He chose to live out here. He is old; not ancient. He has barely survived a failed marriage and resultant suicide attempt. Barely. Twice he loaded his Remington 870 Wingmaster, placed the barrel in his mouth and his right big toe at the trigger guard and waited for courage. It was the second time, while acting this idiocy out, that it dawned on him that what he was doing was pure cowardice. Not just cowardice but, worse, selfishness. Sure, he was as far down spiritually as a man can get but there were others who loved him. That recognition of others love for him dictated his fate. Putting the shotgun away his mind flexed back to alternatives. The alternative which he finally accepted with a stamp of his minds approval brought him to this place, this time. He finally figured that he may as well die out here as anywhere else.
His name is Buck Hale. Mr. Hale is 68 years young and could care less about expediency or caution, medications or any other contrivance of civilization as pertains to the stereo typical labeling of a man his age. Buck is, in fact, fed up with all things people. Sure, he needs people in the form of a store to buy food and, when he feels like it, to take a bath or shower; once in a while. And, were you to ask him, his health improved a month after he left the city! His meds are no longer needed as they once were.
Buck makes his “home” in the Sierra-Nevada mountains on a back and forth continuous loop between Kirkwood and either Murphys or Markleeville. In these three towns he has friends for which he works when his whimsical journey takes him to one or the other. He works their property with a love which is tangible. He is accepted for who he is and what his life style is; a virtual vagabond. But a vagabond with great intelligence and a love that radiates from him so that all who meet him are warmed into friendship with he and his manner.
Buck is expert at fishing with only a hand-line (4 lb test monofilament rolled on a small, green pine twig (carefully enough that it never tangles), small, #12 barbless hooks, brass, and grasshoppers or, when push comes to shove, salmon eggs This spot on the Stanislaus river he has fished since a young many of 23 and, as far as he knew, he was the only one who knew of it.