Can a city boy build his dream homestead on a mountain, by himself and with no mortgage?

Posts tagged “homesick

new trees, darker days and the reality of it all

Thanksgiving for me has always been bittersweet. I love turkey feasts and the gathering of friends and family. At the same time, I dread the onset of shorter, darker days and the cyclical unemployment that comes when Hollywood goes on holiday. This year, it seems, will not disappoint in its consistancy. I took the above photo yesterday afternoon on my drive down the mountain. The warmth of the afternoon is at odds with the layer of cold dreary mid-day mist, sort of how I’ve been feeling lately.

 

I am thrilled to have met a fellow wilderness devotee and my alleged doppelgänger. He has agreed to let me blog about him if I use the pseudonym “X”.  He contacted me through the blog and we have recently met and shared war stories.

X is close to my age, size & shape, bought a similar sized parcel of remote forest land on a neighboring mountain, was a freelance creative Hollywood professional for much of his life, and has now begun the transition to the wilderness living by building a 120 sq ft off-grid cabin which he recently doubled in size. Our similarities continue on into minute details but I think y’all get the idea.

X convinced me to plant some fresh trees on my land so I decided to do just that. 10 in all.

I spent a day digging and planting and another day raking watering and mulching. It was one of the most fun things I have ever done. I’ve never been one to garden but after spending time with my hands in the earth, I was hooked. I understand why so many older women in their golden years delight in grooming their prize azaleas, rose bushes and hydrangeas. Count me in, ladies, I’ll even wear the big floppy hat!

These are some of my new babies before and after they were covered in a layer of mulch…

X tells me that they will grow a few feet every year so I planted some near the cabin for shade and ’cause they’re pretty.

The days are now get dark by 5pm so I’m glad my new outdoor fireplace is working like a charm. It’s throwing off heat in the face of my 29 degree nights, as well as illuminating the cabin when I retire indoors for bed!

One of the things I don’t read much about in other tiny house blogs is the feeling of isolation. I love the solitude, peace and quiet of my land, heck, sometimes I drive up there on a slow night just so I can wake up to the sound of quails and the smell of the mountain air. Truth be told however, after a few days it gets lonely. Ryo Chijiiwa on his “Laptop and a Rifle” blog touched on this subject early on but many other small living pioneers rarely mention it.

Is it just me or do we all get lonely out in the woods? I know many of this new “tiny” community are paired up and living with a partner but my life is complex to the point where I’ve not been able to settle in with someone who can just drop everything and run off to the woods forever. Maybe it’s just the inherited restless nature of my soul or maybe I need to commit to living in either city or on mountain. Either way, lately I seem to be driving myself up and down a familiar road,  going intentionally back into the cold but familiar mist at the bottom of my mountain.

 


we’re not in kansas anymore…

Happy 2011 All!

The new year brought with it a very unexpected job for me in New York City. I’m going to be here until mid February so my mountain and all its critters, vermin and predators will have to survive without me.

New York is my hometown and it is also the town I left behind….with good reason

there are magnificent spaces and absolute squalor, all within a few feet.

Legendary, grand spaces and just plain garbage…

really NY, an 8′ pile of garbage on Wall Street?

The iPhone 4 takes a mean picture, no?

there is even a Home Depot on West 23rd Street, complete with a skylight. Sadly, everything in it is 3 times more expensive than in LA!

yes Virginia, that’s a Home Depot.

They are housing me in a grand apartment in a magnificent neighborhood, complete with doorman, view, and 100 feet from the best cupcake shop in the world.

This is the urban part of UrbanRancher. It’s a part of me I left a long time ago

gladly,

willingly,

gleefully.

Still, I miss my mountain desperately.  I know that even with a covering of snow the local wildlife (and even that damn lion) will see to it that all remains well at the compound. The pipes are drained and the tiny cabin is sealed up tight, what could go wrong?

Stay warm everyone and “chin up” Ryo, it’ll all work out just fine!

e.