I was much younger at 28 years old and in part due to a bet and in a larger part being totally sick of people and society. I am a very strong introvert by nature, I love people just hate being around them I headed into a large wilderness are with nothing but the clothes on my back and a knife. Two years later in 1998 I came out of the wilds wearing buckskins and furs with a beard down to my belly. This was meant to be a simple wager with a friend that said "Hey I bet you can't live off the land for 3 months." I have a problem with time and tracking it. I on a average day can't tell you what day of the week it is rarely know or care what month it is, and as proven yesterday when I was writing a check and had to ask what year it is. Time simply does not hold much value for me other than in a broad sense of it is Summer, fall, winter, or spring. I knew I was well past the 3 months when I came out as two Winters had passed by. The knife turned into a spear, the spear turned into a bow, the bow turned into deer hides. Theknife also turned into fish traps, a fire starter, woven baskets, and the most basic wood and vine tools. I found a nice little pocket cave and called it home for most of that time and wove willow saplings together for a front wall. Turtles, fish, rabbits and squirrels and foraged berries, roots, and greens were the first food staples. After working out the basics for snares and more solid traps coons and muskrats and the occasional beaver were added to the to spit. Once I had enough tendon for a bow string and a good supply of arrows carved and heads knapped out deer and wild pig became much easier. The first deer was part luck and part trick. I set a dozen fire hardened spears at a angle on one side of a dead fall in a narrow area and the idea was to drive a deer into that narrow pass between a rock wall and the creek and the deer to impale itself when it jumped over the deadfall. It did not work out so hot the first 3 try's. The fist time the big doe jumped and cleared my spear trap with a good 10 feet to spare, so I moved the spears farther out. The next two times she went across the creek. Finally on the 4th try she jumped and two of the spears went deep into her underside. She provided some much needed leather, gut, and useful thick bone. Most important she provided the tendon to dry, pound and braid into a solid bow string. After the bow was functional the deer came easy. I don't think a spoke more than a dozen words out loud over those two years, did not see a single other human. And I enjoyed the hell out of life, fresh water from a spring just outside of the cave, A pile of soft furs for a bed, a creek a few hundred feet away with a endless supply of catfish and small mouth bass, deer, a herd of wild pigs that were quite challenging to put on the spit. Turtle shell bows and cooking pots, clam shell hide scrapers and a warm fire pit that a combination of the cave and cold spring water cooled the smoke and kept it low instead of letting it rise. life was good. As all things that time came to a end. I came out of the woods and my little valley looking like a relic from a time long past. Walked to a gas station and found a pay phone and made a collect call to my friend I had made the wager with. Found out everyone thought I was dead and would never be seen again. Discovered my wife had divorced me sometime in 1997 LOL guess I should have told her I would be gone a while Learned more about what had gone on in the world on the drive to my friends house. A few days later went to the police to let them know I was not a missing person and never was, I knew exactly where I was the entire time. Called the now X wife and promptly hung up on her when the yelling started. Met my next x wife that I didn't marry until 2010 and not really looking like she will be the next X despite our differences we work well together and I would never get where I am supposed to be on time with out her leaving me notes in the morning. The X thought she had taken everything but I am not a believer in banks and kept good supply of dead presidents stashed away in the form of cash. I went and recovered that cash stash in 2000 and found that when closing on a piece of real estate $171,500 in cash is not acceptable, it has to be a certified check. Then I learned a bank won't open a account with a bag of cash. LOL $278,000 in cash and not a thing I could do with it. All earned legit BTW. Finally had a friend that does a cash business with food trucks that converted my cash to a certified check, that a bank was happy to open and account with, there was a 30 day waiting period before I could access the funds though. Bought 6 acres and a house well below market value for $230,000 sold it in 2007 for $412,000 and then spent $570,000 on the farm now, between land, tractors, implements, livestock, and all the tools needed to do what I wanted to do. Which was go back to the life I grew up in. Simple, hassle free and as independent of the system and society as possible. Between 1985 and 1993 was military and 1993-1996 was over the road trucking. I simply saved every spare dime I could over those years and it added up and combined with a small inheritance from my Grandmother gave me a decent size war chest to get things rolling. Selling the house and 6 acres just prior to the housing bubble busting and the financial melt down was sheer luck. I saw that house and 6 acres on a foreclosure auction site and it went for $79,000 in auction. Every now and then I think back to the cave and those two years and miss the isolation, not knowing and just plain not caring what was going on outside of that little valley. Even made a few trips back there over the years just to see. Took my wife once and listened to the complaining about why I had to pick a cave 28 miles from the nearest road LOL. Not much of my life there remains mice took over my furs and bed, even gnawed up my turtle shells. My spears were still leaning on the cave wall, fire hardened oak last a long time. My bow still sat on the large rock, that string I worked so hard to make long decayed, the leather quiver brittle and crumbled in my hands. Time passes and while I don't put much stock in time or its passage, it was 20 years ago today that I walked into the woods and 18years since I walked out Not really here or there just part of my story and life I thought I would share. Life is a lot easier here on the farm, but the sense of achievement is not nearly as great or rewarding as finally getting the fish trap strong enough to hold a 10 pound catfish, or watching that big doe land on the spear trap, or just making a leather pants to replace the jeans that are falling apart on you. The bed with a mattress just never is quite as comfortable as that pile of furs was as you lay there watching the flames in the fire pit dance and hear the owls calling to each other as they stalked the woods in search of mice.