It snowed overnight the first day we arrived in AZ. I had this photo on my old website.
I had a chance to interact with some of the local youth. I sure loved that truck while I had it. Gina is alright too.
Dalton (Jr.) and Doolan, my 5 yo brothers.
More likable Oregon youth could be discovered in Portland. I tried selling trees Cristmas trees one December when I was in that area. I also finished another year of college while living and working there.
This is me cutting a cedar snag on one of those properties. This dead tree was tall enough to possibly fall near the house across the creek making it a 'danger' tree. I was able to fall it in a direction that did the least damage and away from the house and the creek. I used proven techniques to get the tree down in the direction I wanted, some of which are codified in Oregon Forestry safety regulations. I wouldn't have these photos except the ODF guys wanted to take them. I guess because the tree was large and interesting. It wasn't part of their official work.
Hideaway Homestead AZ 2004 - present
Bringing home the first 2500 gallon water tank. I thought this is how all homesteaders get their stuff. The tank only weighs 200 lbs so was not a heavy load. It did have a lot of surface to catch air so I had watch the high speeds on the highway. A manager at the truck stop where we both worked actually saw the load going down the freeway and though it was hilarious; in a snarky way. That's OK, he probably doesn't have his own water or water tank. That is Snow Mountain in the background. Looks like a mesa but is a 6000' high ridge. I walked up there once to check it out.
My son Cody came to visit and helped put the stain on the exposed beams for the house. The travel trailer that we stayed in can be seen in the background.
1994. I bought a dead sugar pine tree from BLM adjacent to my property and dragged the logs about hundred feet onto my land. Good thing the wood was bug eaten; if not it would have been very expensive. Here I have set the saw throttle open with a clamp and we pulled the mill frame along with a rope. This made extra wide boards that you couldn't buy anywhere. I had made this Alaskan Mill frame about 20 years before this, wish I had brought it with me to Arizona. I do still have the Husky 181 saw.
Before 2004 in Oregon
One of the timber thinning jobs was on a large tree farm owned by a UK company near Mollala. We were stepping all over these mushrooms at work. I had seen them all my life but didn't know they were safe or good to eat. My boss's wife and some friends came up on the gated farm one morning with us and stayed all day picking the shrooms to sell. I guess there was a fuss about that but it couldn't hurt anything as the fungus continues to live on underground. Mainly, there just wasn't supposed to be anyone on the property except us workers. I later was turned on to these excellent and safe food marvels and wish there were more down here in AZ. I have found three types of edible mushrooms here at Hideaway Homestead. Had some puffballs to eat this summmer.
Eastern view from the deck. The wind turbine doesn't put out much power but goes for a spin at times. It can get windy around here.
Doolan and the goats enjoy the green grass. When it rains enough in the summer there comes a second spring. The soil and seeds are just waiting for the rain. This didn't happen the last 3 summers.
A load of long piling poles that I sent out from a local resident's tree lot. These poles need to be made with certain specifications as to size, length and allowable taper. I am good at doing that. Properly prepared piling is worth more money than a sawlog. Makes the thinning operation, which is good for the forest, better for the landowner and logging contractor (me, the logger).
I worked for 3 landowners here at the end of this county road. It was nice to have work in the same area so close to home. There was a creek running through 2 of the properties, requiring me to get approval from ODF cut anything within the riparian zone. This was a state regulation I could agree with that results in keeping the creek in the shade.
This is my tractor that I used for logging. This job was close to my property so I didn't have to haul my "cat". Actually an IH TD6. I contracted to thin the landowner's trees for a percentage of the proceeds. This must have been the last turn as it is not a very big load.
Not my dogs or fox. But my close neighbor 1/2 mile away has a fox that comes to his house and shows off for him by climbing trees and jumping on his roof.
The cabin back when I had satellite internet. The metal shutters on the south windows can be closed during the parts of hot days when the sun's rays come in. In cold weather I want the sun's heat coming in.
Trouble, Missy, and Doolan, my puppy who is now full grown. Doolan's daddy is Dalton. Parents are in photo below. Sissy (on right) had such a good disposition. Died 7-17-13. I loved her so much.
ABOUT - Hideaway Homestead
My homestead is in a remote location which doesn't have a power grid. This is the case with thousands of properties in this region, across North America and all over the world. With modern technology such as solar panels, deep cycle batteries, cell phone systems, satellite internet and TV, this is not a problem. Those with home power systems aren't subject to grid failures so actually have a security that people on the grid don't have.
