Sunday, April 26, 2015

Off Grid Beauty

In my last post, I alluded to a cabin with no water or electricity.  Today I want to tell you about it.  It's not mine--I was privileged to spend a weekend there and I was blown away.

High on the side of a mountain, open to grazing cattle, deer and bears, this snug, log cabin is a refuge from city life.  A place to practice a simpler life.  An oasis of quiet, communing with nature and a challenge to living off-grid.

Water and energy conservation rise to a higher level here:  "If it's yellow, let it mellow..." goes even further.  Want a shower?  Need a bath?  Let's make the 20 minute drive to Radium Hot Springs and take a dip.

A new, deep well is in the plans.  Check out this professional Water Witcher.  He claims to be quite accurate in locating underground water.

As far as electricity, a hard working generator comes into play during the breakfast and supper hours. No TV, no stereos, no electric toothbrushes.  Thank goodness for the wood stove and polar down slippers.  People resort to old-fashioned play and get creative when 21st century options are out of the question.

Outdoor play leans towards clearing rocks, chopping and stacking wood, hiking, collecting water and archery...not the usual urban pursuits.

Tree forts anyone?

Careful, extensive planning is in the works for a solar installation that would allow for modern appliances, like a working fridge, a microwave and a deep freezer for food storage.  Until then, there is an abundance of free firewood.

Adjacent to the property, active logging operations are ongoing.  Once the desirable trees are logged out, what remains is gathered into enormous piles and eventually burned.
I was told, this IS NOT clear cutting.  What do I know????

Down the mountain and below the logging areas, is the Columbia River.  This 150 km. long, continuous wetlands is the longest in North America.  All the migratory birds of the Rockies are regular visitors here.

The logging haul is used, practically onsite, to produce plywood, which is stockpiled next to the railroad for shipment, all against the glorious backdrop of mountain vistas.

We went hiking.  April, mountains, snow.  Wonderful sunshine and four-wheel drive trucks made for a pleasant trip.

We found some it from a dog relative, like a wolf maybe?

 The views are breathtaking!

We met a truck descending the mountain as we made our way up.
-You going up to the mud????

-We thought we'd go to the top, our driver said.

-You won't make it.  I had all four wheels spinning.  It was hopeless.

-What'cha doing up this way, asked our guide?

-Well, I won the draw this year, at last!  I'm hunting Grizzlies.  I'm after a particular big, bad guy.  If I don't get HIM, then I don't want any at all.
We ventured on, passed the Grizzly Hunter's tracks, but didn't make it all the way to the top.  We didn't see any Grizzlies either, thank goodness.

Mountain Men, my collection:

Snack time around the fire...

which led to silly pursuits:  Pile on Grandpa!
It was deliciously warm in the sun, by the fire.  Some people even thought they should hide in the shade.

The exciting weekend was over too soon.  We headed down the mountain and back to civilization (although, I would say, life in this cottage is pretty civilized.)
What about you?
Could you go off-grid?
Would you live in the wilderness with the wildlife on your doorstep?

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