Happy Sahaliversary!

On a bright and sunny June 4th last year, we pulled our happily weary caravan covered in Florida salt spray into Cuba, NM with the rest of our lives ahead of us. We had no idea what lay ahead, but we were eager to jump in with eight feet to realize our long-time dream of living off-grid in the New Mexico mountains.

No one could say if we would make it through the first year, let alone the first monsoon season, first snowy winter, first encounter with wildlife, first yurt-raising, among other character-building firsts. Well, we did (despite the bets against us), and we are so much better for it!!

This year, we celebrate all that we accomplished at Sahalee in our inaugural year with you cheering us along the whole way. The occasion was marked by a two-night camping trip on the ‘Back Five,’ where we explored the property we usually only gaze upon from a distance. We climbed chalk hills and rocky ravines to spy the yurts between the trees and name all the towering Ponderosa Pines we live underneath. We saw the sun rise and set from a different vantage, and were able to behold new blossoms and leaves, trails and markers, and feelings that we hadn’t experienced before. It was like our first day all over again!

Sahalee Off Grid New Mexico
Can you spot the yurt? It’s there, we promise!

As we sit on our new deck above the ground where we once camped out in the tent, and plan to move the yurt to the main stage, it’s still quite surreal. We haven’t stopped pinching ourselves, believing that it is still really too good to be true. Now, we look ahead to years two to twenty and are thrilled to bring you along with us as we continue to learn and define the ‘Sahalee Way.’

With that being said, please do save the date for our First Annual Sahalee Off Grid Open House on Labor Day Weekend. We’re hoping to make this a standing event where all are welcome to stop in for an hour – or a week – to enjoy all that we love about this place. Feel free to revisit our Guide to the Land of Enchantment for more information about the area, and let us know if we can help you plan your trip for September.

Finally, since you are reading this from our newly upgraded site, please do take a second to hit the Follow button and ensure you are on the list to be first to know about any new updates via email. We expect to be giving all our loyal followers some bonus material and special little extras in the near future.

From the very bottom of our hearts, thank you, and Happy Sahaliversary!!

 

 

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

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Cuba News is now online!

Cuba News Feb20 2017

April Fools! Subscribe by US Postal Service to read analog version 1.0. 

Happy April!!

"Worth the Cash or To the Trash" Makita USB Accessory Review

We got very lucky and were gifted two attachments for our power tool batteries that turn them into  multi-port USB Chargers.  We will do a review-of our Makita tools in the near future, but for now I just want to tell you about our experience with this neat little attachment.

Linght 7W USB Powered LED Bulb Sahalee Off Grid

There’s not really much to say, the attachment slides right onto the battery. It has two USB ports so you can charge multiple devices at the same time.  My favorite feature is the dust/dirt cover that seals the USB ports when not in use.  I truly don’t understand why more items of this nature (cell phones, chargers etc..) don’t have this feature as fighting the Sahalee Mud Monster is a constant struggle!!

We have several other USB Chargers, that we will review down the road but this one is our go to source for our evening lighting and charging devices.  Not only are we huge fans of something so simple as a dust cover but the cordless power tool batteries just charge so quick.  This saves us from draining our solar power source or from running the generator, which we hate to do.

What’s that?  You own Dewalt or Milwaukee tools or another brand that is not  Makita?  Don’t fret, Makita is not alone in having this handy attachment just follow this link and search your brand to get one for yourself!!

So, even though it wasn’t our cash– We absolutely believe this attachment is Worth the Cash!

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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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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A token of our appreciation

Happy Thanksgiving!! It’s hard to believe all that has taken place to bring us here in celebration of big moves, positive changes, and living life to the fullest. We couldn’t have made it this far without your support. We truly are grateful for YOU!!!

As a way to say thanks, we are going to give one lucky blog follower this pretty and practical little shopping bag to use for your holiday purchases, or to give as a gift. If you haven’t pushed the Follow button to receive our updates directly to your email, you might want to do so now. 😉 We’ll select at random on Nov. 30 and let you know by direct message if you are the big winner. Happy following, have a safe and joyous holiday with family and friends, and good luck!!

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.

Before
After

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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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Off-Grid with Hurricane Matthew

Leaving our home in Cocoa after fifteen years (and feeling quite an emotional return), we lamented not being able to experience another hurricane in the high-and-dry oasis of River Heights. As fate would have it, we actually were able to ride out the spinning giant named Matthew while staying at Mark’s house for an appropriately-timed and eventful family visit. What a thrill to experience the awesome and intense tropical power one more time!!!

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