Though most people, such as police Sergeant Jackson, can't understand the draw of living outside traditional society, Gunderson feels it. He misses cooking meals over a fire, scheming to get water out to a remote campsite, and setting up his ham-radio system far off the grid.

"We were all, more or less, in the same boat out there. We shared food; we shared everything. I never felt threatened at all — it's a brethren-type thing. There's a whole civilization out there that the world doesn't know about," he says. "I'd still be out there if I could."

Gunderson romanticizes things some, letting on just a bit that forest living can be difficult. Brust, the Catholic Charities worker who brings chicken and ice to Richard Andreassen, sees things differently.

Randall Nicholson, blamed for last year's Hardy fire, was camped on the outskirts of Flagstaff, where a lot of homeless people spend the summer, thanks to the city's enviable summer climate and friendly, tolerant locals.
Courtesy of the Flagstaff Police Department
Randall Nicholson, blamed for last year's Hardy fire, was camped on the outskirts of Flagstaff, where a lot of homeless people spend the summer, thanks to the city's enviable summer climate and friendly, tolerant locals.
Transient camper Nicholson forced evacuations and cost taxpayers nearly a million dollars in firefighting costs.
Transient camper Nicholson forced evacuations and cost taxpayers nearly a million dollars in firefighting costs.

"We give out tents every so often, and when we do, some guys will get them and go to the forest. They think they have a good spot; they think they hide [their stuff] pretty well," he says. "And [after] they go into the city for maybe a day or two, they go back and all their stuff is gone."

Speaking of gone, what happened to those guys sought by Brust's colleague Nick Wood? The guy who rode his bike from Phoenix to Flagstaff and his buddies?

After that worried day in the forest, Wood heard that they'd moved into a shelter in town. Because Flagstaff Shelter Services runs only a bare-bones operation during the summer, this means they must be at Sunshine Rescue Mission on San Francisco Street.

As the sun sets on a picnic and concert hosted at the Mission on a warm Wednesday night, campers and shelter guys slowly separate out of a crowd of about 100. The campers drift toward the back of the patio, backpacks shouldered, about to head into the wilderness as a Scottsdale church group, which drove up to perform, finishes the evening's entertainment.

Asking around at the shelter, it turns out that Wood's guy isn't the only one who rode here from Phoenix on a bicycle. Dale lived in Phoenix for a decade, working a factory job and living in a motel, before leaving last July. Since arriving in Flag, Dale's says he's been studying to become a minister.

"The Lord sent me to Flagstaff," he says. "I rode a 10-speed bicycle with a backpack and a bedroll on the back of it. It was a trip . . . After all these years of being a rough, mean, nasty person, the Lord brought me to Flagstaff and turned me into a preacher — how do you like that?"

But he isn't the guy who's missing a wet sleeping bag and a copy of The Sun Also Rises.

"A copy of Hemingway, huh? I betcha I know who he is," Dale says. "If I come across him, I'll let you know."

Stephanie Boardman, who has run Sunshine Rescue Mission for 17 years, says hobos aren't apt to talk about much with a reporter, much less give tours of their campsites. Secrecy is part of the code, she says.

"The people who are in the woods usually don't want to live in society. It's their culture to be more alone and enjoy nature," she says. "They love that and, amen, all the power to them . . . They really want to be out there, and if you try to force people in [a shelter], oh, my gosh, that's a nightmare [for them]. A lot of them can't be someplace where there are a lot of people. I think [forest living] gives them a lot of peace."

Peace is exactly what brought Elana to Flagstaff and through the Royal Inn, where she stops to chat with owner Lynette Bybee. Elana started out in Baltimore, where she'd lived in Section 8 housing for 15 years. She'd always wanted to go out West, and when a wealthy woman offered to buy her a plane ticket to Arizona — a place she'd never been and had only one acquaintance — she jumped at the offer. First stop, Prescott. There, she found the shelter conditions too difficult and was annoyed with the lack of public transit. So she took a shuttle north to Flagstaff and stayed at Hope Cottage, affiliated with the Rescue Mission, for five weeks. Since then, it's been a "one-night-here, one-night-there" thing.

"With the fact that the people in a little mountain town are so warm, friendly, and open, I've been able to really find a lot of resources here," she says. "I've found that people in the agencies [elsewhere] who are supposed to be helping you say, 'Why don't you just get out of town? We think you could have a better life in this other town.' It's very common to just keep pushing people. And many end up in Flag."

For as long as she's been in Flagstaff, Elana frequently encounters homeless people from other parts of Arizona, most saying they've come to escape intense heat.

"I've had about three people encourage me to move to Phoenix in October because they describe the resources for the poor as phenomenal there," she says. "So I'd really like to give Phoenix or Tucson a shot when it gets too cold for me here."

And, next summer, "maybe back up to Flag," she says. "This is really a great town."

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7 comments
Nikodisias Papalapsuslos
Nikodisias Papalapsuslos

YES , WE CAN...YES , WE CAN...WE WILL WIN IN WAR ON TERROR (30 whities or what are terrorists will never come back alive...thank you lord....aaamen).

What do you mean tragedy! It was just a birthday present for planet apes president !!! That's all ! Feels great to flip hamburgers and hip hop atop of good news...makes you feel vibrant and energized !!!

