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Wagons Ho COMMENTS (Part 2)


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Sorry to be a squasher of dreams; but the story is supposed to be a realistic portrayal of what might happen, yes?.

I think it extremely unlikely to be able to hire a helicopter to make a delivery. Anyone who still has access to such a machine will be either trying to keep their local government running, or some rich person. Neither of which will be hiring out, even if it would be safe with updrafts, etc. to deliver into The Valley.

There are local yokels kidnapping people travelling the highways, merely to steal their supplies. They would certainly see a helicopter as something to covet or destroy.

It doesn't really take that much to bring one down. Those yahoos would try I am sure.

If they did manage to bring it down unharmed, how long do you think it would be before the pilot would be forced to tell where the delivery was going?

I don't know, I think the risk is much higher than the reward. If we must go gray, we're staying gray.

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LOL I know...was just playing around....sorry if anyone took it the wrong way. Seems to always happen. You know, with all the wagon trains and the mule train coming into the valley...by now we should have had some kind of bad guys in the valley too. You can't drag that many people in the modern day with olden wagon trains sticking out like a sore thumb and not have folks wanting to know what's up and following it too. I don't know if that valley could even supply that many people for very long either. I would think within two or three years, most of the wildlife that are usable for meat would be hunted out or scared off. There are so many folks there now, with more coming, that it's like a city already. But this is UNreality, so anything goes. But you're right, something like that doesn't teach much of anything except that we all want to drag what we left behind with us still.



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Hello everyone, writers and readers alike....Have we got you all rethinking things? .....Is a new reality starting to hit ! :o


Q and Leah are both right. It's fun to think of fantastic 'scenes' to go along with our "story" but this whole thread, as interesting as it gets on occassions, is meant to help us all learn how to get along WITHOUT what could be brought in by airplane, helicopter, or bus. We must remember that the ranch is almost three weeks away by wagon train, almost that or more by pack mule and if it had been accessible to airlifting things in Mr. Smith would have done it years ago as they have owned this property for 20 years according to previous posts. The world as we knew it is falling apart and there just ISN'T the resources out there that was.


The whole idea of this thread was to help us learn if what we brought with us, both goods and knowledge, would be sufficient to survival.


We have now had several chances to correct any defeciencies and it's easy to see what each of us felt we couldn't live without. We also have or will have an extremely large amount of people in the valley and as Q said, it's unrealistic that you would be able to get 200 or 250 people together without some sort of crime or at least jealousy of someone else having more or better than another. Can we manage to keep the peace; and how? That many people moves us from a small survival team to another situation all together. Daylily is coming in fully knowing that she is going to be late and will need to supply accordingly. It will be extremely interesting to see how she handles it. Can we count on the other "fictitional" people to do the same? MtR's family has her frantically trying to get enough food to feed the new members coming in AND to keep them through the winter...Can she do it realistically? Our family is the same. CAN we figure out a way to save them all? Realistically? Within the limit's of probability? Not possiblility. That will be quite a challenge, one we willingly took on. We'll see.


That brings up another of Q's points we need to now consider. What is all this doing to the wildlife/game in the valley. This valley is, supposedly 10 by 20 mile of valley floor with more space above on plateaus and etc but it is totally contained within mountains and those mountains are surrounded by National forest. It is inconcievable that the wildlife in the area will stand for us to move this many people into their habitat and expect them to stay with all their quiet and solitude disturbed. Winter is coming and they are now in competiton with humans for their food supply except for the wolves and cougars, and bears, and coyotes, and fox, etc. who look on our domestic animals as a convenient food source. We will have X number of people for this valley to support. (I'll try to give us a definite number soon). If we cut off our nose to spite our face, as my mother used to say, who are we helping? Did you know that it takes almost 90 tree to make just one 16' by 20' cabin? How many buildings have we put up recently? How many trees is that? Add fencing, fire wood which we are cooking with daily and amassing for winter heat. Add boats and barrels and gadgets and doors and shelves and etc??? How many acres of land have we put under cultivation? How many of those acres will need to go to feed animals, let alone people?


