“Worth the Cash or To the Trash”—Danner Boots Edition!!

This is what they used to look like

So it’s been about eight months.  Carey and I are starting to settle into our day to day routine and Radar loves doing her hourly perimeter checks.  After this time we are truly starting to get a good feel for how all the items we spent our hard earned dollars on would fare once they got continued heavy use to include making it through most of the winter.  Now it’s time to let the world know, did we make wise purchases on the gear that we would come to depend on or have we whiffed completely.  Maybe a little of both.  Let’s find out, are these items “Worth the Cash or To the Trash”!!

Our first contestant on “Worth the Cash or To the Trash” is my pair of Danner Boots.  I chose to go with the Danner East Ridge 8 inch boot for a few different reasons.

First and foremost, Danner boots are made in the USA.  We are absolutely one of “those” households that will not only pay a bit more but also go out of their way to buy USA made goods as much as possible.  As a side note, Danner’s pricing is in line with other quality boot manufacturers.

This is what they look like now

My other main reason for choosing these boots is that they have Vibram Soles.  I won’t say much about Vibram soles as I don’t want to make this too long but click this link http://www.muckboots.com/blog/so-whats-so-awesome-about-vibram-soles/ and you will get the answer to the question “What’s so special about Vibram Soles?’.

OK, so now onto my experience with these boots.  Other than my Slippers, more on those a different time, the Danners are my only footwear.  These are my hiking boots, my driving boots, my grocery getting boots, my snow shoveling boots etc….I do everything in these boots and have done so for 8 months now.

Summer and Winter are two entirely different experiences when it comes to ground conditions at Sahalee.  During the Summer it goes from dry hard packed terrain with little cacti strewn about like confetti at a New England Patriots Ticker Tape Parade.  On these days I would return back to the yurt, start taking my boots off and stick myself with cactus.  Prickly Pear all over the boots, but none of it made it through the leather lower portion or the padded ankle portion.  A boot that can walk right through Prickly Pear is a great thing to have.  The other true benefit that I found during the Summer Season was the ability for my feet to stay cool inside the Danners.  I think we can all agree that a day of sweaty feet in work boots is not very pleasant.  So we know the Danners are great in Summer–good sturdy boots, keep your feet cool, great Vibram soles produce great traction and they are just comfortable to walk in but what about Winter?

While Winter doesn’t produce the prickly pear cactus like Summer does, it does present some unique challenges that need to be considered when buying a pair of boots.  The first challenge, and my only complaint, is just the snow and cold.  While they are insulated and waterproof, it’s just not the same as putting a good pair of moon boots or Sorrells on when it’s down in the single digits.  Multiple layers of socks are always nice, but then the boot just doesn’t fit right.  Another real life challenge for these boots was the acquisition of 5 cords of firewood prior to and during Winter.  While I never got the opportunity to see how they would handle a chainsaw, they did handle the work very well.  These boots do not have a steel toe, and that is all right by me.  They have a very tough leather toe that has had many meetings with multiple saw rounds and many a split log, other than a sore toe once they withstood the beating.

In our game of “Worth the Cash or To the Trash” Carey and I can both safely say that the Danner East Ridge boot is “WORTH THE CASH”!!!!!!

Interested in checking out these boots for yourself?  Click on one of the Danner Hyperlinks to go to Amazon see for yourself!

2017 Guide to the Land of Enchantment

A new year has a lot of folks looking ahead to making travel plans for family vacations and quick getaways over upcoming three-day weekends. We thought that since we have been posting about our road trips around New Mexico and Colorado, some of you may be inspired to head out west in 2017. Here are a few attractions and travel resources to help you decide where you want to go and when.

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Off-grid is the best fitness plan

If anyone is pondering their fitness goals for the new year, I can honestly say that nothing works as well as moving off-grid. Before we had a chance to hit the scales during our visit with the Colorado fam for Thanksgiving, we could only guess at how much weight we had lost since moving to the mountains in June.

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Season’s Greetings

From our family to yours, we wish you all a safe and joyful holiday with family and friends. 

Merry Christmas!!

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Merry Christmas from our family to yours!! #sahaleeviews

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Reality bites

Happy December!! Since we are celebrating six months, I guess now is as good a time as any to do our best to explain how we’re making out since La Nina left laughing at us…

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A token of our appreciation

Happy Thanksgiving!! It’s hard to believe all that has taken place to bring us here in celebration of big moves, positive changes, and living life to the fullest. We couldn’t have made it this far without your support. We truly are grateful for YOU!!!

As a way to say thanks, we are going to give one lucky blog follower this pretty and practical little shopping bag to use for your holiday purchases, or to give as a gift. If you haven’t pushed the Follow button to receive our updates directly to your email, you might want to do so now. 😉 We’ll select at random on Nov. 30 and let you know by direct message if you are the big winner. Happy following, have a safe and joyous holiday with family and friends, and good luck!!

La Nina leaves this lady leery

Forty below they said. Nine feet of snow they said. First flurries by Halloween they said. All of these threats weighed heavily on our minds since loading in at the start of summer. We prioritized our to-do list accordingly by trying to amass a mound of firewood, situating and insulating the water tank to avoid freezing, raising our solar array, mounting our snow tires and securing chains, ordering snowshoes, stocking up on dry goods, and enclosing the potty, among other things. While there is always more to do – And you never quite feel adequately prepared going into the cold season no matter what you do – we were also making mental preparations to steel ourselves against a typical bitterly-cold winter to arrive on schedule. Now, it’s almost Thanksgiving and we’ve barely touched 20 degrees overnight with only a random rain shower. As if we didn’t have enough to anticipate for the first of the year with the election fallout, we’re left wondering if La Nina is going to make this winter a non-event, or bring it on with a furious force.

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Denver or Bust

Sturgill Simpson in concert at the Paramount on November 4th. Who could say no to that? We hadn’t even finished packing up the house in Cocoa and we were already planning the road trip to Denver way back in May. (Evidently the goosebumps hadn’t gone away from the solo show in Madrid.) This would make our third Sturgill session if we actually made it to the big city. (There were serious doubts about dodging winter weather at the time this date landed on our calendar.)  Well, the stars were aligned and the sailors shoved off… Denver or Bust!!

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Solar A-Raise

It seems like a million years ago now that Mark and I hooked up the wee little 300W PV system for basic operations when we first arrived on-site in June. Ben and I made a few little upgrades over the summer to include adding a 4th panel, switching to a more robust charge controller for future growth, and adding both a remote inverter start and Ethernet communications port for the charge controller. All of this was fine and dandy for the past few months, but we needed to give the array a boost for winter. Below are the progress photos so you can see more about our shoot-from-the-hip PV facelift.

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The calm after the storm

If you have been following over the past few weeks, you will have seen that we’ve been operating in a figurative – and literal – whirlwind. After raising a second yurt, spending time with Hurricane Matthew, and marching on with homestead improvements, we are looking forward to reacquainting ourselves with the quiet surroundings and slower pace that Sahalee so wonderfully delivers. That being said, winter is on its way, as the falling leaves remind us, and we still have much, much more to do before we can comfortably and confidently nestle in for our first cold season on the side of the mountain.

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