The solar panels you are seeing on rooftops that are mostly grid-tied provide power to the grid when the sun is bright, and these homes receive power back from the grid. But when the grid goes down these people are out of power like everyone else on the grid. People don't necessarily know this when they sign up and get all the subsidies and tax breaks.
I can see the glow in the sky at night from the Phoenix area maybe 150 miles away. All that energy to make this light, and the energy for air conditioning and other uses at night comes from sources other than solar. Until they invent a way to store energy for massive systems, solar can only provide at a maximum the percentage of energy that is used during the day. If you want 100% solar and wind, figure a way to have the grid shut down at night and on cloudy days and have the people be OK with using their grid energy only when it is available to them.
Part of the plan is to use other sources than electricity for such things as cooking and heating water and house heating. Energy efficiency is what makes an off-grid home system affordable. You can buy a big, expensive system but just the battery replacement cost means the on-going expenses will also be costly.
I did have a page on affordable alternative power,HERE it is as a pdf file. This is not a webpage, links there don't link.
I worked for a Forest Protective Association for 2 summers as a State Fire Warden. My 2 younger crew members and I manned a 4x4 brush rig and were on duty to respond immediately to wildfires. At times exciting and in between, boring. Got on some fires before they could get out of hand. This was often during periods of extreme fire danger. Part of my job was to write burning permits for burn barrels, etc.
I do have a tractor here now. First wheel tractor I ever owned. I did learn to drive an old Johnny Popper as a kid on the farm. I might be able to get another dozer some day once I secure complete ownership of this place.
Leaving Oregon for the safety of Arizona. On the trailer that I made from an old RV trailer are 25 angora goats. It was a double decker. The box part of the trailer had been a security barn that I made for goats. I reduced the size so it fit on the flatbed trailer. Had it planned that way. Big Benny the Great Pyr rode in the back of the trailer near the door, Dodger the dog rode in one of the vans. The pickup and travel trailer were already on property in AZ. My property in OR had already been sold and we were house sitting at this farm where we could pasture the goats. The trip is probably not something most people would do, but we made it no problem!
Grew these softball sized golden beets in 2017. Sun dried this batch, made good beet chips. That's a real softball in there.
Same job as above. Not a good pre-digital photo, but we could pretend it was foggy. I wanted to get little Elena, fresh from Romania, in the story.
Green Lizard in garden. He was kind of friendly.
Reporting road obstructions when working as Calahan Patrol.
This is Kudos the Angora buck. We had him in Oregon but sold him before we moved. The cougars came from the woods behind the fence. 5 of them at night. They killed and ate a young buck and then killed an adult doe. Before that they must have killed 3 fawns that used to graze on our lawn with their mother. The fawns dissappeared one by one. I evened the score when they all came back to feed on China the goat. Never saw such brazen wild cats. They have multiplied since rich activists from the state to the south came to Oregon and changed things.
On the deck, Doolan likes kitties and lambs.
I started building the house after living in a travel trailer for more than a year. Could have started earlier but there was a fall and winter season of heavy rains so the roads kept washing out. I worked on it full time so I thought it went as fast as possible. I wanted it made well so worked through the stages methodically. It was never fast enough for my gf.
Dipper gourds growing 2016. Something I like to do.
Now that I think about it, maybe these two men just wanted to be there with me when the tree fell. I did work alone which freaks out some people but was not against the law for a sole proprietor. This tree had a lot of a type of dry rot so was not that valuable. This was Incense Cedar which is used for pencils. I guess it could have been used to make a million or so pencils. Or peckey cedar fencing. I loved my job.
A few years ago I planted some domestic amaranth seeds I had ordered online. It was quite a show in my little garden by the house. Some of these are grown for the 'greens' in Mexico. There are wild amaranths that come up here with the monsoon rains. AKA pigweed. They are all considered weeds but some are better to eat, like Palmers Amaranth, the 'tree spinach'.
I sold Christmas trees in my county seat for many years. I'm from a valley that has many tree farms, and I could get deals on trees, usually cutting them myself. That way I had fresh trees for the customers. I stayed on the lot in my little camp trailer.
I am dividing this page into 2 columns below. This is about my homestead, but really about me and part of my story. Any reference to 'we' is for past events. At the present it is only me and the animals. On a mobile phone, the left column may display after the right column, at the bottom of the 'page'.
