Pics of my remote  retreat & underground shel

Started by MtnmanMikeM, May 28, 2006, 04:39:50 AM

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Glad I finally found this interesting  forum.   Wish I would have long ago and I would have posted much.    Maybe next winter when I come back from my mtn. place where I spend from mid June to about November then from Nov. to June in Greeley, Colorado where I am right now.    I will also be Off the internet when I am on my mtn. place.    No electricity or anything up there except a small generator and a couple small solar battery chargers.   I mainly use electricity to listen to radio sometimes.  

I could go on and on but If any are interested in seeing my mountain retreat in a remote area of southern Wyoming please go to my site which I do Not make a penny on either.    I should update it and some links do not work but the pics are pretty good and different.     My email is If any would like to email me.   I can get email at yahoo even when on my land and then I can read it next winter...  

I also could say a lot about Mike Oehler whom I visited in 1983 and 1986 staying two months on his forty acres seven miles from Bonners Ferry, Idaho.    I even helped some building his $2000 underground house in 1986 mainly digging.    Also cut and split a Lot of firewood for him.  I might post quite a bit in a day or so about what I remember of Mike O..   Does anyone have his email address?  

But mainly I just wanted to post a little and share my site which is at

Please do not let my saying it is a survivalist site turn you off for I made it to post in survival etc.  groups.   I do Not love guns but think of them as another tool.   In 1986 Mike Oehler told me he was a survivalist  and he shot a bear as seen in his book.  
Any comments or questions are welcome but after mid June 2006  will have to wait until about Nov or December for me to answer  :)


Very interesting site, Mike.  Thanks for the link to the pictures and information.

I did mine a bit more:

1. as a bit of protest against the good ol' boy system where each agency or corporation or bank or insurance co.  etc. requires you to go to the other agency and buy their outrageously priced goods or services, pay outrageous taxes and fees and indebt yourself for the rest of your life to the system.  If you're lucky you should get it paid off a couple years before you die - except the never ending taxes.  Each one takes their cut out of the rest of our lives and we as good peasants roll over and pay it.

2. because I wanted to experiment with low cost shelter to see if it would really work and I wouldn't be out much money.  I wanted to recycle materials to keep cost down.  Some places do not allow this as it does not increase the tax base I have read.

3.  because I feel it is my right and that agencies created in violation of rights given to us by our founding fathers do not have the right to stop an owner builder from building what he wants for himself.  I do feel they are necessary for public projects or for the protection of people who choose to give up their rights and have someone build for them under "the system", or in a place where they may affect others.  I think "All rights Reserved" is a good motto. :)

Mike Oehler's address is on this site I think.


Thanks for the good comments Glenn.

I mainly bought my remote Wyoming mountain land in July 1987 to have a good place to build what I wanted and to be able to Live in mountain beauty with wild animals....      I visited Mike Oehler in 1986 and I thought I Have to try to get a place maybe as good as his.     My mountain land is much higher than his Idaho forty acres, since mine is 9500 feet and his is I think at least a mile lower.   But mine has two good springs and Mike O had only a pipe with handle, city water I believe.    I helped carry his water in glass jugs up over his hill to his underground dwellings.    

My mtn place also gets around twenty feet of snow from Nov. to May but that just helps keep out trespassers when I Have to be in the stinkin city of Greeley, Colorado in winter and spring making money so I can Live on my mtn. place from June to Nov.    Hope someday soon I can finally move to my mtn. place permanently but mainly I have to have enough to pay the no good property taxes which go up a little every year.      My property taxes were only $52 a year over ten years ago but now $125.        About property taxes does it not seem UnAmerican etc. that the gov't can take property that may be worth many many thousands of dollars simply for not paying them a few hundred dollars worth of property taxes??     I never have gotten a good answer from anyone, I think most people, some say sheeple, are too afraid to say Anything against the govt...    I do not usually but I do Not like all the taxes and millions of regulations, rules, laws, codes etc. etc. etc....

One other interesting book i read once was called "Has Big Brother Given you Permission to go WeeWee?      Maybe you have read it?

I also agree with you Glenn about insurance etc. etc.    From what I remember Mike Oehler in his book and real life has protested against insurance and building codes etc.   It seems like a police state more and more with gov't Forcing to get car insurance, other insurance, permits, licenses, ad nauseum.....  Such as I remember not too long ago that I was able to get license plates without having to show proof of insurance..  I just bought a month of insurance for the proof when a few years ago they force to show proof.    I never have had an accident and think I drive more careful without insurance.     Now the state sent me a letter saying they think I do not have insurance and I Must get it...    I am planning to get a motorcycle and get rid of my gas guzzling pickup truck.    I think I have moved enough stuff up to my land anyway since 1987.    I also paid off my land in three years and I never want to be in debt ever again!  

