Monday, May 26, 2008

Need Some Input From My Friends...

Now here's the thing. As you know, the Hermit just bought 5 acres of land in the Big Bend area of far West Texas. Now this area is in the Chihuahuan Desert and, as all desert areas, it is very dry. Remember we are talking about raw land here. No water wells, no electricity, no existing buildings.

What there is available for some reason, is phone service run to nearly all lots in that area. Why this is, who knows? Someone long ago decided to run phone service to an area that has almost no people living in it. Of all the things that I could do without in the desert, phone service would probably top the list! Heck, I don't even use the phone here in Houston unless I absolutely have to! I would much rather have a water source or a power line or a rebuildable structure of some kind, but then that's just me. is what I need help with. In what order should the basic needs be tackled? Shelter first, or rain water catchment system, solar panels for power, wind turbine for power as what order would you plan and start construction on each of these basic needs? This is going to be an interesting brainstorming session with a lot of different factors figured in.

Here are some points that should be kept in mind. The closest town is a little place called Study Butte (pronounced stoody boot) which used to be a mining community. Now it really isn't much more that a place to buy water, gasoline, food, or adobe bricks which they make there. The distance to this little community from where we will be working is about 30 miles! The closest town of any size is Alpine, Texas...which is about 70 miles or so away! No walking to the corner store.

To get an idea about what the country looks like in this area, I would like you to take a look at this link to the Terlingua Ranch Lodge which is only a couple of miles away. Just a good stretch of the legs! It gives you a good look at the area and at the same time, tells a little about the landscape and the sights. Spend some time to take a look at it, OK?

Now that will give you something to think about for a few minutes. May I suggest that while you are studying all this information that we share a fresh cup of coffee?

Don't get up...I'll get it for ya!


Manu said...

Hi Jim my name is Manuela, i came arcross your blog through Blondie's blog.
I am not one to post a lot, but your question got me thinking. So here are my thoughts...
I would say when starting something like this from scratch you need to cover your personal needs first, that to me means shelter first(plus you wanna get away from the masses). Unless you would enjoy driving back and forth all the time. If it's possible you should put solar panels on the roof from the get go... if that's not possible you need a generator. You need to cover some basic electricity needs, i am thinking mainly of a fritch as it is hot there and food would spoil fast. You can stash up on water in the begining. Once those needs are covered you can decide based on importance which task needs to be done next. Probibly your own water source.
What are you planing to do with the land?

Congratulations on making your dream reality.
I wish you lot's of success and enjoyment with it, Manu.

HermitJim said...

hey Manu...thanks for dropping by! Well, to tell you the truth, I am planning to live there full time! Soon as I get some form of livable shelter built, I'm gone! Houston will be just an image in my rearview mirror...or so the plan goes.
I appreciate your comments, and invite you to stop by for coffee anytime. It's always fresh and hot!


Manu said...

Thanks for the invitation, i will take you up on that offer from time to time...i am not a regular coffee drinker. But when i do i like it sweet and light.
I hope you will have very soon a nice house for yourself on your land. Are you planing to grow smth on your land?


HermitJim said...

Planning a garden to veggies, goat for milk and cheese, chickens for eggs and meat...that sort of thing!

Manu said...

Cool, so you will become mostly independent, that's great...i wish you lot's of fun and success.

Ashley said...

Not that I'm an expert, but here's what I would do...

First I would take care of the water issues. You have a covered truck, so temporary shelter is taken care of, and you can always borrow a tent from me. You can have eat MREs, but you need water. Especially out there in the desert.

Once the water is taken care of, then I would build the shelter. Maybe you could set up something temporary to live in and provide storage for your necessities while you build a more permanent house.

If you take a portable generator and a laptop with wireless access, you can keep making money to live off of while you're working on everything else. That gives you time to do everything properly.

And let's make sure you have a cell phone. If something goes wrong out there, I want you to be able to contact me, or possibly emergency services. I'll start taking a look at prepaid cell phones for you.

Are you going to take the kittens with you?


HermitJim said...

Ashley...thanks for dropping by! Here's the plan. I'll be taking with me a years supply of food, around a 100 gallons of water to start, and I can build a starter cabin in 2 or 3 days. Already have some plans that I'll be posting soon!

Then we can start on the cabin in the Ozarks!!


sinip said...

Water first, everything else later. Presuming that you have shelter or dwelling of some kind to start with. And I know what I'm talking about. I was 12 months without electric power and 3 months without water from city water supply system. I'd trade those 3 months for additional 12 without power any time...

HermitJim said...

Think your right, sinip...hard to live in the desert without water. Luckily the Lodge is only a couple of miles from my land (see the link above) and as a land owner, I am a member. That means cold beer, water, and a swimming pool!!