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Question Of The Week

The Most Amazing People We Have Met

The concert was supposed to be on the lawn, but there was a ferocious storm, so we all took our lawn chairs into an old building and sat six feet from the Merle playing with his family and a few others.

They played for a long time. We left a bit early, walked 100-feet to our comfortable camper, and fell asleep listening to Merle Haggard singing, just a few feet away. It was magical.” – Claudia Lawrence, Ford F-350 2013, 2015 Lance

“Three years ago Chris and I were camped in a primitive forest service campground high in the Idaho mountains. There were three or four other campers there, but one camper stood out. It was an elderly man camping alone. He had a ragged beard and clothes. His camper was from the 1970s. He looked a little down on his luck.

As we walked by him we noticed his Florida plates. Chris said, “Hi, you are a long way from home”.  He invited us to sit down and have a cold beer. He was glad to have somebody to talk to. After some small talk he started telling us his story. Twenty years ago in Florida he had a wife and two daughters, a house and a good job.

Then in an instant his life changed. His wife and one daughter were killed in a car wreck. His other daughter blamed him and left home. One day, alone in his house, he climbed in his camper and headed west. That was twenty years ago. He has been wandering around the country since. He loves boondocking and primitive forest service campgrounds in Colorado, Montana and Idaho with good fishing nearby. His evening meal usually consists of that day’s catch of trout. He heads south in the winter. He still has his house in Florida and returns every winter for three or four weeks to check up on things, get mail, pay bills and hopefully hear something from his daughter. He has not seen or spoken to her in twenty years.

So, fellow campers, those suspicious looking people camping alone. Just say, “Hi”. They may be lonely and want someone to talk to.” -Brian and Chris Hagen, 2004 Dodge Ram 2500, 2014 Palomino SS-1251

“While working on a television documentary (Gigantopithecus: The Real King Kong) our camp was set up on the Suiattle River, outside and east of Darrington, Washington.

We had two prestigious scientists camping with us. Dr. Jeff Meldrum was one of them and his friend and author, Peter Matthiessen was invited to join us.

I had met Peter before at the 1978 UBC Sasquatch Conference. That was the same year he wrote “The Snow Leopard”, but I knew him from the film documentary “Blue Water White Death” and his own treaty on the expedition it portrayed, “Blue Meridan”.

I cooked a soft egg and toast for both of my friends for breakfast before we ventured out in search of evidence for the mysterious beast called Sasquatch, the subject of the film doc we we working on. That day’s agenda was for a horse wrangler and myself to cross the river below where a 100 year storm had wiped out a bridge that crossed it. Earlier in the week, I had the opportunity to fly over the same river in an open door helicopter.” – Richard Noll, 2001 Dodge 3500, 2015 Arctic Fox


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