Okay, time for realities......


This last wagon train isn't bringing in nearly what we'd hoped simply because the supplies are just not there and even if they were, there is just not enough wagons for it all and those oxen have made that trip coming and going a lot of times and we'll have to be careful how we load those wagons. The people coming in HAVE to have priority to bring in what THEY need if they are to have even a small chance at survival. We certainly cannot begrudge them that nor can we afford to feed them all if they don't. Not that we would allow anyone in the valley to suffer if we could help it. The Rocks and Mr. Smith and Mr. Jones will be trying to help as much as they can but it's even gotten out of their hands. The last of the people are coming in and the valley is being closed to immigration but how are we going to get a balance between the need to save everyone yet not do ourself out of hearth and home by living too heavily on the land?


With these new people we will need to not only concentrate on our own homesteads but we need to ask ourselves this...


,,,,Are we creating a NEW and BETTER community with what we are doing? And if not, what can we, individually, do differently? What, as a group, might we do?


Okay, now that we've got you ALL thinking, readers and writers alike, we can get back to work on this new twist AND with maybe a different perspective.



Okay, now you can start throwing shoes at me ( I will need new ones before winter is over) :D


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Sorry I haven't posted lately but real life has stolen my unreal life. I will try to post something this week. We are in the last 4 weeks of the semester at work so things are getting crazy, so much to do so little time and we are right in the middle of registration.

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Hi everyone. At the library again. :(


As the original writer of this scenario, I fought to keep the "location" a myth instead of picking out a particular site. Because we all need to be thinking of a location we are in or could bug-out to survive in. I had other things in mind to learn besides gnawing on bear fat and so I chose a Zone 5 area. I wanted to know what it would take to resettle [think Little House on the Prairie style] a fairly lush area with a community of people. Cuz....I am already aware that in my region [Zone Zero at 9,000' in the arid Rockies] I have ZERO chance to survive with growing much of anything. Tho I still try to push the envelope each year. :0327:


That said, it's obvious that we have many bloopers. Traveling distances are not at ALL as they appear on our wonderful map. The buildings are going up WAY faster than would be realistic. The amount of work to just care for animals and ourselves would prohibit even going in to attend services on Sundays. In fact, other than dips in the river, some of us might just tumble into bed [i'm still trying to get DOORS, and surely don't have a bedframe for our wonderful down matteress!] without trying to bathe in cold water. Trying to cook anything...trying to keep the cook fire going....trying to keep the wood for the cook fire..... YES, we have many bloopers.


I will say this again. DO NOT TAKE ANY OF THIS FANTASTIC WORK OF FICTION LITERALLY! Our stories....for all the bloopers....are here to urge any of us [writers] and any of you [readers] to do some intensive research for your own intended areas. We cannot possibly do adequate research on all the subjects that we deal with. In some areas, we have already had experience. But the value of our posts is to inspire more ideas and definitely, more research.....INDIVIDUALLY. If our readers agree to these parameters, it will ease our minds as the writers. We do not want to be responsible for someone getting the wrong idea about what is possible and probable...from our very impromptu fiction. [example: I'm about to plant an orchard in August. How realistic is that? I AM stating we expect grave losses. Would any survive even if I've surrounded the orchard with heat-sink rock cliffs? I don't know and I will not even be able to put much detail into the planting cuz.....I've never had an orchard. Never even one tree. Always WANTED a big one! :lol: So while I will not be a good reference for planting an orchard, it won't stop me from trying one in our Valley.]



