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Sunday, February 26, 2012

Typical Day In The Life Of A Homesteader

Yesterday I posted a blog topic on Mother Earth News about our routine day. As the above photo reflects we can also take some time out to have fun. Our typical day where work is needed is reflected in yesterdays posting at:

In the summer time it is about the same except you could substitute firewood, staining the house, mulching tree limbs, milling lumber instead of clearing snow. We have basically two seasons here in the mountains and those are snow season and non snow season, with snow season being a few weeks longer than the non snow season.

That may sound harsh but in reality it is quite enjoyable. The only condition in the winter that keeps us inside is when it is very cold and windy and that consists of a fairly short period. Our humidity is low and without all the pavement and concrete to retain the cold our winters are actually pleasant. Many times like yesterday we are able to be outside with only a shirt on and be very comfortable.

Yesterday I chopped ice that had formed on the sidewalk where the snow had melted coming off the roof for about an hour and was not cold at all. That constitutes much of our winters and we can be outside comfortably without being uncomfortable cold. Another key element in the winter is to not assume that a 4-8 inch snow storm can be left in place. When you do that you often find that the wind will develop and move that new snow around and place it where you would rather not have it located. Therefore it is important to keep up with the snow even if it is a little amount. Otherwise it will quickly overwhelm you and you will find it heavy and difficult to move.

About this time of year it ends up being piled up several feet anyway so often when you throw it up with the snow thrower it simply slides right back down and therefore your driveway and walking path gets narrow. It is very important to keep it pushed back as far as you can get it. This year our storms have come in from the west like waves on the ocean. A storm breaks over our area every few days. When it does that it seems like you are forever clearing snow. That will be the case today, we have several drifts and area's where the snow thrower can't reach to tidy up before the next storm arrives which is due tomorrow.

To sum it up, winter is not bad here in the mountains if you are willing to expend the work to keep up with it. Most days you can be outside without being uncomfortable or cold. That is hard for some people to understand but the low humidity here in the mountains off sets the cold. It is the humidity and a little wind that penetrates to the bone and gives you a serious case of the shivers. Normal precautions and layering your clothes is all that is needed to be outside in comfort. I must admit however that I will be glad when non snow season arrives so I don't have to stop and put on a coat each time I take the dogs out for potty breaks or walks.


Sakoieta said...

Shé:kon, Bruce:
Really enjoy reading through all of your daily stories. Up here we have had only little bits of snow at a time. Snows one day then melts the next. The geese never left this year and Thunders have been heard sounding already. Trees are budding abd syrup is being made. All too soon and not at the appropriate times. Glad things are going well for you and Carol and the dogs. Take care and stay strong. :) Onen.

Bruce said...

She'kon, Sakoita: Glad you are having a mild winter, maybe you will have some winter yet. Enjoy your seasonable weather. Good to hear from you, take care.

BKrueger said...

First time I read your blog.I find it interesting that u and your wife live on the mountain (very cool). My wife on the other hand isn't so courageous.
I'm guessing in the Rockies Mts. somewere? I would love to move to Colorado, I currently reside in North Dakota.
Take care for now,Gods Blessings to u all. Bruce

Bruce said...

Yes, we live in the Southern Sangre de Cristos just North of the NM state line in Colorado at 9,750'. It takes some getting used to but the rewards out number any disadvantages. Thanks for visiting Bruce and hope you will come back for more visits. I have never been to N. Dakota but we camped once in S. Dakota and found it as beautiful as where we live now. Blessings to you too.

BKrueger said...

North Dakota Has No Comparison to Colorado... in Beauty. However right now this is where the money is!

Gary said...

Hi Bruce, I really enjoy reading your blogs since we bought a lot in FP a couple years ago and will be planning a cabin soon. I have lots of questions about the area and building and wanted to email them to you but cannot find your email on the blog.
One question i have is about snow fall in the front of the park, 197 Pascoe lane in particular (8800' elevation) where our lot is. Will this part of the park receive as much snow as in the higher elevations further back in the park? If not what are the differences? I notice more and bigger trees the further back you go indicating to me more precipitation ?
Also in the winter with the big winds from what direction are they coming from so i can position our cabin accordingly to offer some protection from direct blast of winter winds?
I plan to go this summer to clear a building site. Last summer we cleared a driveway. We really love the area and are planning our retirement home there in a few years. Currently we reside in Houston.
thanks, Gary

Gary Hayes
lot 197 Pascoe lane.

Bruce said...

Gary: I would be happy to answer those questions I can. Your assumption is right that the snow in the front of the Park is less than where we live. It is amazing how a few miles makes such a difference.
That is not to say there isn't plenty of snow in the front of the park but clearly not as much.
I will send you an email so you will have my email address.
As to the direction of the wind, I'm afraid I don't know that answer but we have friends who have a cabin on Pasco that may be able to answer that question for you. I will put you in touch with them.
Welcome to the community and we wish you every success on your future home. I remember how excited we were when we built our home. It is really a fun experience.
One more comment on the wind. It is guided by the contours of the mountains and meadows. Ours comes from one general direction but yours could be different.
Take care and I'm glad you like our blog. I do it and the one for Mother Earth News to helpfully assist others who plan to live in the mountains. Bruce

Mountain Dream Land said...

Hello Gary,

You have a beautiful parcel on Pascoe. I walked around on it few years back when it was for sale.

Also sold some in the area including the one kitty corner across the road with the foundation on it.

Your parcel will have some pretty views of Mt. Mestas to the N/E and Mt. Blanca to the N/W with some trees cleared.

I believe it drops all the way down into the little ravine right on the back of the parcel.
Nice mix of larger ponderosa and spruce trees. Having electric, phone and cell phone service onsite is a big plus, plus....3.2 acres! Cool!

You have a really sweet parcel in a very pretty area of the development with some very nice neighboring homes and people.

If you need a copy of the block or your lot plat, shoot me and email and I'll email you one.

Congrats, and good luck with your build!