Plans.

There’s a surprising amount of things you have to think about and plan for when you’re building an off-the-grid homestead from scratch. Especially when it’s not just us (R and I are pretty low-maintenance sort of folk), but we have animals that depend on us as well. Since there’s no hook ups to city water, we will have to haul our water in (wells are not really a feasible option in our area). We are responsible for the health and happiness of a duck, who obviously requires some water all to herself. So I’ve been trying to think outside the box and come up with ways to conserve our water usage when it comes to her. The dog and cat are a little less high-maintenance, however, we need to think about fencing with the dog, and little things such as a litter box with the cat. (Preferably, I want to teach Zep to do his business outside, or in the toilet… I really hate litter boxes. They take up space, they stink, dogs like to get in them…).

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Loki being his handsome self.

Since we have a few months before moving out there full-time, we have some time to really plan, make some phone calls, and get some basics set up. One of our first priorities is getting a driveway punched in. Can’t really accomplish much else if you can’t drive on to your property, or have a level, secure spot to put shelter. We have the area plotted out where we want the driveway and some nice rock laid out, then our focus will be getting a shelter of some sort. We’re looking into small “tiny house” sort of cabins. Eventually, we want to live in a yurt, but we can’t afford that quite yet. And of course since we have more stuff than will fit in a tiny cabin, we’ll be securing a storage unit in town until we can afford the yurt. Once we have those first two things, a driveway and shelter, the list of plans explodes in ALL directions. Wood stove, solar panels, water cistern, duck enclosure, fencing, gardens… the list goes on and on.

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Zep when he was more kitten-like.

For now, until we can get back out there, we’ll be constantly researching (like we have been for months), making more plans, and I’ll be figuring out how to provide Amelia with a pond that doesn’t require electricity or a ton of water. Thinking outside the box, or outside the grid rather, is the way to be. As for right now, I’m enjoying a beer, R is reading about the best time of day to harvest your crops, and Loki and Zep are curled up sleeping next to us. All’s well in Southern Utah, but we can’t wait for SW Colorado.

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Loki and I hanging by the big crooked Pondo.

Paradise.

About 6 months ago, R and I made the decision to look for a piece of land in Southwestern Colorado to start our off-the-grid homesteading life. We made several trips to CO in search of just the right spot, making offers on a couple of different places, and ultimately having them all fall through for one reason or another. (The original realtor we worked with assumed we were just a couple of stoner hippie kids who had no clue what we were doing… which isn’t entirely¬†false. We are hippies). Then we made one quick trip a couple of months ago because we were just passing through, and found this awesome chunk of land. Made an offer, and by that evening, it was accepted. It’s our little acre of paradise; it’s perfect.

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Edge of the meadow.

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Just one of our many big ponderosas.

The only thing going through it is a ground phone line (which we probably won’t use anyway). No electricity, no running water. Just ponderosa pines, junipers, oak stands, wildflowers, and general awesome. A bumpy dirt road takes you there. No full-time neighbors, town is about 11 miles away, and there’s no restrictions. So what’s “Amelia’s Meadow”? We have a big wash running down the north side of our land, which is fairly flat, has wildflowers and a few small trees, and looks just like a mini meadow. Something our duck will absolutely love (can you imagine all the bugs there will be to eat?!). And so, it was deemed Amelia’s Meadow. There will soon also be Loki’s Lookout, or Loki’s Lair, or Loki’s Knoll… it hasn’t been decided yet. Since we’re both big Neil Young fans, we’ve also been referring to our little lot as Sugar Mountain. There’s a deer skull up there. Pretty sweet.

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Skull!

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Loki in the meadow.

Right now we’re living in Southern Utah, but we’re in the process of wrapping things up with our jobs (as well as making trips to Sugar Mountain to make it at least semi-livable) so we can get out there full-time in a few months. So this is our journey! We’re stoked. Talk about a learning curve.

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Amelia the amazing can’t wait.