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Impossible Beyond This Point: True Adventure Creating a Self-Sufficient Life in the Wilderness Paperback – December 31, 2013
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About the Author
Virgil Horn was an accomplished poet, sculptor and jewelry artist, as well as a credentialed school teacher and WWII veteran. After studying under John Neihardt, Virgil graduated from University of Missouri in 1950 with a degree in English. In 1972, Virgil chronicled the family’s extraordinary adventure in Hooray the Wilderness, but the manuscript was never published. Impossible Beyond This Point includes much of Virgil’s original writings, and although he departed this life in 1990, his legacy lives on in the hearts and minds of his sons who continue to use what they learned from him on a daily basis. Marcella Horn grew up on a small farm in Sylmar, California. After she studied creative writing in college, Marcella had the first organic vegetable farm in the Sylmar area. In the early 1960s, Marcella and Virgil heard about a mine in Trinity County and both fell in love with the wilderness paradise they found at the end of a steep, narrow foot trail. Marcella lived the rest of her life in the Trinity Alps, joining Virgil in the hereafter in 2014. Joel Horn, the youngest of Virgil and Marcella's three sons, was barely five years old when they moved to the wilderness. Growing up in the rugged Trinity Alps, Joel and his brothers learned how to do the numerous and varied tasks necessary for survival while carving out a life in their remote paradise. Living this self-reliant life and tutored by the best of teachers - their dad and hands-on experience - the boys achieved a level of self-sufficiency rarely seen in modern times. Impossible Beyond This Point combines his parents' writings with Joel’s own recollections to create a fascinating and entertaining account of the family's struggle and triumph creating a life of freedom in the wilderness.
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Top customer reviews
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Not to the wilds of Canada or northern Alaska, but to a mining homestead in northern California. They had $500, three young sons and the optimism only those who have great faith in their abilities and naive faith in the future can have.
The Horn's new home was several miles down a bumpy corduroy path that was impassable in winter and barely usable the rest of the year.
But that's not all. Once they got to the end of the road there were two miles of trails to hike down to the homestead on the river. Everything they
owned and everything they needed had to be transported down that narrow and windy trail. And when they had to hire a packer with mules to get
the big stuff down they had to spend a couple of weeks clearning trees and brush so that the packed mules could get down the trail.
Their new home was beside a river. All they had to live in was an old shack that leaked in wind, rain, and wildlife and leaked out heat. The Horns intended to build a new home within in a few years, but it took much longer than that.
This family had close to nothing, but they dealt with theft, vandalism, constant mechanical setbacks, discomfort, bad weather, and nutty people with
more enthusiasm and grace than most people I know including myself could muster for trivial annoyances.
I am so impressed with the mother who could make a feast out of anything. The dad who could figure out how to do or fix anything. And the sons who
met all challenges with imagination and joy.
Mining or finding gold is not mentioned much until near the end of the book. However, this book is pure gold to read.
Edited to Add: The Kindle version of this book is not bad at all. The pictures are included and the editing is not perfect, but decent.
joel did an excellent job combiningthe memories of his parents and those of his own.
coming up from southern California when joel was very young the family faced many hardships to be able to attain their dream of living a life of self sufficiency on a gold mining claim in trinity county.
they not only survived in a very difficult but they triumphed.their teamwork and respect for each other led to even the youngest members opinions taken seriously
this is the kind of book i wish the taught in school.not only to enjoy the story but for us all to realize how far from self sufficient we really are.how children should respect and learn from their parents.
this book is not one to be rushed through but to be savored.it definitely ranks as one of the best i have ever read which makes me sincerely wish mr horn will soon write a sequel.
Joel writes with so much discription and detail that you feel as thou you are there seeing and hearing what is happening.
Its about a family over coming hardship to live freely and build a life from nothing but guts , brains and ability to make nearly anything
from a little or repurpose from something else.
We just reread recently to remind ourselves how good we have it walking up out of our holler compared to The Horns
2 miles up out of mountain valley.
Joel we need another book if you can spare the time.
Most recent customer reviews
What spirit and determination the family had. To stY connected and strong through all you went through....Read more
One wonders what happened after the book ended.Read more