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The Mountaineer lived 1 3/10th miles off a graveled road accessible only by a 4x4 vehicle.  His cabin was nestled up against the Blue Ridge Mountains on all sides.  The Old Haycock fire tower was some seven miles distant.  He often looked up and said, “Look at those mountains-ain’t they wonderful?”

His cabin had no hot water or heat.  Water ran above ground by gravity through a 1" black plastic pipe with numerous repairs, from a spring located 2,500 feet above the cabin.  He’d laugh when he’d tell you about his “solar shower”, which consisted of 100 feet of MORE black plastic hose which when heated by the daily sun gave him enough water to shower by.

 To some people his life would have been a hardship, to others an impossibility.  To him it was a celebration.


There were daily challenges to be sure and hardships when the water would freeze and the hose separate at its many coupling joints.  But, he managed and enjoyed the rugged life.  Food from the vast garden he grew and shared with the deer provided him with most of his food.

Days consisted of working on an old jeep he had totally rebuilt and when he tired of that he would cut wood for next years supply.  At the time of his death, next years wood pile, of nearly all hickory, was neatly stacked in cord rows to dry.  His wood pile was a work of art, admired, by him, as we would a cherished possession.

The cabin was his home and he had all the pride attendant with his little piece of God’s world. 

He had a few good friends and a lot of people who considered him a friend.  He seldom went out, being
content to live a life reminiscent of that long years ago.

 It was almost as though time had forgotten this little pocket of the Blue Ridge.  There was no telephone,
but a CB radio when it worked.  And when it did, he would sign off with,
This be the Mountaineer settin’ back in the Blue Ridge”.

 Envision, if you will, him setting back still...