Sunday, January 17, 2010

Beatlick Travel Report 2010: Survival Camp

Date: Jan 16, 2010 3:11 PM

Fort Stockton:

The Beatlicks are in a small holding pattern in Fort Stockton before we can set up our winter camp in Study Butte, out where the coyotes howl and the wind blows free. We are in Neil’s trailer, heading to Neil’s 40 acres, but first I’m going to have to attend to a dental problem and get a passport photo and application off.

We anticipate at least six weeks in the wild so to speak and I am stocking up. My Mama is laughing so hard at me right now, up in heaven. I just bought a 20-pound bag of pinto beans. I used to turn my nose up at my mother’s beans and now I’m going to live on beans and oatmeal. I am ashamed of myself now for the snooty way I would criticize her beans, called them “peasant food.” I guess now I am a peasant.

The trailer in Fort Stockton doesn’t offer many creature comforts so it makes a good transition for outdoor camping. There’s no running water so we have to haul buckets of water in from a spigot outdoors, we have to fill the toilet up every time we flush. We are also cooking on the camp stove. We are in a small bedroom with a bed, the cook stove, two chairs, DVD, computer, MP3 player, and plenty of books and movies from the Fort Stockton Library.

We have seen the property in Study Butte and it is great, we can’t wait to get out there. But I will have to find some dental assistance first, I can’t imagine sticking myself out there for six weeks with no access to help if I should need it.

One friend has asked me why in the world we are doing this. One reason is to save money. We are trying to save money for plane fare to Ouxaca. A friend in Las Cruces has told us where he stays for $250 a month. That is a serious goal for us this year if we can keep down expenses and save.

Plus I think it’s a fun experiment to blog about being out in the wilderness camping. I am spending more time with survivalists and this is a group of people who genuinely believe something catastrophic is going to happen to our country and we will have to fend for ourselves. That peaks my imagination.

Neil’s brother Henry lives out in Study Butte already and works in a Bentonite mine. That is what some Kitty Litter is made of mostly. It clumps up around moisture. Neil’s whole property is just about Bentonite. So if it rains there is a real problem, as it did a few days ago we heard. Henry has to park two miles out by the road and walk to his camp if it rains. So we will make sure it is all dried out back there before we head out.

So our Survival Camp is all about getting in a situation where we don’t need to spend much money and testing ourselves against the elements. We have this wonderful friend who can offer us such a unique opportunity. Why not go for it?

Happy Trails

Beatlick Pamela (

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