So as much as possible we've tried to separate critical systems. An example...we're using propane for the back-up generator, house heat, hot water. Instead of everything feeding off a single large line, we opted for 2 separate tanks, one providing propane for the generator, the radiant floor heat and kitchen hot water; the second providing propane for the back-up gas heat and the master hot water. What I'm trying to protect against is draining one tank and shutting down all the house propane-based systems. Ditto on water...a low-yield well feeds 2 1275-gallon cisterns set in the crawlspace of the house.
None of this is complicated — it just costs more. And the guys doing the work are puzzled as to why I'd add expense (except for the guys who live off-grid, and they get it immediately).
While we were visiting the property, my Sweetie and I decided to hike up to the highest point. That was the hike we planned to take Alf the Wonder Beagle on last Friday. We were excited for her...all new territory, with its panoply of wonderful smells deer, elk, coyotes, bears, passing horses and cattle, who knows what...all to be analyzed and categorized by her amazing nose.
Because of the melted snow, the path up was as readable as an open book. I saw where the elk herd had moved across the path, where the curious deer and coyote came down to view the strange new thing on their turf. I saw what might have been a bear print, but dismissed it because I think it's still too early for them to be out and about.
When we got to the top, the view was well and truly breathing-taking...the mountains and the plains were laid out before us. There was Pike's Peak, more than 100 miles away, and even further the dim outlines of the Sangre de Christo Mountains and Raton Pass, on the border of New Mexico.
My Sweetie and I plan to build a rock bench there, near where Alf and Pokke-san — and, God-willing, me, when my time comes to walk that path — will be resting.
On the very edge of our vision, I could see clouds forming over Raton Pass...snow by morning, I thought. We stayed for a while, and it was the wind that made our eyes tear so. Then we hiked down, to get on with it.
Bid the years good-bye you cannot still them
You cannot turn the circles of the sun
You cannot count the miles until you feel them
And you cannot hold a lover that is gone
It’s snowin’ on Raton
Come morning I’ll be through them hills and gone
— Townes Van Zant
"Snowin' on Raton"