30 days at Sahalee

We are used to hearing people ask us, “Why?” by now…

“Why a yurt?” they asked us.

“Why New Mexico?” they asked us.

“Why thirty days?” is the most recent inquiry.

There are several reasons for our self-imposed sequestration:

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Movin’ on up

We’ve had a couple of weeks to settle in now to the new routine upon the big deck. It’s been longtime in coming since we endured a mud-laden summer, fall, winter, and spring in our old roughed-out location buoyed on cinder blocks down the hill. (Quite literally, we have had to shake off our sea legs from walking upon our very poorly platform for the past 12 months.)

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The big deck

The big deck came a year after the yurt, but the “yurtdeck” was always part of the master plan. We didn’t have time to build before we moved in last June, so we got cracking just as soon as we could earlier this spring.

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Off-grid is the best fitness plan

If anyone is pondering their fitness goals for the new year, I can honestly say that nothing works as well as moving off-grid. Before we had a chance to hit the scales during our visit with the Colorado fam for Thanksgiving, we could only guess at how much weight we had lost since moving to the mountains in June.

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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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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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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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Honey, we're home!!

Two thousand miles in 48 hours to reach our high and heavenly grounds!!


Many, many thanks to our dear family and friends for wishing us well and hosting along the way. We have a ton of work to do to unload the truck, so we’ll check back in with pics in a few days.

Peace and love.


There will plenty more where this came from!!