I've pulled 'Drifters' and am rereleasing it in a super-condensed edited version, so that I can fit in all three parts. For what it's about, scroll down the sidebar for the blurb. In a sense it's a sequel to 'June'.
Part I covers the time we were dropped off in the Gila by a shuttle, and hiked in to live off a spring miles from the nearest trail when Rachael was only 4 weeks old, and started a hogan. We stayed three months.
Part II covers our return in a jeep when Rachael's 2, delivering Brooke on our own, hitting every trailhead, hiking in, living off hot springs, blowing the motor fording the river, and run-in's with fellow drifters. Our money lasted about 6 months.
Part III is where we get it down, stick to the river valleys and gather wild food, get together with some truly hardcore inspiring people, pick desert willow seed to support ourselves, sell mushrooms, make baskets, and almost settle down.
Chapter 1 is finished and is called Birth.
Chapter 2 is Cherry Creek.
Chapter 3 is The Spring.
Chapter 4 is Snow.
When I go over this material, and compare it to our present homesteading, I have to admit it was a great life and feel tremendous nostalgia. If it weren't for having older kids, and trying to achieve some kind of compromise, and put other people first, I'd pack my truck and be gone by morning. Where to? Wherever.
Homesteading is rewarding in many ways but also very hard work. And quite expensive. You've got the cost of the land, the cost of development, the cost of taxes and utilities that never goes away . . . and the Herculean labor involved in trying to make it modern and comfortable. I'm not down on it, just being realistic. City life is living in a bubble. Everything goes on in the bubble, you die in the bubble. Homesteading is definitely out of the bubble, but somehow still connected to the bubble, with obligations, and neighbors, and work. The same sort of treadmill, but outdoors rather than in.