I also try to recycle materials.   Such as I have a few tires into my underground shelter and quite a bit of salvaged lumber and  steel beams and the two steel doors that I was lucky to get from a closed factory in Greeley, CO          

There are some no good covenants on the land which I and most of the other people do Not follow.   Especially about having a septic system.    In rocky land with springs all over seems no way to have a fancy septic system.   One guy I heard had a septic tank and after a few years it leaked which really polluted.     One of the best is   a propane outhouse but that is too expensive for me - way over $2000.    I just have an old fashioned outhouse with plastic sheets waterproofing.    Sometimes I burn the refuse etc...  

I talked to a guy who comes clear from California with his family for two weeks in July at a little cabin he had built.    He said we all should have a Homeowners Association.    I never have talked to him since.    Mainly I dont go looking and just have not gotten to see him when I talked to him 3 years ago.   But any Homeowners Association is ridiculous and never good from all that I have heard.    Especially on and for about ten miles in every direction from my land the land is covered in heavy snow from Nov. to May or June and the state highway is closed from Nov to June also.    

They call the private land I have my place  the Sierra Madre Subdivision.  I call it a suburb of the ghost town of Battle, Wyoming which is half a mile uphill from my land on the Continental Divide.    I just told a pretty specific location of my land but still I think many could not find my mtn place unless I guide them to it.  

Well, I could go on and on especially about my mtn. place, underground shelter and the outdoors.    Hopefully my site with pics told most of  what I want to tell.     But If any have any questions just ask here or my email at        But I will be Off the internet and back on my land by mid June and any emails after that I will have to answer next winter...


In your situation check out sawdust toilets.  

Art Ludwig seems to think that mulch basins (cascading downhill from the first is good) work very very nicely for most greywater--not if you spend a lot of time with grease, though.

Although around here outhouses can be at least semi-legal.

You can read an edition (1st in .pdf, 2nd on line) of the Humanure Book on or from the site (you get to buy the third edition, or the version in any of a whole bunch of languages--Mongolian or Estonian?) here:

With Ludwig, there's some information on his web site, an article in one of the current magazines--not Mother or Countryside, maybe Back Home.  Here's his web site:


I really enjoy your postings and website, Mike.  I have spent an enjoyable half hour or so on the phone with Mike Oehler a couple of times.  Also received a couple e-mails over the last couple years.  He has checked out Countryplans and my info also.  He was planning on stopping by if he got near here in California.  Mike lives his work and teaching.  Last I heard he was living in an above ground structure due to doing different things right now.

A million taxes - rules and laws - a new one for every reason --most if traced back as to legality are probably not legal but who can fight it?  Bush said a while back about an upcoming issue regarding the Federal Taxes that constitutionality of the IRS was off limits to discussion.  Illegal bullying by illegal agencies keep sheeple from questioning legality issues because they assume that the threats and bullying are legal.  Some of it is quietly being put to a stop, but don't expect to see information about it where the sheeple can find it. Usually these are only small scale victories.  Major publicity is controlled by others and money.

NSA seems to be tracking people who visit tax protest sites now, as evidenced by a couple of incidentsI know of.

Home Owners Associations are great for people who are into self abuse.  I recommend they start one. :)  For the rest of us the less rules and regs, the better.  I got a motorhome with generator etc. for $1000 because the HOA didn't like the way it looked sticking up over the owners 6' fence in his back yard.

Looking forward to getting as much info from you as we can before you go to your retreat in the mountains.

Have you read any Ken Kern books?  John Raabe worked with him a bit and I heard somewhere that Mike Oehler was influenced by him also.

I get lots of good steel - thousands of dollars worth as throw aways from miss-shipped - changes or miss-ordered etc.  Built a 30x50 appx shop behind  my green house for about $5 worth of cement used in rubble footings.


Thanks for the links Amanda.   Lot to read and I read a few.  But for some reason toilets, outhouses and such are not my favorite subject  ;D     I have tried to use some sawdust but never can get enough sawdust.    I also have just put some dirt over when I use the outhouse.    But the hole fills up too fast.      I liked Mike Oehler's simple outhouse mainly he just had black plastic around it and I think he moved his outhouse sometimes.    I use just black plastic around four trees that grow close together.     On my site people can see the abundance of trees on my land.      Too bad that beetles are killing some trees but dead trees give me more building material and firewood.    I hate to cut down living trees.    Almost Never cut a live tree.  Will try to never again hurt or cut a live tree or any animal either.    I have seen about every kind of Rocky Mountain animal on or near my land except a bobcat and mountain lion which are lower in elevation and out at night.  I call myself a mountain man but not like mountain men of old and some today who Trap!   I Never have trapped and especially got turned off to trapping when ten or so years ago I found a steel trap with  a fox foot in it.  The poor fox must have chewed its foot off to escape.    I still have that trap although rusty now.    I am more of a mountain man like Grizzly Adams - remember that good old tv show?    I also spend more time in the mountains than anyone I know.    I am not talking about those who live in Aspen and other mountain towns though.    Most of those mtn. towns are not too different from other towns.    Such as Estes Park surrounded by beautiful mountains has a McDonalds and a Wal-mart!    Sorry if I ramble on too much - but I try to express myself sometimes...

