We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
While certainly not as "dramatic" as your trip across the pond, we spent a week in the Maine woods, canoeing and fishing for Brook Trout and Smallmouth. We stayed at a traditional Maine "camp" http://www.bowlincamps.com/ Food was great (camp cooking and plenty of it). Other than rain for 1/2 the day on Monday, the weather was superb - temps in the upper 70's during the day and 50-55 at night. Camp is located 8 miles down a logging road (no cell phone or Blackberry - hooray!) and about an hour west of Patten, Maine. They have had little rain this year, so the river and stream levels were down, impacting the fishing. We caught some Brookies and one decent Smallmouth in five days of fishing. The fish were there, we just had to work for them. We canoed and fished the East Branch of the Penobscot River which is pretty daggone wild. We saw no other canoes or campers on the river. Saw a nice bear and wife almost got ran over by a moose while she was hiking. Had a flat tire on the Suburban so had to go to Houlton for repair (living where I do, I forget how nice the folks outside of the urban areas are to strangers. Guy at the tire shop just happened to have the exact size and make tire that matched the other three. It was used, but had better tread than the ones on the Sub. $50 on the vehicle. In and out in 45 minutes.)
Bowlin Camps is just a stone's throw from the Appalachian Trail. Guy came through for lunch - he was hiking from Gaspe Bay to Key West. Left Gaspe Bay in mid-June. No map, one pair of boots and I think, not a lot of money. Gave him our breakfast bars and some trail mix, for which he was sincerely grateful. Seemed like a nice guy, but maybe a bit too idealistic - hoped to make it to Key West by next summer.
Anyway, the camp was great, Pops, wife and the two dogs enjoyed themselves in the woods. We had hot showers, generator between 0630 and 2100 hours and gas lamps otherwise. Camp was getting ready for bear hunting season, which begins on August 30th. We saw several trail cam pics of bears that were 5-6 feet tall, which is a great black bear for Maine.
I think Westerns have a distorted view on the large number of wild areas in many parts of the Eastern states. I know I did. It wasn't until I lived and traveled in New England and the adjoining states did I come to realize there was a dang lot of wild areas just waiting to be fished and hunted.