Some people may not know what off-the-grid or off-grid means, so here it is --- The term off-the-grid or off-grid refers to living in a self-sufficient manner without reliance on one or more public utilities.

Off-grid living is no longer a one room log cabin in the woods. It's energy independency. You don't have to rely on utility companies, you create your own power. Today, there are more than 180,000 off-grid homes in the US.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Lay of the Land...

9:38 pm - 47 degrees outside - nice quiet stary night on the mountain...

Technically we have more than 22 acres.  When surveyors plot out the property borders, it is all drawn out according to longitude and latitude on a flat map.  When you actually go out and look and walk the property, with the canyons, hills, plateaus and valleys, you have considerably more land than you thought. 
Our property has those hills and canyons, so a large portion of it is inaccessible.  There is a large five acre plateau (which is where we are building our home) that drops steeply down into the canyon to the river and then back up the other side to another plateau.

When we first went to look at the property it had no view.  You could not see 10 feet in front of you thru the thick Vine Maple, Salmonberries and Alder trees.  There was a little overgrown tail that led down into the lot and you could see the very top of the mountain across the valley and that was the only view to speak of.

Some people have a hard time visualizing the end results.  We must have huge imaginations because we were somehow able to visualize all the wonderful possibilities the property possessed.

After we signed the papers, the first thing we did was review topographical maps and satellite photos of our new property to find out where the best build site would be and that was where we started the clearing.

We concentrated on clearing a few acres and after a year and a half we decided to camp on our property for the summer.  We wanted to see where the best location would be to put our new home and see how the weather affected that location so we could build our home accordingly.

One of the biggest things we discovered was that we had far more drainage issues than we ever imagined for living on top of a mountain.  Now the question was how to use that to our advantage?

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