Glenn, I really like your ideas and philosophy.      You maybe live in one of the rare good areas of California?    But I went thru Californica once in the 1980's  and got lost trying to find the Pacific Ocean.   Finally found it but it was at night and I saw Ocean blvd.   in Santa Monica.   I thought the ocean must be near and in the morning I saw it, very hazy.     I also have read that in Californica alone there are over 5 Million regulations, laws etc.   taking up five feet of shelf space in a pic of the law books.   This is from the book - "Has Big Brother given you Permission to go WeeWee?"  

I am not as careful on the Internet as maybe I should be.   But I go off it every June until at least Nov.   and especially now I post what I wish.    Hard to believe the govt can keep track of all posts etc .  but nothing surprises me except things going well....  

I have heard a little of Ken Kern but never read any of his books.   But I just read on the Internet now.   I do read some books when on my mtn. place, only place I can read in peace, quiet and no interruptions.    

I tried to email Mike Oehler but I need to see his email and it would not work.   I use  email which is very good spam protection and anyone who emails me I can read even a year later.    They never seem to delete my emails.   Except the spam that is sent to bulk mail.     Maybe someone can give me Mike Oehlers email or even forward my site to him?   I think he is at least 65 years old by now.   Hope he is still in good health?    Also Glenn, where would be the best place for me to post  about Mike Oehler?   I could go on and on about my two months that I spent working with - for him in 1986.


Per my PM --thanks for the new thread on your experiences with Mike Oehler.  Looking forward to hearing more.


the more rules you have the less freedom you have... it really is that simple.

The next time you are thinking about whether we should impliment another rule...Think about the constitution...Freedom of speech,  political freedom, freedom fromk abuse...

This land is about freedoms...or it was when it was founded. If my neighbor does not like my house they do not have to look at it...If I had a HOA knock on my door I would get their name and paint the fence  surrounding my yard into a mural... with their name on it.... it would be something lovely like one person [doing unmentionable things] to another....  With lots of arrows pointing so everyone knew that person was not on the receiving end!!!!

Something to get my point across to leave me the hell alone.

When I went to university my landlord wanted to tear down 4 houses and build an apartment... one or two of the  high and mighty people in the neighborhood said they opposed... did not want the look of a new building in their neighborhood...

So he bought purple pink yellow and green paint...And painted the houses the colors of the rainbows...Stripes on them.. stars, polka dots... all kinds of nasty grafitti....

They tried to order him to paint the houses white... They could not..... Eventually they begged him to tear those houses down....Nobody would buy the houses on those streets and it was killing the property values...

That guy was for a long time...MY HERO!


sometimes you just have to convince  other people that it is also in their best interest to leave you the heck alone! :) :)


Reminds me of the friend of mine the county ordered to put up a fence around his junk cars so he did -- made it out of car hoods. ;D


Well a good friend of mine made a fence of used tires...he had thousands of them and the county came along and said it was unsightly and needed to be cleaned up

So he trucked in some sand and  started piling tires....He would lay a row of tires down... fill them with sand... pack it level it...and pile the next row.. breaking joint like brick....

The county came along and was FURIOUS!....His neighbors said it was environmentally unsafe etc....

But there was no bylaw preventing him from doing it....

We all thought it was ingenious...I mean think about it ...The thing should last about 10,000 years...I imagine the neighbors will love it more then than they do now!

hehe... Life is sweet when you use your brain to keep others from dictating their will upon you....


Side note... you need to be scouting stashes of old cars for me Glenn...Seriously!

50-60's cars... I need em gotta have em...

I am doing a resto on a 38 Chevy coupe right now  a 48 chevy pick up and a 51 Chevy coupe.... I am always looking for more solid basket cases to build...

I would kill to have a 37-40 ford 2 door coupe..or a 49-51 ford coupe or convertible....

Anything 55-57 chevrolet 2 door.etc...

Glenn there is no better place than California...Surely you know where a bunch of this stuff is sitting


I'll have to keep looking. :)