As for using up the Valley resources with our hordes...... I can only say that the minute we entered, the area began to change. That is a given. :shrug: Sorry Mother, but I am not going to worry about that. In a catastophe of this magnitude, there will be a resurgence of the adaptable wildlife as the human race dies off. [too grim? :shrug: ] Some species might have trouble but some will thrive. We in the Valley might have to hunt further up into the hills and make elk/deer hunts a multiple-day trip? I've given us pretty much an unlimited space of uninhabited forest/meadow land. Frankly, I'd be ok if the durned deer and elk would quit coming to munch on my gardens and lay down in my wheat fields! :laughkick:


The fact of the matter is......we HAVE to evolve from the hunter/gatherer mode to more pastoral/farming mode as the population increases and more specialties are then possible. That has always been the reason for inviting more people along. Throughout history, the hunter-gatherers have needed very low population density to survive. AND they needed to be nomadic. We are not planning to be nomadic.....well, MtRiders are not. So we are moving into the farmer mode. I don't think you can have both. A fact that the "I will live off the land" type NON-preppers should take into careful consideration. :rolleyes:



I will tell you that we all have quite different ideas of WHAT our Valley and surrounding area looks like. I can see the regional differences coming out. That's a blooper I can live with cuz the area we live is what we do need to be prepared for IRL! But to just to clear up one thing....... [i KNOW it's hard to keep all this straight! I had to search for an hour to figure out what I named my other twin girl! :lol: ] Dear folks, the 2-3 week trip through the wilderness area is, as yet, still uninhabited wilderness. This is the only place we are taking the wagon trains now, between the FAR END of the Rockin' J ranch and our Big Valley. [our WT#1 was the exception, going thru towns, etc] The hordes are not plentiful up in the area of very large ranches [like the Rockn' J]. That pre-chaos population density is very low. No major cities nearby. The only other ranch within the wilderness wagon train route is the Canyon's End Ranch. [Remember the blizzard? The ranch with the cool greenhouse...empty when WT#1 traveled there but the family is back and was rescued from their root cellar by WT#2] So we are not even thinking of being overrun by hungry hordes from the OUTSIDE. [cuz I'm not ready to go there...... :shrug: ]


:laughkick: but that is a very good reason not to point in our direction with the aircraft.... That is what I've always maintained as the reason MrS&J never carted in a lot of stuff....or tried to make a road. As Mother mentioned....



So we DO have a lush Valley [i would not have a reason to leave home, otherwise] We have Zone 5. But we DO have to worry about less yeild per acre than modern farming methods produce. I think someone has mentioned that. I am not personally worried at all about how many trees are going to be cut down in the Valley plus the sides of the mountains around us. [perhaps because of where I live in a dense forest with dang-near unending trees.......until a forest fire destroys acres and acres of them...no, there is NOTHING totally secure IRL or Valley life.] However, I have heard folks saying they are trying to chose carefully where they cut on their own 80 acres. That is a very good idea.


Our population density is very, VERY low. Balance that however, with the fact that we are living in primitive conditions. We come in sort of as hunter/gatherer stage, and as I said before, it requires very low density. By increasing population, we'd eventually be forced into establishing a pastoral/farming stage. I see this as a GOOD thing tho. Anyone really want to live in a very small band of people that cannot afford any specialists like medical cuz EVERYone has to be a hunter and/or a gatherer of food? As a disabled 50+ person, that could NOT be my choice. [and I am talking about IRL here!] I HAVE to think of survival that has enough population density [throughout the community] so that my mouth and knowledge can serve the community...rather than my disabled/old body.


Mother is right that the amount of hay needed to get livestock through a winter is going to be far more than I'd like to imagine. [remember we keep cutting more hay?] We DO have an enormous amount of animals and I suspect more than one ox is heading for a very long stewing [they're too old, by definition of 'ox' to be tender]. The MtRiders original amount of livestock was not hard for me to estimate cuz it's pretty close to what I already have IRL. But adding children and then 'going whole hog' to add the rest of my family.....oye! It does make it very tough. Only my brother is bringing in livestock: horses [real], mule stock[fiction] , and pgmy goats [real]. Without the option of adopted orphan's livestock, our clan would likely starve...or become better hunters while the supply of deer, rabbits and trout is close to hand. It takes a good deal of energy to hunt as well as process.


