Poverty Is Not an Accident

Poverty Is Not an Accident
Nelson Mandela

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

fifteen below in Crownpoint?

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Since R so kindly drove a hundred miles, round trip, to photograph that guy's ranch out in Crownpoint (same guy, same price: $150/mo), I've been investigating Crownpoint & how to live in -15f temps in a trailer.


Crownpoint has dismal, internet presence. I've contacted the Navajo College there about internet options. I know there's high speed internet forty miles north, at Chaco Canyon. It may be satellite. And I've contacted the satellite company; they do service Crownpoint: sixty dollars/month. But my phone bill will be $1.00/mo, since I'm low income and it's the Tribal Spirit Wind phone company.

Assuming I deciphered the weird and partial directions I had and the weird inaccuracy of the Google map (that placed the major landmark, a grocery store, WAY north and east of where it actually is, on a road with NOTHING on it for a LONG time, which scared the crap out of me!), I think I've found the location of the ranch, midway between Crownpoint Airport & the highway to Chaco Canyon (near the grocery, which is 3 miles east of the ranch). There will be occasional cars, if hitch hiking is required. Hoping to fix up electric bicycle. I think it's about 1 mile up a dirt road from the road to the airport. Depending on snow depths, I can probably handle that, if I plan my shopping around weather. I may buy snow shoes.

Winter camping will be a lot easier than I thought. Mostly, I need to skirt the trailer and warm my sewage tanks occasionally, and follow some common sense ideas that are not difficult.

I've already insulated pretty well, according to their suggestions, and won't need much else to survive winter nights at fifteen below zero. Mainly, I won't use my water pipes or storage tanks; I'll do like I'm doing now: turn on hose in sun, fill containers, etc. I can live a week or more on about twenty two-liter bottles, with minimum bathing.

I will expose the driver's side to full, southern to SW sun and build goat sheds there. They'll help block wind, too. Goats will need heat lamps at night. So, up to the windows, I'll build plywood structures, covered in black and insulated (probably with plastic wrappings trash from grocery foods). I have tarps, corrugated metal and old trampoline skins I can use for shade in summer.

I read several websites from RV campers who wintered, yes, wintered, in North Dakota and Alaska. No special rigs; they just used common sense, some cheap tricks like bubble wrap (which I already doubled and taped to my small kitchen window, weeks ago!), Styrofoam, etc.

Stowing cold-proof items under the rig will help, too, like my garden containers, etc., in winter.

I'm scared. Crownpoint is another culture. It's deeply infested with fundamentalist xians. It's a small community. And it's 90% Navajo. Who knows how I'll be received? But most of my unusual stuff will never be seen, on a big ranch, on a dirt road, on a small highway, 3 miles away from a very small settlement. I'll just clean up real good before I head to town.

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