My past stay at the land in Van Horn was a lot better than other times. I had food, a place to poop, a better water system, cooking, etc. My teardrop trailer made sleeping comfortably a reality and a MSR Dragonfly stove was sufficient.
Unfortunately, the goat interested in joining me in the area is likely to move even further away. As I'm able to survive out there and have my non-essential things stored, I feel like the property is a success. I also explored on the land more, even finding a river bed a few miles north, running east/west.
Reality is still that the land is pretty harsh. Sun is very strong out there. Lack of water and trees are challenging. I believe it is workable. Verizon LTE works decently enough with the new unlimited prepaid plan. No signal booster needed. Either small rats or large mice were being dispatched nightly, setting the traps right at their homes. I saw a coyote out there and a mountain lion. Three cow carcasses, possibly from the mountain lion. Met a couple hunters out there while up at the river bed.
I'm happy that it works and that the area is livable. I haven't tried to "live off the land" other than getting fire materials. The green shrubs, when dead and dried, make great tinder. The land varies a fair bit with the amount of green, I'd like to explore more. I suspect notable wind and rain differences can be had a few miles from there. Some kind of weather data logger would be ideal.
Van Horn has public dumpsters all over the town, so I don't have to store all my trash on the land. While I like the idea of living with my trash, I don't have a good system yet for burying it and stuff like plastic that just dries out, crumbles, or flies away in the wind, is a lot easier to have someone else deal with for now.
Will most likely have another Goats of the Gulch this year, but I don't expect to be very interested in living out there by myself or even with just one other person. I think the area needs a community to feel worthwhile. In the meanwhile, I'll keep improving my knowledge, firearms, getting a amatuer radio license, and explore more of the country. It would still be nice to homestead land more suitable for my light skin. I do like West Texas a great deal, but it's really too low in latitude to be ideal. I also don't do well feeling alone, maybe others are better at some kind of a hermit-esque lifestyle. I can get depressed enough as it is.
I think the spirit of the gulch can be brought to most walks of life, improving your health, preparing reasonably, having vehicles you can trust, polishing every aspect of life, and building strong communities both local and remote. It still does need to happen, just unfortunately maybe not yet. I can't do it by myself.
Van Horn notes:
- Easiest water option is the reverse osmosis at Porter's for 35 cents a gallon. They also sell ice for $2/10lb.
- El Tomate pizza is good, get the Hawaiian Squealer if pineapple on pizza sounds good to you.
- There's a buy/sell/trade place in town. No prices on anything but the guy running it is really cool and worth talking to. He knows the area quite well.
- Desert Inn may be the best value for a hotel place to stay.
- Mountain View RV is good.
- Only laundry machine option not staying at a place is at Pilot.
- Pilot has showers, $9 solo and $11 "team". Loves has showers but they are split by sex. Maybe ideal if you like trucker orgies, not sure.
Activity in the town is going up since I first went there. With Blue Origin, railroad, and oil field. Hotel rates are going up.
I'll be back in Van Horn soon but will probably head to see my parents in Colorado after that. Might spend a fair bit of the summer with them. I should check out Idaho sometime.
Thanks for reading.