At one point I went to northern Oregon and worked in the woods as a timber cutter. I worked in the Mt Hood National Forest and stayed in Gvt. Camp. Part of the reason I was there was to try to get closer to my only son, a teen who lived in LO with his mother. Work was at times intermittent so I went to town and worked as the security officer at the Portland Saturday Market. It was a fun change and I learned a lot about what went on. When you walked along the downtown streets, there were piles of cubed glass along the curbs. It was from car (mostly tourists) smash-ins. The cops said they did manage to catch 10% of the smashers. Oh joy!
I used Bob Eggelston to haul logs on some jobs. His single axle truck and trailer could haul quite a bit, and we got efficient scale by not having really long tapered logs. I always had the limbs trimmed close on the logs and tried to have little damage to the wood. Truck is parked in front of the old Camas Valley Store, across from the only restaurant in town.
Doolan found some mud to play in.
You might say I was an entrepreneur. These are burl slabs that I had for sale on my tree lot that I had cut with my Alaska mill. Looking back I could have been a much better business person. I did have freedom which is no little thing. That time of the year there was often no work in the woods which can be seasonal due to weather. I usually made enough money to hold me over for a while. It was a good time to meet up with new people too, and party some. It was a lot of work and I stayed very busy every December.
I had learned continuous strand weaving on the triangle loom in Oregon. Here I started making them for sale. I heard of continuous weaving on the rectangle pin frame loom so tried it. Couldn't find the formula for making the loom with longer multiples. Tried to figure it out but gave up for a few years. Picked it back up and did figure out how to do it for any length loom and have it come out perfect. Came up with a better weaving procedure too. Now my plans are used all over. Photo below shows scarves made on looms made with my formula and weaving method.
The Great Pyrenees dog is not for your urban settings. But for a farm or ranch, they know what to do to keep your animals and you safe. Their sense of smell, hearing, night vision and other senses are many times better than humans. They want to do this. The loud barking when they sense something out there is what they do as part of their chosen job. If you or your neighbors can't handle it, this is not the dog for you.
For once in her life, I bred my female Great Pyr to a good purebred male. She got very sick with infection after giving birth. She recovered but died more than a year later. The underlying cause could have been changes from her previous illness or could have been due to a tumor that may have re-occurred from a few years earlier. It was a big loss to me but now I have 2 of her pups, both loving friends.
My new 2' x 3' x 8' deep raised bed Nov. 2017. Early Wonder variety beet trial. Planted them middle of August. The leaves are over 2' tall. I have gotten to like beets. The other foliage is Hamburg Parsley, grown for the root. Also a new trial. Should be grown in early spring but I had the seed so I planted August 1.
This timber harvest was about 20 years earlier on property that I ended up with as part of the deal. The Oliver OC3 crawler tractor is very small but could do the job if you knew how to use it. I could stack logs with it as you can see. It is narrow so was good for getting in between young trees without doing damage to the next generation. I was careful about saving the young trees when felling the bigger ones, and when dragging the logs. You could see the difference when I was done, as compared to how some people would do it. I learned to do all of this work when my cousin hired me to work for his logging company after I came home from the Navy. It was a 65 year old man who trained 25 year old me as a cutter.
Fall Leaves on Road. The last 2 years I was in Oregon I worked as security patrol for a large tree farm. Drove about 200 miles a day on the Calahan section. It was a steady job which made for domestic tranquility. About that time I was also thinking about building up my SS retirement acct. I appreciated the outdoor experience, beauty and opportunity to find edible mushrooms. Saw elk, bear and wild mountain lions in their proper home. Got to cover some of the same country that I knew when I worked for the state several seasons as wildfire suppression patrol. I was active as a volunteer fire fighter in the years before that. Could be a whole other story to tell.
First thing I did with the tractor was clear some scrub brush. I was able to pile up the brush and roots with very little dirt. The area back by where the tractor sits is now my softball field. No one has played softball there yet but Jenny likes it to roll here donkey self around on.
The last summer that there was substantial monsoon rains, I was able to grow too much summer squash without having to water them. The soil here is actually rich, just needs moisture. Where we had the goats hanging out for years it is especially rich. I scraped dirt up with my tractor loader to fill up my new raised grow bed. No need for any chemical fertilizer.
Some of the people I met would have been just alright for a family if that's what was meant to be. I loved them just the same.