For Kids >Buckskin Billy
You probably don't know me since I'm a hermit and lived on the "River of No Return". Yes, I said lived. I died in 1980 but I live on in peoples memories and the book written about me even before I died. And now on the internet.
People use to visit me as they were floating down the Salmon River here
in Idaho. They thought I was weird but friendly and I soon became a legend.
I was an engineer before I dropped out of society, and darn good too! But I
didn't like the way people were treating the world and each other so I went
into the wilderness. Since the Salmon River canyons were filled with old
ghost towns, mining camps and abandon mines, there was a lot of junk left
Since there aren't any roads down here they didn't want to carry out much when they left. Well... you know the saying, one mans junk is another mans riches. I became very good at putting my knowledge to work creating everything I needed from this junk. I made my own pots & pans, my own house, even bored out the barrel to make myself a rifle. Even fixed myself up with running water. I couldn’t have done this without my education.
Well I had to learn the ways of the
wild too! The darn deer kept eating my vegetable garden. No mater how high
I built the fence, they would jump over it. Then one day I was sitting
on a ridge watching a Coyote chasing two deer. The deer came running up
to this creek which had brush growing along it. Most of the brush was only
about 4 feet high with an occasional small tree juttin' up from the brush,
so I knew the deer would go sailing over it and leave the Coyote far behind.
To my surprise the deer came to a
sliding stop and then bolted up the hill. Well the feisty Coyote was not
in good enough shape to run up that hill so the deer escaped. Now what
I couldn't figure out was why those darn deer could jump over my high garden
fence and eat my food, but they couldn't jump that 4 foot brush.
Well a little voice went off in my head and I went home to rebuild my garden fence. I built a nice 5 foot fence and put in an occasional stick that was a bit higher. The next morning I got up before daylight and when the deer came for breakfast they wouldn't jump the fence. It was the irregular height that confused them. I had plenty of vegetables after that!
So why did
I tell you this story?
There are two ways to learn about life. One is to go to school... learn from your teachers, your classmates and your folks. Everyone you meet has some bit of knowledge to learn from. Practice listening.
The other way is to learn from your experiences and your environment and quietly listen to that little voice that you can occasionally hear within your head.
So... even though I became a hermit I kept in touch with this region because I love the land.
I hope you learn a bit about this region. It offers many great extremes. If you would like to learn more about this region, take these eight tours from your computer and read about the Palouse, the Salmon and Clearwater River region.
Politically it consists of three states. Geographically it's one land, your land.
Be Proud of it!
If you would like to learn more of my unusual life, read the book called "The Last of the Mountain Men" by Harold Peterson.
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