For survival one must always count the amount of calories taken in and compar that to the amount of calories it cost. :shrug: You will not survive if it costs more calories than you gained. If disabled, this is more difficult cuz normal tasks require more energy....a fact many of us live with 24/7 already.


I think deer, rabbits, squirrels and fish will be sustained quite easily with our population density. Elk will migrate, a bit tho they live within my REAL LIFE much higher population density [about 2-4 people every 5 acres] and there are many hunters here - seasonally. Dunno anything about mountain sheep/goats but I think they are more skittish. Be careful of shooting other kinds like beaver that might represent a more fragile species.




Elevation of Valley is 3,000 feet and the surrounding mountain peaks are 4-5,000'. As reported by Mother, the valley FLOOR is approx 10 miles by 20 miles. [Drive that distance by car and count your population density to get an idea....] Then there are the very big areas of the valley 'bowl' sides.




MtRider [off to post now...and read the new posts in the story after I get home with my flash drive full again. ]

Edited by Mt_Rider
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Thanks for all this good info! So the elevation ov the Valley is 3000 ft, just what ours is here. I'm sure there are still climate differences though. Our zone is supposed to be 6. We ahve cool nights but not as cool as the pm person said. We start with 50s in August, usually.


All the bloopers make me feel better! I don't mind making a few myself since others have :)

I'll probably be trying some things that wouldn't work in real life although I did read a garden blog from Montana to get an idea. Good point about evolving to pastoral.


OK, I'm off to try and find out who is on this wagon train with me and my family. I know Mr Hughs is the Wagon Master and there are two ver polite young men P & N :) I'll find out who MtR's family are.

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For those of you who haven't seen the post by Darlene in Streams, our beloved MtR and her DD are in great need of prayers. Her Dd has taken ill and is in ICU and MtR is going to be going to her side.


Please join me in a :grouphug: and prayers.


In the mean time, I will again be attempting to moderate the Wagons Ho thread until she is back with us.


Please, please pray, I am very worried abut her and her DD both. As most of you know, MtR is just coming back from a hard winter herself.








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There is an update in Streams on MtR's DD. It is absolutely amazing what prayers can do. Keep them up for her continued recovery and for MtR as well. :pray:



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Hi everyone. Some of you might be keeping track in Streams but...my DD1 was able to go home late Sat. Sheeeesh....home for Easter? Wow. I was NOT expecting THAT! But God is in control of this and THANK YOU all for your prayers.


I was cut off from library access due to unexpected repairs [after driving here Thurs. I found them closed :o ] and then closed for the holiday. I havent' been back on line for a week. Thus, I had to post five segments at once. :( Not how I'd like to do it but.....


I might be able to drop my laptop off to get looked at tomorrow. No one around here knows Macs. {sigh} I'm not sure it's cost effective to install a new internal modem....don't even know if that's the problem. With all the extra things going on for us personally .......2 separate out-of-town visits from folks, the FLU, my car malfunctioning, The SNOW, DD1's hospitalization, The WIND, Easter, the maurading bobcat,.... :0327: Sheeesh! Getting a computer fixed keeps getting a low priority rating. :(


MtRider [going home with a FULL flashdrive ....ready to catch up reading a weeks worth of your posts! :bounce: ]

Edited by Mt_Rider
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Fainting here... MOTHER! WHAT ARE YOU DOING?!?

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Sorry that I didn't think to warn you all first. I will be reading though and occassionally joining you in the comments.



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No warning necessary. You didn't have any warning in the story, we shouldn't get it when reading.




Daylily, maybe your group will take over Mother's spread?

Edited by Leah
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Quilty--please reconsider. This has been very educational. With the world seemingly to be in crisis, this has become a highlight of my day. I know with a very busy time of the year coming, you will be very busy. But if you can find it in your heart to continue, please do. I do know what you meant when Mother and her family left the valley. It was like a very dear friend was leaving. Even thought I don't know you guys, I have come to care deeply about you all and wish you the best.

Edited by AMarthaByHeart
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