Sometimes we live in the sepia.

Along our wooded ways of work life, sometimes its not easily accessible to pull a trailer into the woods, or practical to drive back into town for 2 hour drive after a 10 hour workday. We dont use a tent for time and safety purposes - hail storms at 5000 ft hurt, and we might have to abandon the area quickly if there is a forest fire or if we need to go to the nearest emergency room... and to leave a tent out while we are gone all day for animals to trip on and root through is just not green living good. So we just take our tubs of stuff,  unpack it when we are done working for the day, and pack it back into the truck when we wake up each morning. 

We be woodland nomads! 

 We sleep in a literal truck bed, using a sterno can for a stove for meals (no campfires in a dry woods), and a few plastic tubs for storage etc. to keep the little critters out (no remarkable number of bears in the black hills, only mountain lions who arent into human food. yet. but do they like cheetos? or cheeto filled humans?) 

And if I ever needed to live out of a shopping cart, 
I would definitely accessorize with bungee cords - theyre indispensible...
Just one of those life altering things I have learned from sleeping in a truck.

We tend to pick an area with no poison ivy for obvious reasons, and definitely one that gives us space. It is mandatory that we camp 50 feet away from any road, trail or stream ; they call this "dispersed camping" (we follow the National forest rules for the Black Hills, found here ). We have become connoisseurs of outdoor living - Martha Stewart has nothing on us when it comes to picking out a living spot (although Im pretty sure she wouldnt want to compete with me on this one) - I have been known to refuse three areas in a row just because IM FUSSY. 

a FUSSY woodland nomad.

I particularly look for a low clearing in a open meadow or field, and Mr. Foresterman makes sure we are not near any trees that could blow down on us, or be an excellent lightening rod ... and we always haul in our own water so we dont have to look for access to a stream or lake nearby. This map above is called a topography map; one that shows how hilly or steep the land is - the closer the lines the steeper the slope.  I whimper sometimes in looking at this, quietly, because I have to go and work at each one of those round dots, taking down information about the trees and plant life. Even if there is none because its on a cliff. A rocky steep cliff.

a fussy, quietly whimpering woodland nomad...

And so in the early morning hours we enthusiastically get ready for work. outside. sometimes we even brush our hair before pulling it up in ponytail. Mr. Foresterman has an empty banana peel in his hand - he likes bananas as they help you reestablish your potassium levels after sweating/working hard the day before, preventing leg cramps. I like them because they are a sunny yellow color and they match my hair.

Doesnt this photo just ooze early morning outdoor work enthusiasm?? !

However, even without a bathroom, running water or even a stinky porta potty, we can turn out kinda put together normal clean looking, just in case we run into someone out in middle of a national forest. Im fussy that way too - i dont like scaring harmless grown adults on atv's or hikers into calling authorities because of my appearance - if you give them cause for concern like youre a possible reject character from "the hills  have eyes part 5", then I feel one should really assess their work appearance - its not fun being hunted like animals only to have to explain that 1) no, I really am a timber cruiser, not a fugitive nor a kidnap victim 2) yes, i can provide ID and 3) no, I really am a timber cruiser.  So I work hard to appear normal without the use of electricity or running water.  My main goal in life has always been "to be normal" though so this is not a burden. And if I cant be normal, then I'll attempt to look the part,  this can be a burden. Im sure theres a clinical name for that but thats not my problem right now... So here is my attempt for normalcy (plus bandana - red if all possible - it hides bloodstains, sweat, and dirt....mine! of course! what were you thinking??)

And that is my hot summer working hat, 
so my ears dont turn into ash and drop off in the heat.

Sometimes though,

 Im not as put together pretty as this USFS wandering Bovine...

But definitely more alive looking then this timber cruisin' canine...

But I have nothing on the flowers out there! they are even pretty in sepia!

and the scenery definitely has me beat!

 I do however like to think that I am a little prettier then this poisonous mushroom though...

a fussy, quietly whimpering woodland nomad. 
who does not look like a poisonous mushroom.
and does not want to frighten the normal people away.

thus concludes a brief look into the life of a woodland nomad****!

****this post was written under the assumption that a certain woodland nomad has altered their braincells due to the heat wave that has swept through the US.  Mr. Foresterman has laid off this woodland nomad and the dexterdog for the next few weeks due to the heat. 
Hopefully a summer respite will clear this problem up.

or not.



  1. lordy girl. you and dexterdog get to stay home while hubby tromps out there by himself?! i hope not! i hope he's off too!!!

  2. Ahhh...this living in the truck thing sounds fun for a night. Then, maybe I would need a real bed. lol

  3. Great post,not bad for a normal nomad! Enjoy your time off- bet that ice cream maker is getting a work out in this heat.

  4. Dear Feral I don't know how you do it. Those are some pretty high hills you are a climbing. I am sure it was major hot even with the shade of the big beautiful trees.
    Your job is one hard job I appreciate this post thank you, a glimpse into the life of a timber cruiser. It is fascinating I had never heard of that job before.
    The I don't know how you do it part is about looking so good after sleeping in a truck with all your possessions and no bathroom mirror, You my dear look great.
    Enjoy the time off it is cooler here so maybe it is coming your way. B

  5. Well I am going to be looking for a crocheted beer hat for you to wear while you are out timber crusing! The first thing I thought when you were sharing this post was...they're doing this, in this heat?

  6. We're getting a one day break in the humidity..that's it! This summer has been awful for hiking, so I can't imagine trying to work in that!

    Sadly, after a few days tent camping I look like The Hills Have Eyes, WV version.

  7. You sure know how to make the best of your job. I'm sure you will miss the woods, but I hope you enjoy your leave of absence. Stay cool.

    That is very thoughtful of you not to scare off the other nomads of the forest. But, in your wooded travels, have you ever run across other humans not so considerate? I imagine there are some genuinely scary folk wandering them thar woods? Or maybe I've watched too many horror movies.

  8. Nice looking shots! (I wonder what color that wild flower is) A fairly rough way to live, but we all know that it's not your normal way of life, and roughing it is kind of fun and romantic in a way.

  9. hee hee, you're funny! i just don't think i could do are one tough cookie!! :)


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