ARIZONA = UTOYA = GOVERNMENT‘S "AFTERLIFE" CASH & $$ FLASH MOB (there was no shooting in Utoya or Arizona, but tear gas and theater instead on faces of multiculturalism maniacs..your guilt or blame and shame weapon against us and our families in our own countries atop of forceful unemployment during so called "ECONOMIC CRISES" during which third world foreigners are allowed to rape, kill, and still is nothing else but fast way to early retirements for government related criminals/ terrorists...$$$ extra bonuses, and newly issued state identities while calling you a terrorists) !!! http://stateofterror.blogspot.... or http://stateofterror.wordpress...

OBAMA = STALIN = BUSH or USA = SOVIET UNION http://avsecbostjan.blogspot.c... or http://avsecbostjan.wordpress.... Whitie is fighting war on terrorism just to come home and be pronounced as terrorist...turned in Timothy, jobless, homeless ...YESSS, WE CAN...YESSS, WE CAN...GABBY OPENED HER EYES (Obaminator’s psychotic speech in Tucson = failed “Apocalypse Now“)

WAKE-UP !!! WAKE UP PEOPLE BEFORE IT GETS ALL TO LATE ON PLANET APES !!! TEARS WON'T DO YOU ANY GOOD !!! AS BUSH STATED "THAT'S WHAT THEY ARE PAID FOR"(to die ) !!

EVEN IF IRAQ WOULD HAVE BEEN WAR FOR OIL ONLY, VETERANS WOULDN'T NEVER EVER HAVE TO BE HOMELESS PEOPLE THE WAY THEY ARE AND NOR WOULD OUR PEOPLE HAVE TO DIE ALLOVER THE PLACE THE WAY THEY DO TO VERY TODAY(never ending “war on terror” story). BECAUSE EVEN IF WAR WAS FOR THE SAKE OF MONEY, MONEY SHOULD BE USED FOR AMERICAN CITIZENS AND NOT WHAT THE CASE IS OR AGAINST WHITES(to destroy us allover the world) !!! You don't really proof for 911, just put your sht together in your heads...THIS IS PLENTY ENOUGH TO HAVE O(B)SAMA INDICTED FOR CRIMES COMMITTED AGAINST WHITE AMERICAN HUMANITY TOGETHER WITH HIS ZIONIST MASTERS) !!!

Don't worry O(s)bama, you have just saved USA what is lots of Dollars in your DEBT DEALS as those best of America or Navy Seals would also grew older and then you already know how it goes...DEAD & ILL = DEBT DEAL !!!

HOW MUCH FURTHER ARE WE WILLING TO GO IN ORDER TO PLEASE VERY SAME PEOPLE WHO DENY US EVEN THE RIGHT TO EXISTENCE(what is to you country without laws or lawless country in respect to your personal rights, but the one that in contrast to your denied basic human rights recognizes you extremely liable when payments are due) !!?

IS IT INDEPENDENCE THAT WE CELEBRATE OR DEPENDENCE (what are your credit card bills or alimony saying about it) !!? HOW IS YOUR DIABETES AND LOST MARRIAGES !!? FORECLOSURES AND JOB SEARCH !!? THAT IS THE QUESTION TO BE OR NOT TO BE !!! IS IT LAND OF THE FREE OR STATE OF TERROR AGAINST OWN POPULATION !!? IT IS TIME TO LET THEM KNOW WHAT COLOR ARE THE STRIPES ON OUR STAR SPANGLED BANNER !!! TIME TO DETERMINE WHOSE INDEPENDENCE/AMERICA, WE CELEBRATE TODAY(who wants to erase us and denies us the right to exist) !!! IT IS IMPORTANT TO KNOW WHOM WE ADDRESS WITH "PRESIDENT" (STOP HUMILIATING YOURSELF) !!!

VOTING POLL:

DO WE NEED MORE PROOFS TO INDICT OBAMA AND BUSH ADMINISTRATION FOR CRIMES COMMITTED AGAINST WHITE HUMANITY !!?

1)NO, THEY ARE CLEARLY GUILTY AS OIL WAR NEVER EVER WAS REAL ISSUE IN GENOCIDE AGAINST WHITES. REAL ISSUE ARE FACTS OR WHAT WE WITNESS TODAY WHEN VETERANS ARE HOMELESS, JOBLESS, KILLED, ETC.

2)NO, AS 911 ALONE AS WELL AS ACTIONS IMPOSED AGAINST WHITES IN USA (as well worldwide) ARE CLEARLY INDICATING ACTS OF GENOCIDE AGAINST WHITE HUMANITY

3)YESS AS JUST YESTERDAY(for over 15 years to very yesterday), WE (news/media = vacuum world of lies) WERE TELLING YOU THAT UNEMPLOYMENT WAS AT 10% WHILE TODAY ONE IS AT 50% (HOW COME NO ONE QUESTION JOURNALISM LIKE THIS OR WHAT IS WORLD OF LIES AND DEMENTIA)!

4)I AGREE WITH FIRST TWO ANSWERS ABOVE. IT IS TIME TO PRESS CRIMINAL CHARGES AGAINST BOTH ADMINISTRATIONS DUE TO ACTS OF GENOCIDE AGAINST WHITE HUMANITY FOR THE SAKE(SAFETY) OF US AND OUR CHILDREN(DO NOT TURN THEM IN WHITE REFUGEES ON PLANET APES OR WHAT YOU ARE ABOUT TO SEE WHEN VISITING ABOVE PAGES) !!!

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aosika12

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Skrapps
Skrapps

Good. Good to have some Cizmar every now and again. To ammend, those citizen patrols and night flights this year were in response to current fire conditions and almost daily hobo-camp-started wildfires. Just little ones, but they all have potential to ruin the lives of many people.

 
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