Goodbye Fall

We’re halfway through October and here at over 60 degrees North latitude,  Fall has breathed it’s last breath for the year. The termination dust (first snows on the mountain tops) is making it’s way down the mountains and it won’t be long (tomorrow!) before it coats the valley floors too. The bright colors of fall- electric yellow birch and cottonwood- are fading away like the daylight. Today the sun rose at 8:45am and will set at 6:45pm. Everyday we are loosing 5-6 minutes of daylight!  The sun is now at an increasingly low angle, illuminating the mountain peaks in a soft golden glow for a good portion of the morning and afternoon. It is amazing to feel like you are somehow traveling North of the sun without going anywhere!

We are keeping busy with preparing for winter -harvesting, splitting, and stacking fire wood, getting our electricity up and running, putting in a driveway, and making winter employment plans in the area. We were surprised at how much fun and adventure you can have while in pursuit of firewood, so we made a video of our last trip to give you a taste of what it’s like:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

As far as electricity goes, our system is completely off-grid, and consists of solar panels, a charge controller, a battery bank, an inverter, and a backup generator. We’ll do a more detailed post on this system later, but for now, suffice it to say that we’ve had electricity for several weeks now!

Mark hooking up the battery bank
The lights are on in the temporary kitchen!
560 Watts of solar goodness (they will be mounted in a more permanent location later…)

After hauling every last ounce of building material up 50 stairs to the house, we finally decided to have a driveway put in since we finished before freeze-up. After many phone calls and weeks of waiting, work on the driveway was started on October 11th and we expect it to be finished early next week. Having a driveway has lots of advantages. It will allow us to put in an oven/range and a refrigerator (because hauling those up the staircase wasn’t going to happen…). The driveway will also give us a safer alternative to getting to our home because we won’t have to traverse a long, icy staircase during the Winter. Finally, we can save our backs a lot of wear and tear by driving all our firewood to our home-site instead of taking the stairs up with arm-fulls of logs.

That machinery is almost bigger than the house!

Additionally, we got our Alaskan chainsaw mill in the mail, so we can start making furniture, counter tops, and siding! We are excited to get going on these projects and for the Winter season to come!

We will post updates on all of these projects as they progress! Thanks for reading 🙂

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2 thoughts on “Goodbye Fall

  1. We were lucky in that Rose had her own dozer and backhoe to cut dirt roads on our homestead, but you are correct it will make life so much easier for you. But be careful during spring break up when that road will become a swamp and vehicles can become stuck.

    Liked by 1 person

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