a warm handshake!

Receiving no response from the boy and with him exhibiting all the classic signs of hypothermia, I knew we were going to have to work quickly to get him off the mountain and someplace warm. The temperature during most of the day had been in the upper teens but was dropping fast now and we were racing against time.

Leaving Camp 3, Aconcagua
I removed my down jacket from my backpack and we worked to wrestle his stiff arms into it and to get it zipped. Once on, we enclosed his head in the hood allowing only a small hole for air.  Thus readied, my climbing partner and I each grabbed one of the boys arms and at the count of three, had him standing and quickly walking him down the mountain. With his legs uncontrollably flailing out behind him, it was apparent that the boy’s body had no idea it had been set in motion. As we walked, we continued our interrogation of the boy and after about 15 minutes were managing to get his name and some personal information. In another 5 minutes, he was stumbling along on his feet and attempting to walk.

Upon arriving at the Pinkham notch visitors center, we managed to wrestle the boy into the lodge and set him down. Assessing his current condition, he appeared to be slowly pushing coherence and was now being quizzed by several of his friends. Once of the centers medical response personnel appeared and began assessing the boys situation. Determining that the situation was well under control, my buddy and I slid outside and into the cold night, content to be the anonymous strangers that potentially saved a young man’s life.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Thin Ice in January?!?!

I have to admit that ice fishing on just three inches of ice in Maine during the month of January is a VERY strange concept. Call it global warming, climate change or whatever you like but bottom line is that things are taking a lot longer to freeze and staying frozen a shorter amount of time. A reminder to anyone venturing out on the ice, ice scoop might read 3 inches but that ice thickness might not be consistent. Make sure to teat the ice at regular intervals and have handy a pair of ice self rescue tools. For a couple bucks these devices can literally be a life save. Note in the photo above, mine are hanging out of my coat sleeve. These devices have a sharpened metal point hidden under a retractable plastic housing. When they strike a hard surface, like ice, the metal point is exposed and drives into the object. If you chance to fall through the ice these would make self extraction much easier. Good luck to everyone and be safe!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Surviving the Apocalypse in the Suburbs

I was recently sent a copy of Wendy Brown’s book “Surviving the Apocalypse in the Suburbs, the Thrivalist’s Guide to a Life Without Oil.” by New Society Publishers. Both Wendy and her husband also maintain two separate blogs that are a joy to read. Wendy at: and Deus Ex Machina (Eric) at:

I have to admit, I have watched the “Mad Max” series of movies one to many times and Stephen King’s book “The Stand” is one of my all time favorite reads.  It is certainly these vile renderings, of our world when the SHTF and spirals into the hands of the “Zombie Hoards”, unto which most of us base our “survivalist” preparations. No doubt, Hollywood knows shock and awe sells and we as consumers readily digest this mumbo jumbo like it’s our last day on earth. This media storm of death and destruction had me under the impression that perhaps your best TEOTWAWKI preparations had something to do with lots of firepower and plenty of ammo.

Wendy’s book dismisses most of this doom and gloom, instead painting a picture of a much more civilized future after TEOTWAWKI. While she does dedicated one chapter to “Security”, the rest of the book centers on what I define as practical no nonsense living. In the resource poor future, people will need to understand and cope with the realities of a life without many of the creature comforts we currently take for granted. Wendy predicts that gasoline, oil, electricity, supermarkets and even public education will disappear and we will as a society need to learn to live (thrive) without them.

To prepare for this “challenge”, the chapters take the reader through the steps necessary to prepare themselves, their family, homes and available land to be as productive and energy efficient as possible. In many of these situations, I see Wendy providing the reader with a blueprint of how we should all be living NOW and not necessarily after some apocalyptic world-ending event. Reducing, reusing, recycling, growing more of our own food or buying produce local and in season, raising our own livestock, producing our own localized fuel sources for heat (wood) and other practical and smart ways to live both before and after any impending “collapse”.

Also critical, is the idea we must forge a skill set of self-reliance, while also understanding there exists strength in numbers. In the future, it will be beneficial to have an individual practical skill set, as well as a network, community or neighborhood of support.  I particularly liked Wendy’s afterward, that walks the reader through a typical day in a community after TEOTWAWKI.

To close, I wanted to include this excerpt from the book as it sums up most of what the book seems to center on, “If we are to have any hope of giving our children a future, we need to start now with changing the attitudes from one of making money to one of making a living. We need to change our mindset from the belief that independence is related solely to one’s income to the understanding that true independence comes from being able to provide for most of one’s needs.” (p. 212)
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