Off the Grid  Retirement at our remote log cabin in Colorado

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Wood Gathering: 1 of 8

Posted by: Rick

I figure we'll need 7 to 8 cords of wood for winter. And, maybe a bit more "around the edges" at the start and end of colder weather. So, the strategy is to put up a cord of wood each week during August and September, and then opportunistically cut more if we get the chance.

A cord of wood is 128 cubic feet of wood. This is usually figured as three rows of 16" logs stacked 8 feet long and 4 feet high. That's 4x4x8 or 128 cubic feet.

A few days ago, Lynne donned her overalls, I got out the saw and fired up the splitter and we did a cord. Two-thirds of it is stored on the front porch (which my "fire wise" friends will point out is a bad idea, but when it is -20° outside and the wind is howling, it is nice to have a stash on the porch). The other 1/3 is in a temporary stack awaiting the construction of a wood shed.

Here is a photo of our wood cutting, splitting and stacking setup (note the large pile of logs in the center-right of the photo):

Lynne "manning" the log splitter:

Two-thirds on the porch:

The final third stacked. More to join this stack soon!

We love our new log splitter (built right here in Colorado). It works like a charm.

The next step is to sharpen the blade on the chain saw and do another cord this weekend.


That’s a pretty fancy splitter. At least you’re not having to use a sledge hammer and wedges!

A splitter in the world of wood heating is a fabulous thing to have.
Granted, you don’t get to follow the axiom that wood warms you three times:
  Splitting it, hauling it, and burning it
But who in their right mind wants to cut wood by hand when you need 7 cords?

You look like a Farmer John in your overalls, but they are cute. And, you are color coordinated! The log splitter looks scary to me, but then I know nothing about them.
Your wood pile on the back porch is very impressively neat.  I know that takes a lot of hard work.

Bigsis, actually Rick thinks I look sexy in my overalls! wink

So proud and happy for you Rick! Heard from Toni of your ‘Change of Life!’ Dream come true.
Love the pics from your Game Camera! Is there a Phantom Game Camera?
Are you canning for the winter too? Do you have a root cellar? Will you fish or hunt or farm there too?
I’m guessing Slo Food is alive and well!?
Wishing you health and happiness and all your dreams come true!

Warmest regards,

Ben! So good to hear from you!

I do have a Phantom camera, and have awesome footage of hummingbirds, but have not yet edited it. I’ll get around to it “some day”.

We are doing a lot of home made baking: bread, muffins for breakfast, hamburger buns, etc. I hope to do some cheese making and soap making this winter. Not sure about canning this year as we have so much going on to prepare for winter (wood is the main priority now).

Slow Food is probably not going to happen, so feel free to take the idea and run with it.

Dreams are truly coming true. We love it here. The nature. Silence. The sky at night. The need to work hard to get ready for winter. The closeness of our relationship that we think can truly survive 24/7/365 together wink

We do have a pond with fish, so we do some fishing. Lynne and I will go on a guided fishing tour at the end of September as Lynne is learning to fly fish. Probably no hunting. At least this year.

Turning a “vacation/weekend” home into a full-time residence is enough for us this year.

Please keep visiting and keep up with our adventures. And, let me know what you are up to on the art scene in NYC!

Dear Rick,
October must be gorgeous..leaves and crisp air. You’re living the dream! Went to the NYC Central Park Zoo today and thought of you in real nature. What animals are you seeing? Who visits you? Do you have a dog? a cat? In Colorado winter comes early and spring thaw comes late. I’m sure you’re wood supply by now is ample, how are you coming along on cheese and soap making. Do you have snow shoes? I bet you do!
Just returned from my second RED EPIC Shoot….I’ve shot Phantom 4K since its inception but needed to shoot Motion and Print simultaneously so opted for the EPIC in the last two projects. Here’s a link to one of them.

In NYC recently my documentary film UNDERGROUND NOTES enjoyed its NYC debut at the Williamsburg International Film Festival and I danced at Lincoln Center with the Buglisi Dance Theater Company in “The Table of Silence” which was live streamed to 100 countries around the world!
Wishing you and Lynne a fabulous Fall and much happiness and health.

Enjoy, Enjoy, Enjoy. Your life is inspiring!

Much affection,

Hi Ben,

Sounds like you’ve been busy. We never made it to either of the zoos in NYC. We would like to have done that.

Animals are scarce now that hunting season has started. We saw some deer yesterday, and we get elk on our game cameras sometimes.

We have 3 dogs and 1 cat. No cheese or soap making yet, but that’s on the list for this winter when we can’t get outside as much. And, yes we have and will use snowshoes and cross country skis that we’ll break out soon.

You can keep track of all this by clicking “Home” at the top of this page to see our latest posts.

Stay in touch,


HI Rick,
Thanks for your note. Look forward to hearing more of your activities once the first snows come. I guess once they come, they’ll stay. What elevation are you now?

I guess there’s always trapping if no hunting in the winter months.

Do you have a root cellar? Solar Power? What is your preferred light source at night?

Stay well and warm and we’ll keep in touch.

All the best,


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