Friday, November 11, 2011

...another few days

I spent another few days in Montello this week. Four days and three nights. I rolled into town later than usual, grabbed a burger, and chatted it up with a couple friends. I made it to the property just before sundown and quickly squared everything away. This image of the sun flared Jeep caught my eye as I walked by....fortunately, it turned out pretty close to how I recall the moment.

This trip didn't include a Wendover (craps/hot tub) run, but I was certainly tempted....damn free room offers! Instead, I enjoyed going to bed early after the sun set and waking to the sun warming the container. Shortly thereafter I'd make my way to town for breakfast and conversation, then back to the desert for solitude. I continue to fall deeply in love with the desert. It truly is a magical place for my soul. I don't have the words to explain what the feeling is....and I'm only aware enough a few times a day to recognize the totality of it. Even still, its impact on me isn't fully processed until I attempt to reintegrate back into city life. The city is what I have been trained to know as normal. The elements present in the desert are what I had before I was trained into normal....

The container continues to perform wonderfully in relation to self heating. Arriving late the first night, I cranked up a fire in the wood stove and burned a five gallon bucket worth of wood to take the chill off. Before I retired to sleep, the fire was out and the container was warm. I awoke the following morning (and every morning) as the sun lit the valley but remained behind the mountains. The air in the container was cool and prime for continued sleep. An hour or so later, after the sun had risen above the mountain tops and penetrated the glass, the container warmed up wonderfully and the outside temps lingered in the teens. By noon, it was down right hot inside with outside temps in the mid 40's. Each of the next two nights I used the Mr. Heater Buddy for an hour or so to feel heat on my face before bed, but another layer of clothing would have alleviated that guilty pleasure!

After refilling a propane tank today, current pricing data to heat the container came out to $0.27 per day....

The days are short now. If you fail to wake with the sun, you fail to have many hours in the light of day. No worries of late though, the container has plenty of lighting. Lighting is supplied by two six volt golf cart batteries (pictured in earlier posts). I played music much of the day, kept the cell phone charged, and used plenty of compact fluorescent or LED lighting, and exhausted less than 10% of the battery banks capacity. I no longer pack the wind generator or solar panels for trips less than a week. I suppose when (if) I install a television for the kids I'll need more juice, but until then I am happy with the basics.

I continue the internal struggle of upgrading the living conditions to make it feel more like home (normal) and simply allowing my needs to dictate the changes. I'm planning to stick with the "allowing" mindset, but it is often trumped by "normal."

The two following pics are of Pilot Mountain Monday evening as I rolled up to the property. One of my favorite moments of these trips to Montello is the initial spotting of Pilot Mountain miles off in the distance, but from the East side of the range. This trip, Pilot mountain was smothered in clouds on the drive out and continued to play cat and mouse until Tuesday!

looking forward to....another few days


  1. Sounds like fun! I'm living vicariously through you! LOL

    Just cookin' up Jeeps out here, waiting for our time to leave for Montello. We may get sick of waiting and just leave with what we got.

    As for the amenities, don't feel bad for desiring some extra comforts and entertainment out there. Don't think that when we build our Earthship that we're going sacrifice a whole lot of our lifestyle. It's not wrong to have some of these things. What's wrong is not being conscious of the toll we take on the environment and other people. Our Earthship will be free and environment friendly but we will still have tv, internet, and everything else we think we need.

    I admire your minimalist mind-frame though and we are also pursuing that ourselves. At least we are AWARE of the problems, right!? Keep the posts coming Preston!

  2. Beautiful. Wish I could be out there more.Some day for me. Glad JT is able to live the dream now.

  3. me too Sandy, me too!

    good to hear from you Jeremy....sooner is better....hit the road!!!

  4. "It truly is a magical place for my soul. I don't have the words to explain what the feeling is....and I'm only aware enough a few times a day to recognize the totality of it."

    I'm so happy that you have found something that is a "magical place for your soul". If only we all could. Hold on to it, but not too tightly. For when we hold too tightly the thing we love slips away.

    "It' like sand held in your hand.
    Held loosely with an open hand,
    the sand remains where it is.

    The minute you close your hand and squeeze tightly to hold on,
    the sand trickles through your fingers.
    You may hold on to some of it, but most will be spilled."

    You should really be a writer, your writing is very eloquent and evokes emotion.

    May your journey be one of many beautiful moments.