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Thread: Depends what you call off the grid I guess

  1. #1
    Join Date
    04-23-02
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    SW Colorado
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    Depends what you call off the grid I guess

    So 10 years ago this summer we bought some mountain property and started building a summer cabin. It's about a 55 mile drive from the house here on the winter range, pretty much gravel road through the San Juan National Forest the whole way. The last few years about 5 miles of that has been paved but I have taken my dirt bike on the trip with no worries. Its at 9000 feet so no winter access unless you have a snow machine. Being retired these days i get to spend about half my summer up there. The drive is beautiful and I count my blessings every time i get to make the trip.

    On the scale of vacation homes its intermediate level because you can drive to it (but you wouldnt want to do it without 4x4). The mixer truck drivers consider it off the grid. And we make our own solar power with a backup propane generator, and that seems to be one of the characteristics of off the grid. The solar is a PITA but mainly because im lazy, but i have to admit its nice not getting a bill. We use about 75 gal of propane (dryer and water heater are also propane) and 3 gallons of distilled water a year. Hell, it'll pay for itself in a couple hundred years.

    We did it over the last several summers and are finally about done. The third season is when we did the mechanical and electrical so 7 years ago. We dont drink the well water but use it for everything else. It seems to be getting betterAt least it's a gusher - we are limited by permit to 5 gpm. We did a bunch of the work ourselves - pretty much everything but the heavy and high stuff. My wife is a hell of a hand but she quit me after the tile and drywall. We wont be doing another.

    Its in the aspen conifer mix they call montane habitat. About all i have left is to finish clearing property lines and stacking rocks.

    "Back after 5 years. I thought you had died.

    don"


    Splitting my time between the montane and the mesas

    The woods are lovely, dark and deep.
    But I have promises to keep,
    And miles to go before I sleep,
    And miles to go before I sleep.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    10-14-01
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    I'm jealous!
    The only way of discovering the limits of the possible is to venture a little way past them into the impossible - Arthur C. Clarke

  3. #3
    Join Date
    04-23-02
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    I have a few trail cams scattered around, and here are some of the neighbors
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    "Back after 5 years. I thought you had died.

    don"


    Splitting my time between the montane and the mesas

    The woods are lovely, dark and deep.
    But I have promises to keep,
    And miles to go before I sleep,
    And miles to go before I sleep.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    04-23-02
    Location
    SW Colorado
    Posts
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    Some more. These are only interesting because they are the same spot
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    "Back after 5 years. I thought you had died.

    don"


    Splitting my time between the montane and the mesas

    The woods are lovely, dark and deep.
    But I have promises to keep,
    And miles to go before I sleep,
    And miles to go before I sleep.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    11-22-03
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    In the Village...
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike View Post
    I'm jealous!
    You ain't by yourself......Ben
    The future is forged on the anvil of history...The interpreter of history wields the hammer... - Unknown author...

  6. #6
    Join Date
    10-14-01
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    Okay, rub it in.........
    The only way of discovering the limits of the possible is to venture a little way past them into the impossible - Arthur C. Clarke

  7. #7
    Join Date
    08-05-05
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    Deep inside the Central Scrutinizer.
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    20,858
    Nice.. I was planning to build a place in Vallecito north of Durango until I lost my job 3 years ago... Put that plan on the back burner for a while.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    04-29-17
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    6,133
    I am not an off the grid type guy but boy that looks really nice and with 1.8 million acres of forest around you pretty close to paradise. Do you do any hunting? Is it legal?
    OPINION....a view or judgment formed about something, not necessarily based on fact or knowledge.

  9. #9
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    04-23-02
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    Bummer Philbo. I hate corporate america and the scoundrels who occupy it. Why I gave the foff.

    Building a place is pretty complicated at times. The degree of difficulty goes up when you drag it out and then do it in the mountains. I guess its like building a hot rod - my heirs probably wont get out of it what we put in it but thats not why we did it. And like everything after its all done i have a list of things to do different Im even getting a little cell service once in a while so the value to post millenials might be going up

    Back to the animals, i guess the only thing im missing a picture of on that camera is a bobcat (lynx?). I have them on the other cameras. Everything likes to smell that stump. And yes i do hunt, especially now that my boys are off to college This might be the first year i get to knock one over behind the house. Im a little long in the tooth for the high country stuff anymore but im old enough to be coming into some of the preference points ive been banking. Arizona was kind enough to send me one of the primo elk tags so in my wifes words my life has purpose again.
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    "Back after 5 years. I thought you had died.

    don"


    Splitting my time between the montane and the mesas

    The woods are lovely, dark and deep.
    But I have promises to keep,
    And miles to go before I sleep,
    And miles to go before I sleep.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    10-21-01
    Location
    Columbia, S.C.
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    14,619
    Quote Originally Posted by CactusCurt View Post

    . About all i have left is to finish clearing property lines and stacking rocks.

