Last weekend's tropical storm knocked out power in the city for a few days. Pictured above is about ten trees blown over, including two large white pines and an oak, which flipped up a bridge on the nearby hiking trail.
As mentioned before, I was missing the bus's off-grid conveniences during this grid-tied power outage. In the barn I have propane heat, but I couldn't cook without electricity. Thankfully, my truck bed doubles as a field kitchen. Toast & eggs, or tea? Anyone?
The North country had received it's first dusting of snow on day 10520. I didn't see anything taken out by the gusty wind, but the bus had a few leaks inside from all the rain hitting the hatches and the chimney. I think it will survive another winter!
It was still below freezing, so first things first, I cleaned out the woodstove in order to lay down some firebrick. I must have measured wrong, because I could still use a few bricks! These bricks will absorb heat from the fire, slowly, and radiate it out the same way. The bare steel of the stove radiates very quickly. Hopefully this will make for longer burns overnight.
Zeke supervised the unloading of the 444's new rototiller. That was heavy... I didn't drag it far.
While the bus warmed up, Zeke and I took a walk out back.
I know from some research, and the stone walls and barbed wire, that the plot used to be a dairy pasture. I also know that there is an abandoned, grown-in road at the northern edge of the property. Since there were no structures or foundations on the southern edge, I had a hunch that one might lie along the old road...
As soon as I crossed the old stone wall of my land, onto the abandoned road, I spotted two wicked looking old apple trees. People used to plant fruit trees near their homes, and sure enough, a stone foundation lay next to the apple trees. The last time I was out here the woods was thick with green vegetation; I was probably standing right next to it and didn't even know!
I imagine there's more of these foundations up and down the road.
Heading back, Zeke found what appears to be a deer's leg bone. He was very fond of his discovery.
The winterization of the bus is about done; it should weather the next character-building season alright. The firewood I have on hand is all still a little wet, but nothing will fix that except time in the sun. I haven't even started the dump kit install on the F350, so I'm still without a plow truck for the winter... unless I throw the chains on the 580's tires, and run the generator for a few hours to warm it up! More likely, once the snow gets deep, I'll be hiking in with snow-shoes. With luck, the next few visits up north will be to camp out, cook food, and hike the area.
I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that I have colonized the land in the housebus, and strike that from the to-do list. If the bus can weather another New England winter at the new site, and I'm at the point where I could just go up, start a fire, cook lunch and read... I think it's fair to say I've established myself up North. My next big focus will be picking a site to build, gathering materials, creating building plans, and getting the paperwork in order to start construction in the spring.
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