Off the Grid  Retirement at our remote log cabin in Colorado

Saturday, February 03, 2018

Off-the-Grid is Now Off-the-Air

Posted by: Rick

“I left the woods for as good a reason as I went there. Perhaps it seemed to me that I had several more lives to live, and could not spare any more time for that one.” 

― Henry David Thoreau

Thursday, October 19, 2017


Posted by: Rick

We had a couple of 100+ year-old beetle-killed pine trees close to the cabin that we cut down recently. I guess the correct term is "felled". I don't think they'd have damaged the cabin or fence when the fell naturally, but they could easily have taken out dozens of still living trees and caused a lot of damage.

The trees are just to the left and right of the center of this photo, taken from our front porch.

Here is an "after" photo for comparison.

We hired a lumber jack (of all trades) to cut the trees. My saw looked like a toy next to the saw required to bring these trees down. One now lays pointing north along the side of the ridge, the other pointing south. He felled them in exactly the positions we wanted to allow for game to still come up from the valley and to minimize collateral damage. You can see videos of both trees below.

Jay (the lumberjack) would cut a notch at the bottom of the tree to direct the tree to fall in a certain direction (although with old dead trees with some rotting, this can be a challenge), then a cut from the opposite side to create a hinge arond which the tree falls. It took a lot of skill to be as precise and he was. His son, James, would also push on the tree with a long pole to direct it. All this was done in pretty high winds that were not blowing in a helpful direction.

While here, we also had Jay cut up the large tree that had fallen across our hiking trail last year. Here are before and after shots of that:

We'll get some great firewood out of that tree! And, we may use some of it to create an entry sign at the driveway. Maybe. Someday.

This first video is of the tree that was felled to the south. The video is a bit long because there were some problems getting the tree cut. Despite the use of a huge saw and wedges, the saw blade got bound in the tree and a second saw was called into action;


The next video is of the tree that was felled to the north. It went a bit smoother:

It is nice to have these trees down. The view from the porch is a bit nicer. And, we also now have a better view of the bottom of the valley where moose and elk often hang out. The beetle-kill epidemic from several years ago has certain changed the whole ecosystem around the cabin.

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Way Behind

Posted by: Rick

We are way behind in preparing for the winter. And, it seems winter has already come--several times.

By this time last year we had about 5 cords of wood cut, split and stacked. This year, we are well behind that goal.

See the green tarp in the photo above? Last year, that stack of wood was as wide as those poles sticking up and extended outward to where that stack of logs is. The good news is that we do have lots of raw wood close to the cabin. (You can see a pile of aspen logs in the right-bottom of the photo, and another large pile of beetle-kill pine logs to the far left-center.)

Another piece of good news is that after several early-season snow storms, we now have great weather predicted for the next couple of weeks. That will allow us to gather even more raw wood from around the land and get it hauled to the cabin site, where we can cut and split even in winter if needed.

A stack of logs from cutting up a tree that had fallen in the meadow.

We don't have tracks on the Ranger yet as it is needed to continue to haul logs that we cut in the meadow to the cabin site. We don't have our winter provisioning done either. And, we don't have our final fill-up of propane yet. (No worries, as none of this was done at this time last year, either.)

What the heck did we do this year? It has passed so fast!

Well, we did get the exterior of the cabin refurbished. We built a deck on the south side of the cabin. The dogs got a fenced in yard (which has been a huge hit). The barn got stained and painted. We did several dogs shows as well as a few weeks of "vacation". We've been busy. But, now we've got to buckle down and finish getting ready for winter. Who knows what lies ahead?

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Air Ambulance Coop

Posted by: Rick

I just renewed our membership with AirMedCare, a network of air ambulance providers. It is not insurance, rather a coop. By joining, if we ever need air ambulance services and use a member provider, all of our out-of-pocket expenses would be covered. They bill our insurance and any costs not covered by insurance are picked up by the coop.

Air ambulance services can be very expensive, running into the tens-of-thousands of dollars. Given our remote location, it seems a small expense for the peace of mind we get being members. I don't mean this to be a commercial, but rather a way to inform you of this kind of service.

I guess they have about 3 million members nationwide. They cover 39 states with a variety of air ambulance companies. We'd be served by Northern Colorado MedEvac out of Greeley or REACH out of Loveland. You can check them out at the link above. If you decide you'd like a membership, let me know. If you give me your name, city, state, and phone number, they will contact you. And, if you decide to sign up we each get 3 months of free coverage.

Monday, September 18, 2017

Game Camera Clips: Lion vs Moose

Posted by: Lynne

We just got back from a ten day trip in the RV down to the Gunnison area. (More on the trip to come.) One of the first things we did was retrieve the game camera cards from various cameras we have set up in different spots on our land. It's always fun to see what animals have been around.

The game camera down by the beaver pond which has captured such things as the strange Ewok owl and coyotes never fails us. This time we got a big black bear and momma moose of momma moose and baby fame. We know this because the baby showed up in consecutive shots. We also caught what we think was probably the same bear at night on the meadow camera on a different day. Lots of bear activity.

Momma was getting a nice big drink of pond water and if you look closely you cansee the water dripping from her mouth. Such a cool shot!

But the consecutive shots that are below are what blew us away! They are not in focus due to running animals, but they tell a story. This camera is just down the hill from the cabin in the bottom of our forest where Bart Creek flows in the spring.

First comes this shot: a mountain lion! Note the date stamps on each photo.

Then came this shot, just a few seconds later. A big moose!

And a few minutes after the moose went in one direction, it was headed back the opposite direction!

Interesting, yes? We think the moose was chasing the lion. So, we can't really identify the moose except that we know it's a female, or cow. No antlers; white anal patch visible in the last photo. Was it momma moose protecting her baby? Quite the story! We never know what the game cameras will catch.


Follow our adventures living in an off-the-grid cabin in remote Colorado. Kind of like reality TV on a blog!

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Recent Comments

  • Thank you for many years of wonderful reading.  I wish you both all the best.…

    Posted to: ‘Off-the-Grid is Now Off-the-Air’ by Alica Humphryson on 03/06/2018

  • Lynne and Rick, I’m sorry to see that your blog is going by the wayside!…

    Posted to: ‘Off-the-Grid is Now Off-the-Air’ by Steve on 02/26/2018

  • I want to thank you two for all your hard work.  I enjoyed reading everything…

    Posted to: ‘Off-the-Grid is Now Off-the-Air’ by Tom on 02/06/2018

  • Marsha, I’m afraid not. We won’t be blogging anymore! We need more privacy!

    Posted to: ‘Off-the-Grid is Now Off-the-Air’ by Lynne on 02/03/2018

  • Hope to see your adventures return when you get back up to the cabin again…

    Posted to: ‘Off-the-Grid is Now Off-the-Air’ by Marsha Williams on 02/03/2018