Earthship Blog Post #11
November 17, 2016
First snow! It’s been a dry fall- not even much rain. Yesterday we set record high temperatures – close to 70 degrees. Today….snow. The old adage, If you don’t like the weather in Colorado, wait ten minutes, is so true.
It’s mostly raining on us right now, a little hail and sleet, but the ridge to the south and the foothills to the east are turning white.
Tonight the temperatures are supposed to get down in the teens- which is average for this time of year. Dave is filling up our water tanks-trying to get all the water out so it doesn’t freeze whatever is left. We’ll fill up water jugs for the dogs’ water then just dump the rest. That’s hard for both of us, given the scarcity of water, but it’s only $0.25 a load- so it’s not the money, just the idea of it.
I still have a few windows to cover with plastic and I need to get some foam to put in the vents.
It was cloudy all day yesterday too, so not much solar gain. We ran the generator last night to charge the solar batteries. The batteries went up almost 20% in about an hour. I’ll probably be doing that more and more as winter sets in.
We need to go to town today- I’m not sure we should leave. I’m not so sure about our so called road and if we can get in and out okay. Mostly I’m not sure I want to leave. I love this kind of weather.
A few hours later
After the delight of the snow piling up, the harsh realities set in. The inverter on the solar system went out. We’re not sure why. My son started our microwave-we were using the generator to charge the batteries, and it surged and the power went out. When we went out to the power shed to investigate, Dave smelled something burning, then nothing. We called the guys from Mountain Power Solutions but they were stuck up in the mountains three hours from here. The soonest they can be here is 2 days!
When we found out the guys couldn’t be here for two days to help us, we decided we needed more fuel for the generator. We drove out on our trail/road with no problems. Then when we got to 39 Road a well meaning neighbor on a tractor was not only scraping the snow off the road, he was also scraping any road base and gravel there was. (Which is not much since the county doesn’t maintain the road.) We got to the top of the hill and Dave couldn’t stop as we started back down. Luckily the guy on the tractor got way over so we could go on by without hitting him.
When we got down to the main road, there was a lot less snow, then when we got to town there was only a little snow on the grassy areas!
November 19, 2016
One of the guys from Mt. Power Solutions will be out this morning to take a look at our system. We’ve been running the generator to charge our camper batteries because along with the 3-4 inches of snow came the season’s coldest temperatures. I have an app on my phone that reports the temperatures in Palisade. We estimated the difference in temps between here and there is anywhere from 5 to 10 degrees using the temperature gauge on our Durango for a measure.
Neither Dave or myself have slept very well since the power system went out. I wasn’t sure how long the camper batteries would last with the heaters running all night in order to keep our waterlines from freezing. Dave worried about the dogs. We’ve moved their kennels into one of our utility sheds. It’s well built, but not insulated. We both checked them several times and they were okay.
I sit here listening to the noise of the generator, thankful we have it otherwise we’d have to give up.
Yesterday I went to my daughter’s house to watch my granddaughter. I thought about having a little pity party, but that doesn’t really do any good. I sure enjoyed the nice warm house. I turned on the hot water on to wash my hands, turned lights on if I wanted to see, microwaved my lunch and began to feel sad about the upcoming holidays. It’s not that I’m not living in a big house with all the amenities, it’s that I don’t have the room to have everyone over for a big meal. Dressing up the table, house and ourselves. Sadly, this year I’ll have to depend on others hospitality.
I’m finding myself thinking about our old house, full of memories (and heat), but have to stop because I’m afraid I’ll start crying and won’t be able to quit. I realize not all memories were good. But, as a person sometimes does, remembering holidays you tend to look at the bright side. These memories are filled with happy, toasty thoughts. I’m working through these feelings. After all, I still have heat, food, love and God’s direction. I’m unsure about what that is, but he’s here with us none-the-less. This verse is something I’m working on. Not there yet…
…I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it’s like to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, living in plenty or in want. I can do everything through Him who gives me strength.
“They will build houses and dwell in them; they will plant vineyards and eat their fruit…” Isaiah 65:21 Hang in there. The prize is worth it.
Absolutely love this! Thanks for sharing.
I can truly say, having gone through this myself, that the first winter is always the toughest. Especially seen as Feb 2015 (our first winter) was the coldest on record. We had ice coming through the walls. There were quite a few times we asked ourselves if we could do this. Taking it one day at a time and not getting worked up about what you haven’t accomplished yet is probably how we kept our sanity. Good luck to you!
Thanks so much Captain. We feel the same way. One crisis at a time. The latest is my hubby got too much water, thinking we were past a hard freeze. Now we have a tank full of ice!
Yeah, we had a lot of warnings from others about the water issue in a trailer during the winter. This is why we opted not to use the built-in water system for fear the tank would freeze and break all of the water lines. We use 5gal jugs that we can fill up in town and we keep inside the trailer. Sometimes we do snow melt too, but that is time consuming. It’s easier during the summer when we can use the water catchment system.
It is a process
I would have been so stressed at the loss of power and the damage to my solar system. 😧
Believe me, we were!