Search This Blog

Back on the Coast

Back on the Coast

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Where Have I Been?

Hello! I'm back!! Did you think I had fallen off the face of the Earth. Well, as far as the human electronic collective is concerned, I did. And it was good.

Since my last post, I've been out in the boonies. No phones, no power grid, no computers, no paved roads - just trees, lakes, streams and rocks. The occasional eagle, bear, cougar and a bunch of people working on an off-grid home. A friend of a friend approached me back eight weeks ago, saying he wanted to hire me to help complete this isolated place. My part time bartending gig was covered by co-workers until I got back and my brother looked after the parents for me. So off I went. To work and learn.

For many of us, eventually you may want to settle in such a idyllic place. Somewhere away from the swirling mass of confusion we call modern society; the craziness of urbanity and whatnot. This was one of the reasons I left my homeland back East and came to the West Coast. This fellows' place was representative of what could be a desirable life style. Sustainable, efficient, power independent and so on. Not completely removed from society - he would still be using fossil fuels for vehicles, etc. Still tied into the money grid and what that entails. But very independent - off the grid.

It was an interesting lesson on how to set up a micro-hydro system, with some solar and genset for backup. It was a practical lesson showing the costs and labour involved in the process of setting up and creating such a place. The home that this person created was rather opulent, hence the need for a crew to finish it off. I received a lot of first hand knowledge of what needs to be done. Building, design aspects, financial and so on.

Personally, will I ever try to do something like this? I don't know, I don't think I want to be so isolated. I don't want to be out past the power grid, but I would like to have alternative power sources that were practical. If you are far out there, you need to use a lot of fuel just to get to town. Unless you create all your own food, you still need to get to town. There are many aspects to consider - medical, socializing, resources. I believe in a basic balance - practical, efficient, simplicity and so on. Finances are a major consideration, now with land being so expensive in British Columbia.

For myself, the last few weeks was an eye-opener of what can be done if you really want to. Regardless of whether you want to be urban or rural, what was really highlighted to me is how wasteful we are in our modern society. I learned about different ways we could change our lifestyle, so we could begin to exist in harmony with our planet. As always, less is more.

Eventually, we all want to settle, when the road becomes too tiresome to wander on. When that happens, I will create my own Shangra-la, but it will be my version, using the same ideas, but simpler, cheaper, resourceful and improvised. Hmmm. We'll see. I'm back.....