View Full Version : Crazy Man

03-05-2007, 11:24 PM
I keep hearing this phrase-"If you stay in the woods to long you will go crazy!" I think two things when I hear that:

1. That ol thing about the crazy old guy in the woods. If you live in the woods you will end up as some crazy man that shoots everything in the world. talks crazy things, too.

2. What they mean is the thought of being in the woods along time alone, you get the thought that you will nver get out, that civilization is miles one way and the other way, and start to panic in a crazy way.

I have heard both things, I just wanted to get your thoughts on this.


03-06-2007, 04:28 PM
Giantfish, I can't say that I've ever heard of those sayings, but I'd like to throw it out there - that if anyone should be accepting applications for this sort of thing, I'd be more than willing to come down there( wherever there is - the backcountry maybe?) and fill one out! My wife says I'm already there anyway. ( in Crazyville)
Horace Kephart lived alone for a looong time in the backwoods, and he wasn't too crazy ;)...but he sure was crazy to go man-hunting with that lawman. :) I've though alot about moving to the mountains, hiding out in the park somewhere and living in a cave, but there's two main problems with it.

One, my wife. Well, I can't make her live in a cave and I can't live without her, so that blows that right thar.
Two( if there was a need for a "two"), they don't have cable internet yet in caves I don't think, and I gotta get my fix of this here message board.

I think maybe your crazy man was just a city fellar that took a wrong turn at Elkmont. :)

Jack M.
03-07-2007, 08:03 AM
I perceive you have the advantage of youth. Now is a good time to read Walden by Henry David Thoreau. You will learn that living in the woods will make you think differently about the world of "civilization." Those that never remove themselves from civilization, even for a short time, such as on a trout stream or just reading of "backwoods experiences" such a Thoreau's might think you are crazy, but you will know it is really they that are insane.

03-07-2007, 10:07 AM
read Kephart's Our Southern Highlanders and the compilation Camping and WoodCrafting. They are just as accurate today as the day they were written between 80-100 years ago.

03-07-2007, 05:02 PM
2 people come to mind when I think about people going crazy in the woods.

The first is Eric Rudolph (the olympic bomber). He was crazy before he even got the the woods. He lived in the mountains around Robbinsville, NC, from 1998 until he was caught rummaging through the garbage in 2003.

The second is Rancid Crabtree. He is a character in Patrick McManus' books (No relation, however my brother's name is Patrick McManus, just a different one). His books are a good read if you like humorous outdoor tales. If you like short and simple outdoor stories, I would recomend reading some of his. He wrote for Outdoor Life for a long time, he may still.

03-07-2007, 10:12 PM

The truth is, for a lot of us, if you stay OUT OF THE WOODS long enough, you will go crazy.

For me, these hills tame the wild beast within and give me certain peace.

I love these mountains.


03-07-2007, 10:57 PM
The truth is, for a lot of us, if you stay OUT OF THE WOODS long enough, you will go crazy.

I have just thought of something! You know waaaaaaaaaaaaaaay back before the GSMNP was the GSMNP people lived in them, were they crazy? Indians were they crazy, if not why does the modern human go crazy in the woods, when past humans were fine????


03-07-2007, 11:03 PM
Matt come see me I have a new book you would like. "roaming and Resting" By Wiley Oakley. Its a neat read because he never went to school and they didn't correct his spelling or grammer. He talk about his life growing up before there was a park and how he was a guide after the park was formed.

Paula Begley
03-08-2007, 08:51 AM
He talk about his life growing up before there was a park and how he was a guide after the park was formed.

Vern, does that book have the story of when he was a guide and used to cook "spruce apples" for his yankee guests?


03-08-2007, 09:45 AM
what's a spruce apple? oh no, did I just set myself up for a joke or something?

Paula Begley
03-08-2007, 10:09 AM
what's a spruce apple? oh no, did I just set myself up for a joke or something?

Well, the joke would not be on you! Here is the story, as I have heard it told.

Wiley Oakley was a guide in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The Park would get visitors from up northern ways who were fascinated by "mountain folk". So, Oakley would give them their monies worth! ;)

Prior to guiding a group, Oakley would go up to the place where he planned on stopping for lunch and bury a stash under a spruce tree. When the group would arrive at that spot, Oakley would put on a display for the unsuspecting yanks of just how mountain folk where able to live off the land.

First, he would catch some fish and build a fire...then he would root around under the spruce tree for some "spruce apples" to add to the frying pan. Oakley assured the astonished yanks that this mountain delicacy would taste "just like potatoes!"

Of course they would...:eek: ...they were! :p

I love that story!


03-08-2007, 12:17 PM
About half way into the book. Spruce Apple? Has to be a story behind that?

03-08-2007, 12:41 PM
Having read and chuckled at most of the posts to this thread the truth just dawned on me. It is not those living in the woods that are crazy! It's us living in the cities and suburbs that are the real crazies! Let's compare:

1) Living in woods surrounded by nature and it peacefulnesshttp://littleriveroutfitters.com/forum/images/icons/icon7.gif versus living in the city surrounded by noise, traffic and crime.http://littleriveroutfitters.com/forum/images/icons/icon13.gif

2) Living in the woods within walking distance of streams full of beautiful trouthttp://littleriveroutfitters.com/forum/images/icons/icon7.gif versus driving miles and miles just to get to those streams.http://littleriveroutfitters.com/forum/images/icons/icon13.gif

3) Living in the woods far from TV and the daily dose of political propoganda http://littleriveroutfitters.com/forum/images/icons/icon7.gifversus watching the latest episode of anything and everything that goes against what most of us were taught to love and respect.http://littleriveroutfitters.com/forum/images/icons/icon13.gif

The list could probably go on and on but I'll quit now and start packing for the move to the woods! I'm joining the smart people!

Wishin' I wuz fishin', g <*))))><http://littleriveroutfitters.com/forum/images/icons/icon10.gif

03-08-2007, 05:45 PM
it has the story of him "calling" the bears out of the woods for the indiana ladies. that's funny!