Thursday, September 06, 2007

Into the Wilderness

Living not quite off-grid in Oregon.

I finally took the plunge and crossed the country to settle in the mountains of southern Oregon, away from the cities and with some luck with the opportunity to eventually move myself completely off the grid and towards independence. From the state of things in both the country the globally, it appears I made the move none too soon.

The drive from New Jersey was fairly uneventful, about the only thing semi-remarkable was the rather large number of surveillance cameras I noticed along the way. Considering I spent most of my time on the highway, I have to assume I only saw a small fraction of what's really out there. Other than that, the trip was somewhat boring but peppered with the beautiful scenery that is America. Since it was my fifth drive across there wasn't much in the way of surprises.

In the week it took me to cross the country and the weeks following that I've been settling in, the state of things appears to have become progressively worse. This was, of course, one of the main driving forces in my move. As the saying goes, it doesn't take a weatherman to know which way the wind is blowing. I won't go all Nostradomaesque and attempt to predict the exact and detailed nature of the shitstorm coming, but I think it's safe to say that there are many possibilities in the offing. Martial Law and a full blown U.S. Police State seems to loom closer every day, possibly just awaiting some civil unrest or other real or phony emergency to spark it off. The prospect of a nuclear attack on Iran and the repercussions thereby generated could well be the spark needed, or perhaps a false flag terrorist attack, be it orchestrated, helped along or simply allowed to go forward. Maybe it's as simple as economic collapse? As far as I can tell, the U.S. economy appears to have already crashed but the fact is being hidden, perhaps in an attempt to stage manage the wealth concentration to the top more efficiently. Then there's the looming problems with China, our CIA run state Pakistan and of course, the renewed cold war with Russia. In any case, things look grim and it seemed a prudent time to at the very least be ready to hunker down the ride the troubled times out.

As far as being off-grid, I'm not quite there. I have electricity, though my needs are very moderate and the few solar lights I set up offset most of that, and a phone line, though the clarity and thus my connection is extremely poor. A deep well provides cool, clear water and a wood stove will heat the cabin as needed. The cabin itself seems to have been smartly designed with one side in shade and the other in sun thus the temperature difference between the two creates a continuous slight breeze. My understanding is that it was part of some sort of communal semi-sustainable community in the distant past, some interesting details on that I'll save for a post of its own. As far as sustainability, I was planning more for safety so that will have to come more slowly, as (if?) time permits. For the time being, I'm buying in bulk and from local purveyors as much as possible. In a pinch I am fairly certain that I could stay here indefinitely with no outside resources, as the area is covered with various fruits and some veggies even my untrained eye can pick out and of course there's all the critters and plenty of fish in the nearby streams. With some luck and work I'd like to move towards complete autonomy and sustainability over the coming months and also look into different smart architectures - I'm leaning towards at least partially underground and perhaps a dome. Likely extremely green, though more indirectly than intentionally. I'm not rabidly environmental, it's more that I prefer to starve the corporate monster by making as few financial transactions as possible.

Security is assured by the remoteness of the location and the sheer ruggedness of the miles of dusty track leading to it. I added to that with a couple of cheap webcams which I popped the IR filters out of and stationed near tiny lights with the bulbs replaced with the bulbs from some old remote controls I found. There's also several 'guardian' peacocks about to give the warning should any intruders venture near.

Overall, I'm enjoying the remoteness, the wilderness and the peace. It also doesn't hurt that my woman is a chef, so the meals have been fabulous. My net connection is deplorable, so my postings will be infrequent until I can remedy that situation. For entertainment there's always my dynamo powered am/fm/shortwave radio and of course I have hundreds of FOIA documents I never had time before to read. I do miss the continuous stream of news from hundreds of feeds I used to enjoy as part of my daily routine, but the feeling of security and peace out here in the forest makes up for that. I'd recommend to anyone who has the means, making the move towards off-grid living, both for peace of mind and safety during these troubled times.

The adventure begins...