Friday, March 14, 2014

Closure, of a Kind

It's time for me to be back on the road. GUN STORIES Season 4 is waiting, with SHOOTING GALLERY Season 15 and THE BEST DEFENSE Season 7 in the wings. Yesterday my Sweetie and I wen to check on construction of the new Secret Hidden's going well, but painfully. In some case it's that I have pretty specific "wants" regarding the off-grid systems. On grid, it makes a lot of sense to have linked systems, everything interconnected. Off grid, on a deeply interconnected system system, if one piece goes down, everything goes down...not a good idea in deep winter, I don't think.

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"


Anonymous said...

Sounds like you want your new place to be robust, able to continue functioning though at a reduced level, after a subsystem failure.

Rastus said...

Don't forget the propane refrigerator/freezer and interior/exterior propane lights.

You may want a separate propane fuel system for that too!

You need lights and refrigeration for an EMP event that transcends reliance on a generator....I'm just sayin'....

KevinC said...

Was beginning to worry about you, glad that circle of life is moving again for you both.

Trevor Shepherd said...

I am so sorry for your loss, Mr. Bane. At times like these, I am reminded of the words of the poet, philosopher, writer, sage, Robert Hunter:
When the last rose of summer pricks my fingers
And the hot sun chills me to the bone
When I can't hear the song for the singer
And I can't tell my pillow from a stone

I will walk alone by the black muddy river
And sing me a song of my own
I will walk alone by the black muddy river
Sing me a song of my own

When the last bolt of sunshine hits the mountain
And the stars seem to splatter in the sky
When the moon splits the south west horizon
And scream of an eagle on the fly

I will walk alone by the black muddy river
And listen to the ripples as they moan
I will walk alone by the black muddy river
Sing me a song of my own

Black muddy river
Roll on forever
I don't care how deep and wide
If you got another side
Roll muddy river
Roll muddy river
Black muddy river, roll

When it seems like the night will last forever
And there's nothing left to do but count the years
When the strings of my heart start to sever
And stones fall from my eyes instead of tears

I will walk alone by the black muddy river
And dream me a dream of my own
I will walk alone by the black muddy river
Sing me a song of my own
And sing me a song of my own.

Overload in Colorado said...

I assume you can see Long's Peak and Mt Evans too.

Clyde said...

Don't forget to include a manual cross connect between the outputs of the two tanks. That will allow manually using tank #2 if tank #1 runs dry.

Best would be a third tank, also attached to that cross connect. I don't know what size your primary tanks are, but a smaller third tank (say, a 100 gallon tank, either a horizontal or vertical) as an emergency backup could be handy.

And, Rastus, above, is on the right track. On critical systems, one is none, two is one, and why don't you have three?

Anonymous said...

Re critical systems...being off-grid and low flow well, why not a gas instant hot water system instead of traditional water heater? Just a thought...

Unknown said...

Michael: Eternity where and with whom you wish! Excellent.

Anonymous said...

Crawlspace? I would have thought full basement would have been the norm with all the cold weather you get there.


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