Letter Re: Getting Self-Sufficient in Wyoming

Dear Mr. Rawles,
I was recently given your novel “Patriots” by a like-minded friend in Wyoming. I read it once for pleasure, then twice with a highlighter, notepad, and Google. It’s a wonderful resource, and I’m looking forward to the new book [“How to Survive the End of the World as We Know It”]. Reading “Patriots” left me proud to be an American, and revitalized something I felt I had been losing in the recent years. This is a wonderful country, and I have faith that there are still a bunch of decent God-fearing people who will stand up for her when needed.

I was 20 when I moved here from Baltimore, to run a cattle ranch that my father had the foresight to buy in the late 1980s. It became the working family “retreat” where I lived full time, and my parents lived half-time. I am forever indebted to Dad for my life. He was my best friend in more ways than can be counted. He passed at age 68 in late 2007, of a digestive cancer. I will always wish I had more time with him on earth.

Life in Wyoming has been wonderful for me, as I developed good self-sufficiency skills and eventually (starting 1995) built a passive and active solar/wind charged earth-bermed home. I remember back in 1984, when Dad (in the computers/operations research field) bought our first PC – an XT with dual 5.25″ floppies and 128K of RAM. The first thing I did as a teenager was make my lists of things I’d need to go survive in the woods! I have no idea where those thoughts came from – it was absolutely natural. I’m currently forty, and pretty shocked by current events and economics.

What are we doing? Is hyperinflation around the corner? There are two things my dad taught me long ago, that I always use to analyze everything…

1) Nothing is free.
2) If you have to lie to accomplish your goals, maybe you’d rather reevaluate your goals!

Now I’m building marine-grade expedition campers that can operate far from civilization, and restoring old mechanical diesels in my spare time. Next spring and summer my projects will be a good root cellar, a rebuild of my wind charger, and a new small barn for our goats and chickens.

Thank you for the inspiration. I hope one day to shake your hand. God Bless, – Darrin in Wyoming