I purchased the property back in October 2013, and have not visited until today. I arrived this afternoon. In the meantime, I’ve been studying permaculture and looking at topo maps of the land (10 ft contours, found online). I made a tentative site plan.

Finally on site, the first thing I did was to walk the land. It’s delightful to do this – much more aware than before of the contours and character of the site as I observe them – and to see how my mental plans could work in reality. Standing on the possible house site, I can see the food forest to the southwest, with the windbreak beyond, and imagine the view from the house to the gardens on the south side. I can see that the west entrance to the house will step down, which I hadn’t quite realized – so now I’m envisioning the patio there, with an outdoor shower that will be raised a few feet over the surrounding view.

I will be here for the month of April, at least, leaving only for one planned visit to Phoenix, in a few days – chance to resupply and purchase materials I couldn’t fit in the truck this time!

Goals for this week:
– make a bunyip and A-level and flag contours for future zones 1-3
– install an experimental water harvesting system
– set up basic irrigation system: 60-gal barrel tank, hose to future site of hoophouse, hose down to future windbreak, input from water harvester
– select and prepare site for temporary shelter

Second thing I did was to start unloading the truck and dealing with the wind. It’s a windy place – from March to June, gusty winds from the SW, probably 20-30 mph today (enough to catch tissues and papers whenever I opened the cab of the truck and pin them to the downwind juniper). Gusts up to 60 mph have been reported this week. I’m sleeping in the back of my truck, so a lot of stuff had to be unloaded. What do you do with a truckful of miscellaneous tools and supplies and nowhere to store it? Considered buying a tent for it, but that would probably have turned into a parachute. So I brought a heavy sisal 9×12 carpet that I’ve had in storage, and purchased 4 metal stakes and 100 ft of rope. Here’s the scene:

Tied down for the night:

The (empty) 60-gal tank was another question. Here’s what I did with another 4 stakes and another 50 ft of rope:


What do you think, will I still have all my stuff in the morning, or will it be in New Mexico?
These probably won’t blow away, though I brought the steel square into the truck with me, because I had a mental picture of it going airborne.

The camper shell is drafty, but I’m snug in my sleeping bag and down quilt. I’m going to bed without supper (didn’t figure it was worth fighting the wind to make a fire – I’ll dig a bean hole in the morning), but I’ve got a bag of almonds, and if I get hungry I’ll remember last night’s scrumptious supper of panzanella, gnocci, and creme brulee (yes, I did), at Salt in Lakeside.
The view from my picture window:

Good night, sun.

These posts are being made possible by Goal Zero (a Sherpa 100 & Firefly light), my beloved iPad, and Verizon cell service.


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