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Summary: Some people spend their lives roaming through life like they are spelunking thru caves. It's really too bad that they never experience the life that is the light of mankind.

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Dugout Dick

The world breathes a fond farewell today for one of Idaho state’s most famous residents, 93 year old Richard Zimmerman. He is known better by the name, “The Salmon River Caveman.” This old timer decidedly chose to spend his entire life living off the land, specifically, in caves. Drawn to the remote regions of the vast expanse, Zimmerman never owned a television, phone, computer, a calculator or any type of electronic devise. Hard to imagine isn’t it?

During his lifetime, he was interviewed by various media sources, was shown in the National Geographic, and refused a handful of attempts made by Jay Leno to make an appearance. “Dugout Dick” as he is referred to by friends, said “I have everything here. I got lots of rocks and rubber tires. I have plenty of straw and fruit and vegetables, my dog and my cat and my guitars. I make wine to cook with. There’s nothing I really need.” He was able to make a little money by renting one of the more than 60 caves he inhabited by renting them out for $2 a night, though he admits his goal was “never meant to build an apartment house.”

Zimmerman is just one of many mountain men who roamed the territory since the 1980’s. Others go by the names Cougar Dave, Beaver Dick, Buckskin Bill, Free Press Frances, and Wheelbarrow Annie, each wanting to live separate and a way from society—all within the confines of their own eccentric world of one. Though life this way seems to sound exciting and noble in its rugged individualism, it also has the awkward feel of that famous Beatles song, you know the one, “Nowhere Man.” Dugout Dick does not have a point of view, knew not where he’s going to, and made all of his nowhere plans for nobody.

Ever feel alone? Ever feel like your life is one repeated motion after another. As a high school teacher, I have been to endless graduation speeches and that famous quote by Robert Frost always seemed to be spoken. We all may have started out our lives to take the road less traveled, but doesn’t it always seem to end up more like a cave?

Don’t spend the remaining years spelunking through life. Aimlessly wandering through dark, open caverns trying to make quality decisions based only on what we feel. That is about as foolish as wandering through a dank den without anything to light the way. We need a light. John 1:4 states “In him was life, and the life was the light of mankind.” If we desire to live forever in heaven with Christ, then it begins with living on Earth for Christ. Friends, with all the earnestness I possess I say unto you, follow the light.

In America, we have everything here don’t we? What else would we need? We have rocks and rubber tires and all the guitars we could ever ask for. We own dogs, cats, have plenty of vegetables, and definitely in this region have our fill with wine. That’s all we need? Comparing ourselves to Zimmerman, we almost have to admit, “isn’t he a bit like you and me?” Turn to Christ today.

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