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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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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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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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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Groovy baby!!

The Sahalee Off Grid family welcomes our newest addition… Mark’s little yurt!! Yet to be officially named, the ‘mini-me’ version of our Super Ger arrived in typical ‘Groovy’ style when Yves pulled into Cuba with the big rig. (Several curious locals stopped to inquire, and one even made comment that the yurts are very much like a portable hogan used by the well-established Navajo people in the area for eons.) After loading up Buffy with the pre-built platform and entire structure (described as a one-camel yurt in Mongolia), we climbed the hill to unload and started set-up around 9am. It was a mild sunny day and all went off without a hitch to adorn the deck with a beautiful handmade dwelling. Mark was anxious to move in and spend his first night solo, so we bid him adieu after a celebratory toast. Please join us in congratulating Mark and welcoming the new baby to Sahalee!!

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Making way for baby

Following through on his threats, our friend Mark showed up from Florida for a long weekend to put in the 12′ x 18′ deck for his little yurt that is due to arrive in early October. In customary fashion, we managed to get the loaded-down HD rental truck stuck in the mud on the way in after the fast-moving rain showers rolled through on Friday afternoon. We walked in for the night and got back to unloading in the morning after the road had dried a bit. (We managed to get the rental truck back to the store Saturday afternoon with ten minutes to spare and no additional penalty!)

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Home is where the hearth is

Suddenly, all seems right with the world.

We spent a full day on Saturday laying in the new flooring in the front half of the yurt so we could place the stove, pan, pipe, and cap. Everything came together on Sunday with the custom installation since they don’t sell pre-fab yurt roof chimney vents at Home Depot.

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