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Tennessee Valley StoryCorps brings you conversations from people who went to the StoryCorps recording booth in Chattanooga's Miller Park in the spring of 2019. Get to know your neighbors and make new friends with Tennessee Valley StoryCorps, only on WUTC.You can subscribe to the Tennessee Valley StoryCorps podcast on iTunes or Google Play.This series is produced and edited by WIll Davis and made possible, in part, by EPB Fiber Optics.

The Old Trapper: An Audio Story

In 1970, after graduating from Middle Tennessee State University, Jim Ledbetter and his college sweetheart Jackie, packed their VW bus and headed west, ultimately landing in the high, remote wilderness of British Columbia. There, using only hand tools, they built a 15-by-20-foot log cabin where they lived off-the-grid for five years.

Welcome, stranger, to my cabin if this way you chance to pass

Katie Larue and Jim Ledbetter
Credit StoryCorps / StoryCorps
Katie Larue and Jim Ledbetter

Jim would one day return to the United States, marry again, and come to be known as the “old trapper” – in a story that has continued to unfold, high in the Coastal Mountains, over the last fifty years.

The Old Trapper is a special presentation of Tennessee Valley StoryCorpsGet Out Chattanooga, and The PodLab at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga.  This story was written, produced, and edited by Will Davis and Sunny Montgomery.

A very special thank you to Jim Ledbetter and Katie Larue for sharing their story.