We are adapting quite well to this off the grid lifestyle… when at the cabin.
We’re becoming masters at cooking on the wood burning stove. Neil made THE BEST bison chili the other night. The bison came from Kevin’s ranch just 14 miles up the road and was only $14 for two pounds. What a deal! Fresh, local, humanely raised, grass fed bison for $7/pound. We ended up getting three nights of chili out of the deal. We spooned it over fire roasted sweet potatoes. Talk about hearty and delicious! We also had bison steak and eggs for breakfast one morning. Heck, we’ve been eating better here than back at home. We have two coolers to keep food cold and luckily we still have plenty of snow to use in lieu of buying ice. We have two kettles and a french press so making coffee and tea is a cinch.
Neil’s also been practicing his fly fishing skills in the creek this week. He caught a rainbow trout yesterday, but decided to throw his first catch back. I guess for good luck. Bottom line… I’m down to eat local bison and fresh caught fish any night of the week. And cooking all of our meals on the wood burning stove is very enjoyable and relaxing. But most importantly, we immerse ourselves in the entire process from start to finish… from preparing the food, to cooking the food, and then enjoying every bite slowly and with gratitude. Not a single bite goes to waste!
Washing dishes and doing laundry are pretty easy, too. We just heat two pots of water for most chores… one to wash, one to rinse. Nothing to it really. Plus we get great sunlight at the cabin to hang dry our clothes. So far, we’ve only done one load of laundry. I think I’ll do another tomorrow. We’re embracing this lifestyle to the fullest and we re-wear most of our clothes three and four times before deeming them too dirty for another go round.
We’re also having a lot of fun trying different shower options. Again, we heat two large pots of water on the stove. That’s a constant. But we’ve tried the quick, stand on the porch, military shower option. We’ve also tried the fireside bath option in the galvanized tub which is nice and warm, but kind of time consuming. But last night, we got creative. I noticed Kevin added a shower area to the entrance of the outhouse. He doesn’t have running water yet, but the drain works. So we put our piping hot pots of water in the outhouse to let it get nice and humid in there. Meanwhile, we had thrown six medium size stones in the fire to get super hot. Then we added the stones to the water to create a steamy warm shower area. We still had to run wet and naked from the outhouse to the cabin to dry off. But hey, that’s better than actually showering outside in the frigid air.
We’re getting quite comfortable with using lanterns and candles for lighting at night as well. It’s funny how you shift your schedule to be in time with mother nature. We try and do most things before dark and once the sun sets, we go into relax mode. We get cozy on the couch with the dogs and play ukulele or read. We try and go to bed pretty early so we can rise with the sun and make the most of our days.
So, see, we are adapting quite well to this off the grid lifestyle… when at the cabin.
The only challenge we’ve really faced is how to effectively connect back to the grid when in town. We have no way of keeping our devices charged at the cabin. The most important of which is Neil’s camera! We also can’t research the area to make plans before heading into town. We just have to wait until we get into town and then figure out where to go for groceries, wifi and other errands. On Monday, we ended up driving all the way to Pagosa Springs which was a long albeit beautiful drive. Took about an hour and a half one way. Yesterday, we headed the other direction towards Fort Garland. We’ve finally decided the most effective use of our “run errands / connect to world wide web days” are just to find some great local spots right here in Del Norte which is where we are right this very moment.
We’re hanging out at Three Barrel Brewing Company. I just had some delicious pizza and beer while typing this post. Neil is sitting across from me checking in with all of the friends and family. He also just hopped onto Amazon to order extra camera batteries and a portable solar charger to help with our device charging dilemma. But I think we’ve found our go-to spot from now on. The food, beer and service are all great and our very friendly waitress, Jackie, said we were welcome to stay and use their outlets and wifi as long as we pleased. And to come back as often as we can! You bet we will.
But hey, if charging devices and connecting to the internet is our only challenge thus far I think we’re doing pretty darn well… don’t you?