When you live off grid, the idea of heading to an established campground seems more like visiting an outdoor apartment complex in which there are a lot of people, noise, and nature gets in the way to the communal bathrooms. My wife and I started to leave the campgrounds many years ago because it was no different than living in our apartment complex, minus the thin walls to block the sound of radios, televisions, drunks, and domestic disputes. We found a book that took us on forest roads so far off the beaten path that it would be days to hike out if the vehicle became stranded. We set up camp by beautiful flowing tributaries into the main rivers the campgrounds were located on. With plenty of supplies, we enjoyed the peace and quiet of nature all around us. We waved to the other brave souls who had ventured out as far as we did and noticed they gave great space and distance to our site as we did others as we passed along our route. On the way up to one of our favorite destinations, we would pass an out of the way private campground and hot spring, Silver Creek Plunge and my wife and I were amazed that anything this remote could sustain itself, but they have done very well due to its remoteness, amenities, and access to the beautiful Boise National Forest.
On an unrelated side note. My wife and I are celebrating our 24th anniversary today. Since the breakdown of our vehicle many challenges and stress has been placed upon our marriage. In the last two weeks let me list a few of the things we have been dealing with: Our son was admitted into the ER for an emergency appendectomy. He developed appendicitis Friday night and Saturday it was diagnosed and he was operated on later that day with an overnight observation till Sunday afternoon. He is doing very well today, though mellow, but on the way to recovery. The minor challenges are the other car was acting up while I was waiting in Columbus, MT for the PT to be fixed, the home’s cistern pump gave out prematurely due to some defect and had to be replaced, my lower back gave out and I have been walking hunched and in pain for the past 3 days, my cell phone (208 area code) crashed and I lost all my contacts (text me and state who you are, so I can re-enter you), our tractor loan office has lost one of our payments even though the check is cashed. We had one chicken die due to an infection after we tried to treat her, and another chicken developed bumble foot. Also, my wife hasn’t been able to attend a farmer’s market in 4 weeks due to these circumstances. We also cancelled our anniversary plans today to nurse our boy back to health, but all is not lost, I am making my wife a romantic dinner this evening after we tuck him into bed tonight. Much thanks to our shop fund, which has got us through all this financially, but once again, our dream shop has been delayed. And, this all went down in one week’s time. There’s an old saying when it rains, it pours.
I remember in college another week like this developed and another student in a men’s support group we started asked, how I can live in such dire circumstances. I said, “Just like you, but I trust the grace of God to get me through.” and that has been the truth of it ever since. I can’t imagine what would have happened if our son developed appendicitis a week earlier while we were on vacation in the middle of the desolate stretch of Montana and North Dakota at the same time our car’s engine was blown. I am so grateful that this list of disasters was all spread out, giving my wife and I time to meet each challenge head on.
“God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.” 1st Corinthian 10:13