    Until you get done stacking anyway, then you'll find something you missed. Congratulations! not many of us get to live our dreams, count it as a blessing every day Curt!
    This is your mind on drugs!

  11. #11
    Join Date
    10-22-01
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    34,186
    Good for you--it sounds like you are enjoying retirement

    We bought a cottage in the Endless Mountains in PA and we were on a private gravel road and the last place on the power line. That was about 12 years ago and we are still the last ones on the power line, but now our road is paved---because we got gas wells

    But---I think I would still prefer to be the last one on the line rather than the first one off the line

    Below is one of our "deck bears"
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    "A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity, an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty” ---Sir Winston Churchill
    "Political extremism involves two prime ingredients: an excessively simple diagnosis of the world's ills, and a conviction that there are identifiable villains back of it all." ---John W. Gardner
    “You can’t go back and change the beginning, but you can start where you are and change the ending.” ---C. S. Lewis

  12. #12
    Join Date
    04-23-02
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    . We have a lot of bears here as well. We stayed in a cabin tent the first summer and had bears snoop around from time to time but never when we were there. We had one tear the chit out of a quad though. Went after the seat and the wiring. I built a drive in basement so that wouldnt happen again. Then i got a side by side and my "door" (its a steel reinforced hole in concrete - permanent) is 6" too short.

    What really surprised me was the number of lions. I have seen 4 with my own eyes , 3 of those from my deck. I probably have a dozen different daytime pictures of them. I pretty much assume im being watched whenever im out and about. Two that we saw from the deck were a breeding pair. Thier mating ritual is loud and violent They were there almost all day. All we had were cell phone cameras.
    "Back after 5 years. I thought you had died.

    don"


    Splitting my time between the montane and the mesas

    The woods are lovely, dark and deep.
    But I have promises to keep,
    And miles to go before I sleep,
    And miles to go before I sleep.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    04-23-02
    Location
    SW Colorado
    Posts
    4,959
    I know, need pictures.
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    "Back after 5 years. I thought you had died.

    don"


    Splitting my time between the montane and the mesas

    The woods are lovely, dark and deep.
    But I have promises to keep,
    And miles to go before I sleep,
    And miles to go before I sleep.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    10-22-01
    Location
    All Over
    Posts
    34,186
    The closest we get to mountain lions is rumors We do have a lot of bobcats---and based on the noise they make I can only imagine their big cousins!

    I recently saw on one of the "good" channels a video of a mountain lion with two cubs. A brown bear came along, spied the cubs and decided they would make a nice snack-----mamma tore that full grown bear a new one---eventually he decided it wasn't such a good idea
    "A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity, an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty” ---Sir Winston Churchill
    "Political extremism involves two prime ingredients: an excessively simple diagnosis of the world's ills, and a conviction that there are identifiable villains back of it all." ---John W. Gardner
    “You can’t go back and change the beginning, but you can start where you are and change the ending.” ---C. S. Lewis

  15. #15
    Join Date
    04-23-02
    Location
    SW Colorado
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    I have heard one twice. I could hear that big tom on that rock (150 yds from the deck) coming from almost a mile away. The other was when i was peeing off the deck. One squalled from not to far away and (not to get too bilgish) not only was the stream cut off but it might have run backwards for a second. A sound you know when hear it.

    We were hunting elk not far from a private zoo in Az that had some african lions. You could hear them for MILES. I would love to hear a real lion in the wilds of africa.

    Didnt they put elk in PA somewhere? You anywhere near that?
    "Back after 5 years. I thought you had died.

    don"


    Splitting my time between the montane and the mesas

    The woods are lovely, dark and deep.
    But I have promises to keep,
    And miles to go before I sleep,
    And miles to go before I sleep.

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