Reflections of a Y2K Survivor

I was one of those weirdos who believed so thoroughly in Y2K that I quit the last years of a career, cashed in my retirement, walked away from the IRS, all the bills, a house mortgage,  totally believing it was all moot because in just a few months it would all collapse.  I figured there was  a chance high enough to bet on that everyone left after the chaos would be wandering around hungry, diseased, and dying, if the computer gurus were telling the truth.  January 1, 1999, I performed the irreversible deed.  The retirement money made a down payment on 140 acres of land in remote high desert, I drilled a well, built a cabin, stocked up on countless items the throngs of hopeless survivors would need to survive a bit longer.

I knew there was a medium possibility the IRS, the land payments, all the rest would eventually come due if Y2K didn’t happen, but I thought the consequences of it happening and me not doing it were worse than the alternative of taking the plunge and it not happening. Once a person considers seriously  the possibility that society might collapse, it’s surprising how reasonable it seems to think so.

Did my best to be a refugee camp waiting to happen. I bought a lot of chicks to be eggs and food for the future hungry.  I knew I couldn’t survive long because of the shelf-life of a medication I require to stay alive, but I had hopes a few folks could survive thanks to a lot of training and experience I’d had in woods lore, emergency management, and survival. I moved in to a tent on the 140 acres in mid-1999, until the cabin was built and the well drilled.

I spent the next 16-18 months pretty much alone, sometimes going weeks without seeing another person. It was the best time of my entire life. I loved it.  I wouldn’t change a minute of 1999 until now, but they were the hardest years I’ve ever lived.  I’m a risk taker, more than most, but I’m also a damned fool.  Fool enough to believe Y2K not happening January 1, 2000, doesn’t mean Y2K won’t ever happen.  But also fool enough to know I’m not wise enough to know when it will, nor whether it will.

This blog will include some of the material written during that time. The rest is a compilation of reflections, before and since, of my varied runs at the brick wall of something rhyming with wisdom.

Old Jules
Steve Goodman–The 20th Century is Almost Over

4 responses to “Reflections of a Y2K Survivor

  1. I’d sure like to hear more of your times living solo in the high desert. Ups and downs….all about it.
    Was this anywhere near Terlingua?….or elsewhere?
    Would love to hear about it.

  2. Hi Bill. Thanks for the reads and visit. I plan to do a lot more posting about the whole Y2K experience, but I’m thinking I’ll put a category on it that will cause it not to show on the home page so’s not to clog up regular daily posts and spam subscribers with something I suspect most aren’t interested in.

    I’ve been thinking about my approach, figuring I’ll go chronological with it, following the post about August 1998 EMPAC meeting and the web searches, then the crucial decision to retire effective January 1 1999, the Y2K chatrooms and the weirdness of that all being forerunners of so many forums and blogs today… then the search for a hideaway place and what my old bud and I were looking for searching all over New Mexico before the land buy came along and provided a place to really prepare.

    Then the group meetings, the hand wringing about what level of preparation to do. He was an old shot-up marine and took the view more of digging in and defending against all. We were good friends and partners on the land, but badly divided about that aspect of it. He had a thriving business in town and never actually spent much time out there. Barely saw him at all after Y2K didn’t happen.

    Anyway, it’s going to be a long series of writings attempting to rebuild the entire experience from day one until I had to abandon everything on my end and go back to civilization in September, October 2000.

    All the ups downs and sideways, what worked, what didn’t work, what wasn’t planned for, what was, but had inherent flaws emerged.

    But I don’t think most of the readers will be interested in all that, so I’ll have it here, but not as the dominant factor with the blog.

    You might well be the only person to read it, ultimately. This blog doesn’t get a lot of traffic, though it’s growing some.

    Thanks for the interest. I hope as it develops we can exchange some smiles about some of it.

    The place was on the Continental Divide about 60 miles south of Grants, New Mexico, 15 miles north of Pie Town.

  3. Every day is the end of the world for somebody. I figger it’s good practice.

    Bob, who outsmarts himself all the time.

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