Farewell, Old Friend

Today marks the end of an era and the start of a new chapter. Three years ago, we were formally introduced to “Ol’ Skraggly” as the ancient Ponderosa Pine greeted us on our first visit to Sahalee. Such an impressive feature, the woody elder is an immediate attention-grabber and landmark, and was a delightful surprise to us upon learning we’d be sharing the same space during some very precious moments.

Ol Skraggly Sahalee Off Grid ponderosa pine
Our first encounter c. 2014
Not a feel-good decision, but a necessary one we had to make to remove the ton or more of tinder from the property to help squelch the fire (and misplaced fall) danger. We very much relish all the character the towering giant lent to the skyline before coming down. We invite you to enjoy this musical interlude by the Plain White T’s as you gaze upon the gallery of Skrag’s final day… 

The needle-less snag has kept watch over the grounds for an unfathomable number of years, and it is this history that we most revere when bidding the forest guardian goodbye. A loss for avian navigators and burrowing creatures alike, we grieve the majesty and comfort of the noble’s grand stature. An empty space remains…

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Our good buddy Larry, of Larry’s Power Saw and Tire Shop in Cuba, is a trusted professional, and we were oh-so-happy to have his expert help to lay Ol’ Skraggly down properly. Here’s how it all went down…


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Farewell, Old Friend…

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Everyday is Earth Day at Sahalee Off Grid

Hooray!! The day has finally come for our earth to be celebrated by people around the world! Phew!! I was getting a little worried there… The other 364 days pass by and our little blue planet spins at 1,042 mph without much fanfare from the bi-pedal creatures with opposable thumbs. Besides those of us who hug trees on the daily and go to church under the stars as part of a normal routine, billions of people hike concrete jungles and harvest food from plastic boxes, only stopping to consider their place on this planet during one contrived semi-sacred occasion. The reality is that on any given day here upon this shiny orb, there are still 1.5 billion people in the developing world living without electricity, 1 in 10 people worldwide who have no clean water whatsoever, and 2.3 billion people in the world have no access to a toilet! These fragile souls live much closer to the natural elements and are left taking stock of all that planet Earth affords them upon every waking moment.

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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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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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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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Upgrades

Working on things a little bit at a time over the past few weeks, we’ve managed to button up some for winter and get a little more comfy. Here’s a quick look at some of our recent upgrades…

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