When Jen and I started planning this adventure over a year ago, we were met with so many questions from our friends and family. The most reoccurring question was what would we miss the most? I would often ponder all the different things that I could probably miss while out here. Movie theaters, restaurants, Internet, Home Depot…..but none of these things do I miss. There is only one thing that I have missed since I’ve been out here: My daily soaks in the hot tub at the gym! So with a vision and a little coonass determination, I got to work on my very own hot tub time machine.
Every structure out here must start with a solid foundation, so I found the perfect rock wall with the best view and got to it. Of course, I had my trusted sidekick by my side to help. I must hand it to Jennifer, being the only one out here, she is the only person to blame when something goes wrong…..lol. She loves me so much and puts up with anything I dish out. She is the ultimate team player.
As we finished the deck and the walls of the tub started to come together, we both agreed that this could be the best idea ever. I told her in the Agrarian lifestyle on the list of wants and needs this was one of my needs.
As we wrapped up with the tub we decided to fire it up…literally. Being off the grid, the only type of hot tub you can even remotely have (no pun intended) is a “snorkel hot tub”. This type of tub has a submersible fire box and a chimney stack. You load with wood and let it burn. Within 30 to 40 min you have 100 plus degree water ready for pure enjoyment. This will definitely be heaven sent in negative 20 degree weather with 7 feet of snow outside.
Another addition to the wood burning family is our wood stove. We were able to clean up and put together so that it is ready to fire up as well. This is an old south Bend Companion stove from the 1920’s, made completely of cast iron. It was extremely heavy to put together and move into place. We will be cooking mainly on this oven and stove top in the winter and not relying on the propane stove. In addition it will help heat the house. It’s a little to warm to use in the summer right now. The highs have been hovering around 78 degrees this summer…lol. We installed a heat shield on the floor and ran a metal backing against the wall behind the flue pipe to help protect the house. This will also take us back in time trying to learn how to use it and cook on it. Not many people reading this have probably ever cooked on a wood-fired oven. I know we never have, but I’ve always said if I moved off the grid I want to definitely have one.
We are also learning while being out here that being mechanically inclined and knowing how to turn a wrench is almost imperative. Everything takes constant maintenance and repair. We can’t just take a piece of equipment up to the mechanics and and get it fixed. The one thing that I miss about doing repairs is not having YouTube…if there is something you need to fix and don’t know how, you can bet there is a video on it out there on YouTube. Here you have to just have patience, take it all apart and pray you can figure it out.The flag we hoisted out at the entrance of Clear Creek can’t even go 3 months without repair.