The Lair and its Immediate Neighborhood

Not long ago a commenter said that (paraphrased, since I’m too lazy to go look for the actual comment) there are Youtubers who post videos about this cool remote retreat they’re building while carefully avoiding the angle that shows the subdivision it’s right next to, and that Joel doesn’t do that.

Whatever my faults, that is true. Not every word I’ve ever written about my personal life is 100%, shall we say unshaded, and plenty of things that happen here don’t make it into the blog. I’m a very private person, and frankly there are times when even making what amounts to a lifestyle blog doesn’t really mesh very well with my own way of thinking. But the Lair is, in fact, as far off grid as I found it practical to get while still avoiding northern winters.

And I love it very much, and sometimes can’t resist the temptation to show it off. So here’s the Lair in as much of its setting as I can show while standing in one place. Had to make a special trip to take these pics, and haul out some of that cool camera gear a Generous Reader donated a couple of years ago.

Pics below the fold…


The Lair in its hollow. There’s a lot of detail that doesn’t show because the landscape isn’t as flat as it looks. Like, that meadow that looks like it’s right above the cabin is quite a lot farther away than it appears, there’s a lot of terrain in between since the wash takes a horseshoe turn that the hollow kind of sits between.


The Secret Lair. I can no more stop photographing it than I can stop taking pictures of Tobie, and for the same reason: It’s one of the loves of my life. Those stacked-up pallets have accumulated through the summer and will be cut up for firewood in the next few weeks before it gets cold. Poking out from behind the cabin you can see a little of the solar panel ground mount, which you’ll notice is at a different angle from the cabin. The original two panels are on the cabin’s roof, demonstrating a mistake I made early on that kind of worked to my advantage. I laid out the cabin facing due north with a compass so that the roof would face south, but I didn’t take declination into consideration and the difference between magnetic south and true south is quite a lot here. But given how much sun we get, it turned out not to make that much difference in practice.

Looking to the north…


There’s more wash, and the mud hills beyond. At the bend the wash gets really wide – like 300 yards bank to bank – and makes a helluva rifle range, none of which shows up from this angle.

Looking to the west…


Not much to see. The water goes downstream, connects to another wash, and from there if both washes are running things can get really spicy. But that’s all far from the Lair, for which I’m sometimes very happy.

Turning south…


Um…okay, nothing at all to see. But if I walk to where there is something to see…


End of the road, surrounded by more desert.

Not saying there aren’t neighbors here and there. Of course there are. Some of them have built nice big houses. But we’re not packed on top of each other, and if we didn’t like it that way we would probably live somewhere else.

About Joel

You shouldn't ask these questions of a paranoid recluse, you know.
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13 Responses to The Lair and its Immediate Neighborhood

  1. GT says:

    Looks like paradise to me.

  2. Joel says:

    Eighteen years ago when I learned of this place, it looked like paradise to me. Still does.

  3. bill says:

    Really like that, Joel. Reminds me of being a kid in west Texas.

  4. Malatrope says:

    I might have made that comment, but it was about other YouTubers who are just going after the monetization angle. I’ve never had any doubt you were dead honest about what you write, and it’s one of the reasons I keep reading your stuff every day.

    Where you are is a perfect, hard-to-find, hidey hole away from the insanity of this century, and I am envious. Keep enjoying the hell out of it, and showing the rest of us how to live as a free man.

  5. midwestmike says:

    Just curious Joel. If I may ask. How did you actually learn about your place/area?

  6. Joel says:

    I learned about it through friends, that’s about all I can say about it.

  7. Mike says:

    Joel, colour me envious. I also live in a rural area, but my neighbours are hundreds of feet away, not miles away like yours are. Thinking back to when I started reading your blog so many years ago, I’m just flabbergasted at the progress you’ve made.

    Keep taking the photos, you live in a beautiful area, and it’s fitting to share that beauty.

  8. George says:

    looks like an area south and west of Las Vegas NM.

  9. Anonymous says:

    If I had to guess, judging from the descriptions of the climate, terrain weather, wildlife, and and a few other small hints, I’d put your lair in S/W Arizona. Cochise, Graham or, maybe, Greenlee County.

    OTOH, I’ve been wrong about such things before.

    OTGH, it doesn’t really matter where you live. I enjoy the blog and wish you a long and happy life of freedom.

    I met you once many years ago and, sometimes, I wish I’d taken your way out. Keep up the good work.

  10. Malatrope says:

    I always thought he was somewhere east of Lake Havasu City, but that’s just me. Lived in Parker once.

  11. Anonymous says:

    That should be S/E Arizona…

  12. SLee says:

    Looks like paradise. Have been reading you for a long time, and appreciate the time you share with us.

  13. Anonymous says:

    Nice digs – sorry to say, some autistic on 4chan could pinpoint your location within seventeen centimeters just from those photos. Such is the world we live in. Oh well. Carry on, dude.

To the stake with the heretic!