photo copyright © DL Tibbs
About eight months ago, I came across a fella named 50 Caliber on hub pages. I am not sure who reached out to who but in the last few months I know I have found a friend for life. His sweet heart shines and you just want to take that beard of his and give him a good smooch…I mean that only in the most enduring way…
Dusty lives out in the Arizona desert with his best friends, Sady, Bumper, and Dolly. He calls himself a desert rat as he is miles from anywhere.
He loves this way of life and would not change it for the world.
Dusty reports he does not have any one special at this time but the desert life keeps him occupied and satisfied. Many have dreams of living this way but few could really do it. He lives an amazing life as he is totally self-sufficient.
He told me that when 9-11 happened he did not hear about it until three months had passed. His brother gave him a computer so he would keep in contact. Now he finds himself addicted to hubs..and I can sure relate to that one. Sometimes he takes little trips out in the desert and will email his brother, leaving a little note incase he does not make it back in three days.
He raises chickens and takes their eggs to market. He has been my go to person when I needed advice about my chickens…Of course we differ on the eating of the chickens part but that’s okay…he is not near any grocery store, so this is his meat source. He dehydrates food and cans too. Dusty is living his life off the grid and it makes for a very interesting life.
Dusty joined the marines in 1967 when he was 17 years old. He was discharged with honorable discharge in 1978. Dusty is a proud vet. We love you Dusty for the service you have given our country and that is all I am going to say about that. I promised him I would not make him cry.
While not having any biological kids, Dusty says he picked up several along the way and raised them, calling them his own. This says a lot about this man.
Looking at Dusty with that long beard and listening to his desert slang…you may be surprised to find a very bright man behind that long beard. I was not. I knew from the first time I met him he was one guy with a lot of heart. How many people do you know that can make a life in the harsh desert lands?
Do not be deceived by that desert rat appearance. He flew helicopters for Hughes Air West until they closed down. He has owned three businesses, a truck shop/ dealer, custom Harley shop and a beach side tattoo studio.. He learned to flip property in Phoenix thus making him a good income. After making the green, he still longed for a simpler life style… cashed in his chips and headed for the desert.
Dusty is a Christian and his love of God is most important to him. He never claims to be perfect and one of the most humble men you would ever get to know.
This is a small glimpse into the life and writings of 50 Caliber… Enjoy!
So it Goes
Years back after being completely fed up with government intervention I studied and thought, searched and planned, finally deciding to drop out from society.
Living in Southern California at the time, the “straw that broke the camels back” was the Clinton administrations “assault weapons ban” of 1994. It led to California law requiring registration of said firearms. By not complying I was a turned to a felon with the stroke of a pen. My 2nd amendment rights basically were under attack. I could not wrap my mind around this concept after serving as a Marine for eight years, taking my discharge in the ‘70s. It was fine for me to hold such a weapon and kill with it at the request or requirement of the government, otherwise it was considered that I was not. Then by simply taking my collection across the state line back into Arizona where I was born and raised I instantly became guilty of no crimes. Imagine that! From gun collector to felon to gun collector by driving across a line, this is how the accident began.
Fast forward, through selling out completely and collecting together all my assets, I put a tow bar on my Jeep and hooked it to my 1 ton flatbed truck that was loaded with all my belongings I had left, tools, guns, and clothes and drove to my destination in Arizona, land I bought for investment purposes. When I bought it the Apache Junction, Mesa and Phoenix were rated as one of the fastest growing areas in the US. It ended up being on the other side of the growth, the expansion of the then small town of Apache Junction grew away from me, while the state park “Tonto National Forest” was expanded and now borders me on 1 side completely and partially on another, but I digress as the increased value is of no consequence to me now.
I basically began by sourcing solar panels in the 3 times to much range, and back up power, followed by the best way to live underground requiring the least in heating and cooling, assessing those to be my greatest energy expenditures.
We are all familiar with the government’s ability to pay $700.00 for a claw hammer and require its replacement for safety reasons every year, then selling them as scrap for $.02.
