Monday, June 19, 2006

One day, his woman ran off with another guy
Hit young Rocky in the eye
Rocky didn't like that he said, "I'm gonna get that boy."

It was a fairly relaxing weekend for me.

We did something interesting yesterday.

We went to look at this house in the mountains that is completely "off the grid."

Photovoltaic cells generate electricity. Solar collectors "heat" the water. (How hot can it really be at 6000 feet in Montana in February?) Propane powers the stove/oven. The water is collected in cisterns. A wood stove provides heat. They were installing one of those composting toilets that you see at the top of ski resorts.

I will say this, the house had character in spades. Really funky layout, with built-in shelves everywhere over its three levels, and a big upper deck off level 2.

They also built a climbing wall up the staircase. In case, you know, you just didn't feel like taking the stairs.

Apparently, it was built by two climbing guides from Jackson.

The concept was cool, but in practicality the house would be a pain in the arse to live in. It would be like having a part-time job.

First, the house sat on twelve acres... but, the home itself was over-the-river-and-through-the-woods from the "road." (Gravel, windy mountain road.) You had to hike 150 yards down a hill and up a hill to get to the house from your car. Fine in June, but imagine it in February, hauling your week's worth of groceries, post-holing through the snow... because who the hell shovels a 150 yard trail?

This was the biggest drawback, by far.

Then consider the whole, wood-splitting & chopping so you could heat your house. (Because nobody is delivering a cord of wood by freaking hand over that trail.)

*There was a set of ruts that came closer to the house. I imagine this would be usable to get closer to the house in the summer months, but you would be scrod once the snow flies.


Weird. I just found myself bitching about this house, but in reality, it was the most interesting house I have ever seen.

My mind was turning over and over trying to figure out a way to make it work.

Oh, one other interesting thing: the neighbor? Down the windy mountain road about a mile?

The one with the cool log house?

The one that had a very large, interesting fenced-in animal pen that you noticed on the way up?

And wondered why there would be a fence on top for a dog?

On the way down, I noticed they had a huge fucking black bear in the pen.

This is some real Jerimiah Johnson-type shit.

But you would never have to lock your doors.

(Not that you could, because they mounted the doorknob backwards as some kind of joke, with the keyhole facing the interior and the lock on the outside of the house.)

Because in a neighborhood where people keep gi-normous bears for pets, I doubt you have to worry about that.

So, anyway, I'm gonna stay "on the grid."

How could I live without the internets?