Monday, November 13, 2006

Buck takes a Hike....with me!!

First just let me say thank you to everyone who commented yesterday about my son's lifestyle. (If you haven't read my edited version yesterday then you won't know I changed his name to Buck!) I'm never quite sure how people are going to react when I tell them how he lives. When that photo was taken, HB also did a whole series of photos which included Gretchen and the kids....all wearing buckskins. When I showed the photos at work (I was living in WA and working in Seattle at the time) most of the people thought it was staged. You know, like when you go to one of those places, pick out a costume, and have your photo taken. When I explained that it was for real, that this was the way they dressed and lived every day, they were stunned. Most of them already thought I was a bit weird anyway, and then they REALLY thought I was!! But I can tell you that most of them thought camping meant having a nice room at a hotel!

HB and I used to do a lot of camping....tent camping. We were completely outfitted for that sort of camping. When we visited Buck and his family we always took our equipment with us. In fact, Buck used to tell us to bring everything we thought we would need because they only had exactly what they needed. They each had a bowl and a plate (wood)and their own eating utensils. They usually cooked in one big pot over the open fire....and it was usually something Buck had killed. They also ate a lot of wild plants. Gretchen was excellent at identifying plants in the wild.

Once when I visited alone, Buck, Gretchen and I went on a hike. My oldest granddaughter was a baby at the time so she came along papoose-style. Gretchen always carried her babies on her back. Back to the hike....we started out in the morning and as we hiked along every once in awhile Gretchen would stop, pick a few leaves off a plant and tuck them into a bag. I wasn't sure what was going on.

After we hiked along for a couple of hours we came to a beautiful stream with a small waterfall. By this time I was hungry and wondering why I hadn't brought something with me. Gretchen pulled the leaves out of her bag, washed them in the waterfall, and put them in a bowl from her pack. Then she produced a small container of some kind of dressing she had made (they had no refrigeration so I'm not sure what it was) and poured it over the green leaves. We each began eating the "salad" .... at first, I only nibbled a tiny leaf, thinking it might taste weird....but it was delicious. Probably the best salad I've ever tasted!

This is not my photo but I love the basket and all the wild greens. It made me think of the ones Gretchen gathered. She told me she only takes a few plants or leaves from each area so as not to deplete the natural growth.

From time to time I will try to tell you a little more about Buck and his lifestyle.


  1. I really admire someone who can make a commitment to live like that and stick to it. It's wonderful that he obviously found his soul mate in Gretchen and that she was so happy and supportive of their life choice. And while I'm not a camper, never have been, and hated even sleeping on our boat when we had it, I do not think they are in the least weird. What a boring old world it would be if we were all the same.
    They sound like one of those wholesome families you would see in the Disney movies we watched as kids.

  2. I'm so glad that you are going to tell us more about Buck and Gretchen and their way of life, I enjoyed reading about the hike and the wild salad you had. A lot of wild plants are herbs of course and are delicious to eat - it's recognizing them when you see them that is the tricky part:)

  3. Wonderful! We could all learn a lot from living naturally, and I'm so grateful to you for sharing your stories. I think that we 'civilised' townies are the weird ones! ;) Loving all your Art, too, Janet. Thank you so much for your comments on my blog. So encouraging, and very much appreciated. Bless you x
    Have an artful day! :)

  4. I used to love camping too....and still enjoy the wilderness but now I do want a bed....I've found Water Cress and made salads from those out in the wild....wonder what Gretchen found?

  5. I suppose in today's world anyone who is different is labeled and it is with the "weird" label. That is sad. I just read a thing about how each thought we have reverberates in the world and touches everyone and everything. Maybe we'd all do better to be careful of our thoughts before labeling anyone else.

  6. I am telling you this completely fascinates me! Like a true Mountain Man story, and I like that you chose Buck, it fits. My brotherinlaw in Wisconsin goes to a Mountain Man (oh geez can't think of what it's called)gathering, he wears buckskins he's skinned and made himself, hunts and knows about all the plants etc. He also leads groups of kids on wilderness expeditions to teach them about all of that. He doesn't live in the wilderness however, but I think he would if he could.
    I can't wait to hear more Buck stories. I love the photo, would there be more you could share?(maybe hub could computer blur their faces for privacy)

  7. Anonymous11:14 AM

    That is so cool! I would like to have tasted that delicious salad.



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