It was no different with solar panels. In the solar projects they funded in the early ‘90s in California they could set an automatic tilt/rotate panel array in their test farm. If it failed to work, they didn’t fix it they removed it and installed a new one. Then through magic of cutting red tape I was able to purchase 3 of these huge panels for most likely pennies on the dollar. Original price? Who knows probably 100s of thousands, my guess? Minor repairs brought them all back on line. I paid a troubleshooter and enlisted his service to complete the repairs, now after much study I am able to do this myself. Rarely do I experience any problems. If I do and a part is a week or two out, my generator charges my battery bank while I sleep. I also did not get the controller system so rotation and tilt is performed manually via toggle switches that were wired to operate the electric motors.
Then a multi fuel military generator set, bought surplus for a great price as well, in new like condition. It was added to the pile for initial power and later back up power. It is big enough to supply power to a small hospital and produced 3-phase power to 440 volts. Over kill? Why yes it was, but it drinks gas, diesel, burnt motor oil and even old cooking oil. Fuels that businesses are more than happy to give me, I just supply the 55-gallon drums, it still requires me to buy kerosene or farm grade diesel to mix with heavier based fuels like used engine oil. It seldom sees any use these days unless I want to do a little welding or run my mini machine shop to fabricate some useful item.
Then came a 25ft. travel trailer, that would serve as my quarters through the construction phase of my sub-terrain dwelling, scheduled to be sold as soon as was feasible. I ended up trading it for a 1,000-gallon water truck that served me nicely until the well was finally drilled.
Looking back, at the time I was often overwhelmed with the task I had begun, yet now it seems as if it was probably no more of a challenge than staying in the work force and battling day to day life grinding out a living in hopes of a decent retirement.
Things have come a long way since the inception of this idea. I now enjoy Internet access, and phone service due to the new fangled satellite systems. Had it not been for my little brother wanting to be able to stay in touch so much that he bought me this laptop and is currently still paying for my satellite system for it and my little pocket phone I wouldn’t have spent this kind of money to be here posting anything on the Internet. He sent the whole rig via UPS to my mailbox company in Mesa. I got it set up with instructions he sent, It was just a matter of running wires and hooking up to the little dish and getting it aimed right. I used a lensatic compass to get it aimed right. He had all ready set it up and ran it at his home, so it was pretty simple for me. It is fun and entertainment for some of my idle hours and we can stay in touch. He sent a “Magic Jack” later to cut costs on our long talks and I am able to get Canada as well.
Prior to that I communicated via Ham radio and still do, occasionally. With a television antenna on my radio mast I am able to get several stations so I don’t pay for television, and the government provided me with a certificate toward the purchase of a new box to get digital broadcasting after the change. I only watch enough television to remind me why I dropped out. I discover new stuff all the time, like sites that let me watch movies as well as cartoons, enough of that, I’m sure you all know about that and more. I’ve been playing on it for only about a year and a half and I was researching Bible study and hit a link by James Watkins, and that is how I got to be part of the Hub Pages.
I guess it takes a certain mind set to live like this, but I find it quite rewarding as well as knowing I’ll be able to view the mushroom cloud from a good distance.
More than 1 visitor has attempted to get me to let them buy a parcel and tap into my hard labor, I just smile politely and change the discussion.
My next investment will be a digital camera or video camera, I think making a few Youtube postings would be fun.
Now, just by co-incidence I’m a green environmentalist, by today’s measure, fact is I’m a successful “Drop Out”, as the only thing I set out to conserve was my sanity some say I failed at that! My little ‘Bro tries to get me to sell and move in with him and his wife on a regular basis. I always thank him for the offer and return it by offering to let them come and build a home here with me.
Life is funny how it twists and turns with each decision one makes. You can reach the place where you have enough and realize that it is enough. I’m quite happy, and I hope you all reach a moment in time that you can recognize that it is your season to take pause and relax, be thankful, and enjoy your season.
I came to read and now I’ve participated never thinking I would. This may well be it, and I’ll return to reading and commenting as I think it is prudent.
copyright © DL Tibbs
I could go on and on because this is one fascinating man but I will stop here. Please check out his hubs..here is his link..you will not be dissapponted..Just tell him Sunnie sent you.
Take care and thank you Dusty…Love ya!