We took a few days to travel down to the northern portion of the Smokey Mountains in Tennessee and crossed back and forth from North Carolina into Tennessee a few times. Wow, what beautiful country. We got lucky with a burst of unseasonably warm weather and decent sunshine.
There is a road in N.C. called 25 that goes through the Bald Mountains, past Hot Springs, following along the French Broad River and into Tennessee. Driving along it reminded me of driving in parts of Montana, following broad rivers at the feet of mountains. OK, so maybe these mountains are not quite as tall and they don’t have glaciers, but it was still beautiful and largely unspoiled. Tennessee even had lots of signs for “river access,” something we also saw often in Montana. We may have to go back when it is warmer and we can take advantage of some of the recreational activities the river offers.
Since we were not too far away, we made a side trip and visited Carolina Readiness Supply in Waynesville, N.C., which is worth visiting if you are in the general area. There are not too many places in the East Coast where you can find a well-rounded prepper store like that.
The purpose of our trip was to visit a dog breeder in our search for a puppy. On the way home, we stopped in did some shopping. My wife was pleased to go to a Target. (Apparently I am a Walmart guy and she is a Target gal.) We also stopped by Lowes to get some lumber and Tractor supply for some tarps and other supplies.
We did not make as many stops at gun stores as I would have liked, but we saw little or no ammo for sale. In some places, you need to buy a gun to get ammo. I was surprised to see a decent amount of long guns on sale. It seems that pistol are selling more. Apparently, people are looking for self-defense when they are out and about rather than self-defense at their house. I would also guess that many people in that area already have at least a deer rifle and a 12 gauge, and probably a .22 as well.
I have been reviewing the reloading powders and other components I have on hand and visiting the manufacture’s web sites to download the latest reloading data. I’m even downloading data for calibers I don’t have, like the 6x57mm Mauser, just in case.
I have to admit that I am growing increasingly concerned about what the future holds in 2021 – just a general unsettled feeling seeing what is going on in Washington and the attempt to make anyone who is not a liberal into a “domestic terrorist.” The net result is making me want to prep, even though I am pretty well prepared.
In the past week, I have ordered heirloom vegetable seeds and suggested to my wife that we stock up on top soil and any other bagged soil, soil amendments, or agricultural products we might need.
I have been doing research and apparently the only way to keep bears out of your apiary (bee hives) is to get a fairly powerful electric fence. I am drawing up plans for fencing in a portion of our property that will include a chicken coop, a chicken run, and a garden which will have the bee hives in the center. The interior will be securely fenced to keep out small varmints and an interior fence will keep the chickens out of the garden when we don’t want them in there. The exterior will be protected by a heavy-duty solar powered electric fence.
The great thing about an electric fence is that once you have the hardware, it is easy to expand, even if you have to cut new poles yourself. That will be useful if we have to expand our garden at some future point.
As I have written about previously, I think we’ll see inflation raise its ugly head this year. I may be wrong, but I’m going to prepare for it in any case, and I cannot see a better way to do so than to become more food independent.
In the past four weeks, I’ve seen gasoline prices jump 36 cents. It was 10 cents a week for three weeks and then “just” six cents this past week. Two weeks ago I filled some gas cans we had emptied for our move, using “fuel points” from my wife’s grocery shopping to get the biggest discount possible. Despite the recent road trip, we definitely aren’t driving much these days.
I am going to be looking into making some more home improvements this spring, before prices for lumber and other building supplies rise even further. I want to get all the maintenance caught up and I’d rather spend funds now than later when they are worth even less.
The Calm Before the Storm
We may well be in a calm before the storm. The liberals and socialists are happy because they won the election. Conservatives are holding their breath to see what happens. The real political battles have yet to start. But when they do, expect it to get ugly.
The COVID-19 cases are dropping and the vaccine seems to be working. They can’t get them into people’s arms fast enough. Hopefully, things will re-open and the economy will get back on its feet. But what happens if the immunity granted by the vaccine doesn’t last or if new mutations render the vaccine less effective? Right now, everyone is holding their breath that things will improve the the summer, but what if they get worse in the fall?
We are using this period of calm to make sure we are prepped up. I recommend you do the same.