Sunday, February 19, 2017

Google is great....sometimes.

Last week was pretty rough in the office, and this week was not much better. The last few days have been the type of days where you just wish you didn't have to work at all.
Then enter Google.
I have an EyeFi card for my DSLR camera. It allows the camera to send photos directly to my phone as they are taken. This is wonderful when I am traveling as it will also append the GPS info to the image when it transfers the photos to my phone.
On my phone, it is set to automatically back up my photos to Google Photos. I started this because it had a great feature where it would automatically put together a "travel story" complete with maps and transitions between photos. This was done automatically without me having to do anything. This feature sadly wad removed, but I still use it as my first photo backup.
Now for the "bad". Just like Facebook which wants to remind you of things from the past, Google Photos's assistant also will periodically give you a notification to "rediscover the day". The assistant was going to remind me for the next week of probably one of the most relaxing vacations I have taken.
In February of last year (2016), I made my third trip in a year back to Cloudcroft. The first was over the 4th of July with a friend to see the area again, and look at a piece of land I had found online. It was pretty much unbuildable, did meet a real estate agent from Blue Canyon Reality named Thomas Mack who would become my guide in finding the right property for me. The second trip was
just after Labor Day in 2016. I was on the way to a football game in Arizona and stopped by for a few days to look at more property and explore the area some more. 
Februarywas the third trip and the reason for this trip was to check out winter in Cloudcroft. The town of Cloudcroft is at 8,600 feet and gets and average of 70 inches of snow each year. For the last 15 years I have been living in South Texas where cold for us is about 32 degrees. Previously though, I had lived in some colder climates. I spent three years in Germany as a kid when my dad was stationed over there. Then in 1997-2001, I was living in Indian and Michigan. So I have driven on snow, dealt with cold winters etc. The colder weather and the snow  was one of the reason I was looking to move, but really wanted to spend some time before I was committed. So I rented a cabin on VBRO and took the dogs up to spend a week relaxing and just enjoying my time with them. This would also give me a chance to see if they liked the snow and could handle the cold. I was not really worried about Atlas; after all, I believe  he is a Swiss Mountian Dog mix. It was more Hermes I was concerned with as he is a Jack Russell Terrier and Chihuahua mix or so I am told. Here is their first walk in snow.
We did so many things that week. From going on hikes, to playing with some other dogs on the snow covered tennis courts. It was there Atlas made some friends with a few Huskies.
We also got to try out skijoring. Well it was not really skijoring since I was not on skis, but did let Atlas pull me in the snow, which will hopefully become one of our favorite actives when we are up there. He will already pull me when I attach him to the bike, so changing over to snow should not be much of an issue. besides the fun actives outside, we also spend a lot of time napping in the cabin with the fire going or in front of the window which let in a lot of southern light.

It was a great time and really set things in motion for trying to make this journey happen.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Maybe we need a road.

I was able to make another trip up to the property in the fall of 2016, as part of one of my football road trips. This was shortly after the electrical co-op had been out to stake where the post would need to be and get a cost estimate for getting in the electric.
I origionally put electric at the top of the list of "to do" items as I need electric on the property to have the telecommuncations company run out the cabling for internet access. Without internet access, it would be difficult to work from the property while i continued with other development. The cost for electric was about 12k, but they also had to have 20 foot wide clearance along the entire path which I would also be paying for it.
The other thing which was high on the priority list to get done was to get better access to the property. Right now the "road" into the property is really a steep trail with lots of loose rock that has been exposed.
At this point i had made about five trips up the road in my 2wd pickup and while some points the tires skidded, it was not to bad.
However, we had one last fatefull trip up the road after it had started raining. With the wet rocks and lose gravel, I got about half way up one of the steeper sections of the climb and lost all traction. Then came the scary part, I was sliding back down the hill with really no control of where i was going. I kept sliding and sliding getting closer and closer to where the road ended and a steep dropoff occured. I did cut the front wheels to try and get the truck to slide back onto the road and away from the edge, this worked for the rear, but pushed the front close to the edge.
The truck did finally stop sliding when the front driver tire got caught on a bollder which was right on the edge of the road.

Getting free was another story. I did manger to build up enough "road" out of rock and tree trunks that i felt it was worth a shot to remove the rock. After removing the rock i was able to safely back up the truck and get down the hill.

Lesson learned...Rain and loose/slippery rocks are not good for traction when climbing.
After this fateful little adventrure I have moved getting the road in up higher on the list of things to do...really its pretty much first. Afterall if i cant get there, it doesnt need electric or internet and  might as well put it back on the market.

Sunday, February 12, 2017

It will be Quonset

After looking at several pieces of proprty and putting in an offer on two. Finally in June of 2016, i had an offer accepted (you will be able to read about it in a future post). The nice part about this property is it already had three buildings. The first was a "home depot" type build on site shed. The second was shed with two wooden garage doors, and the last one was a 20 foot by 24 foot half Quonset. The arch of the hut is set on about 36" of cinder block with the other 3 sides being of 2x6 stud contruction.

After looking at the 3 sheds, the quonset hut is what i decided I would convert into my first tiny house. We would be buidling it as close to code as possiable. The hut included 2 small windows on each of the arched sides, and on the flat faced side there is a standard pedistrian door as well as a garage door.

Everything is is good shape, just need to have all the junk removed, cleaned and then can begin building. The plan is to create a bedroom, bathroom and living area with a kitchen.

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Getting started is half the battle

Where do you start? 

I generally read a lot of blogs or watch youtube channels about things i am intrested in. They seem so well done. Even if they are not the most professional, they do a good job and seem to know that they are doing. But i what I seldom do is go back to their very begining to see what their early stuff was like. Did it seem awkard? Undirected? Filled with mistakes?

The one thing they have incommon, is they STARTED. Which has been my issue. I have been wanting document the journey i am on, but never seem to put fingers to the keys and get it done. I have tons of ideas about what i want to include. I even write posts or think of video idea in my head. Which is strange becasue i used to be a job was to document things.

Well that stops now.

A co-worker annouced a few weeks ago that he was "retiring" and was taking the first part of his retirement to hiike the appliataion trail. Within a few days he had a blog and several post. All the while, I have already be on my adventure. The planning of "the dream" has been going on  for several years, but things really started happening the middle of 2016.

So what is the adventure? It is really multi-layered, but put simply, to enjoy live knowing I have the freedom of time, money and place to do what i want.

So some of the things the blog will be about is building a tiny house myself on a five acre piece of land in New Mexcio. Another is building a tiny house on wheels to be able to travel and feel at home. The last is to enjoy my time with my dogs (I currently have 2) and make sure they enjoy an adventerous life. So that is what the blog, video (if i ever edit them) and photos will be about. I will try to share things i learned. How/why i made the decissions I did. The stress and fun along the way.

So hopefully with this first one i can now say i am started, and find a way to keep going.