| LIFE Operation Empty Nest

planomateo

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Absolutely amazing place. So quiet and peaceful. Cannot wait to explore the area more. We are both looking forward to living up here full time.

The roads through the neighborhood are icy, definitely need 4x4. May look at having a set of studded tires as well.

Lots of animal tracks in the snow, I'll upload those later tonight.

Spotted a wild Turkey down the road from us and a dozen or so deer. Had two whitetails sitting on some pine needles about 100' from the front door.

Met up with some of the folks in the neighborhood. One couple moved up from Georgia 4 years ago. She's a die hard UGA fan. Seems like we have some really good neighbors as well which is a huge bonus. They were all bummed to see the previous owners leave.

Definitely gonna look into a backup heat source to burn some wood. I need to reduce the need for propane as much as possible.

Having a snow plow will be a necessity.
 

planomateo

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Some deer about 100' from the front porch.



Not sure what some of these tracks are, I'm not a hunter.

 

planomateo

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First time I've seen Bighorn Canyon from this perspective before, I was lucky enough to see it in a boat ~10 years ago.

These pictures don't really do it justice.



From 2008.

 

planomateo

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Got the Internet setup, part of me regrets this a bit. I feel as though I've corrupted this place a bit.

Changed the generator oil and filter yesterday, cleaned about an inch of snow off the solar panels, shoveled snow paths between the garage and house, solar panels, cistern, and pressurized pump container, and had to climb into the pressurized pump container to get the motor running.

Gonna head into Missoula to get out a bit today. Brought my 18 year old with me and we're getting in some good quality time.

Yesterday it was 27 when we landed. Today isn't as "nice".

10681
 

planomateo

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Driving through the neighborhood.



Solar panels after a partial cleaning.


Blackfoot River - fly fishing & tubing in the summer months.


Washington-Grizzly Stadium (25k) - University of Montana in the background. Cool sculpture.
 

planomateo

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Definitely going to need a snow plow vehicle. I don't want to rely on someone else to manage this for me. I'm not sure how I'm going to solve this just yet.

The go big side if me is thinking a 20 year old Army M1078, if I an score one for the right price this is the route I want to go. The practical side is leaving towards a beater plow truck that looks like hell. A plow on a UTV won't cut it with deep snow. The size of the vehicle dictates how much snow you can move. A Unimog would be fun, especially one with a backhoe on it.

I've got probably 2 miles of plowing I'll need to do, almost 5 if I go through the entire neighborhood. My driveway alone is 1/4 mile.

We're a little colder today, we're ~5 degrees cooler than Missoula.
10687

This summer I'm going to upgrade the solar setup Goal will be to get upgrade as much as I can without spending too much. I'll keep my battery setup at 12v for now, plan on moving up to 48v.

I'll be upgrading in phases, first comes the panels and MPPT, second will be the inverter and batteries, third could possibly entail getting away from lead acid altogether. There is a 30% tax credit through the end of 2019, drops to 26% in 2020, 22% in 2021, and 0% after 2022. Hopefully that gets extended further.
 

planomateo

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Clearly has never been to Montana.

Honestly I'm beginning to loathe Texas.
 

planomateo

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Montana has taken my soul and I'm anxious for it to take the rest of me.
 

It Takes Eleven

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Definitely going to need a snow plow vehicle. I don't want to rely on someone else to manage this for me. I'm not sure how I'm going to solve this just yet.

The go big side if me is thinking a 20 year old Army M1078, if I an score one for the right price this is the route I want to go. The practical side is leaving towards a beater plow truck that looks like hell. A plow on a UTV won't cut it with deep snow. The size of the vehicle dictates how much snow you can move. A Unimog would be fun, especially one with a backhoe on it.

I've got probably 2 miles of plowing I'll need to do, almost 5 if I go through the entire neighborhood. My driveway alone is 1/4 mile.

We're a little colder today, we're ~5 degrees cooler than Missoula.
View attachment 10687

This summer I'm going to upgrade the solar setup Goal will be to get upgrade as much as I can without spending too much. I'll keep my battery setup at 12v for now, plan on moving up to 48v.

I'll be upgrading in phases, first comes the panels and MPPT, second will be the inverter and batteries, third could possibly entail getting away from lead acid altogether. There is a 30% tax credit through the end of 2019, drops to 26% in 2020, 22% in 2021, and 0% after 2022. Hopefully that gets extended further.
Any way to go in with a neighbor(s) on the plow vehicle?
 

planomateo

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Probably. Several of the neighbors have their own plows. I have a neighbor that is taking care of it for me now. I'm 2 miles and 1300' higher than him. He has a half ton Dodge that struggles up the hill when the snow is more than 4".

Having my own means I can manage it myself on my timelines.
 

It Takes Eleven

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Probably. Several of the neighbors have their own plows. I have a neighbor that is taking care of it for me now. I'm 2 miles and 1300' higher than him. He has a half ton Dodge that struggles up the hill when the snow is more than 4".

Having my own means I can manage it myself on my timelines.
I can't remember if you have a small farm tractor, but that might be an idea, and it would have a number of other uses in those three months when it's not snowing. Either that, or a serviceable used 1-ton pickup.
 

planomateo

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Don't have a tractor, I've considered this, but it would be something I purchase after I've been there for a few years.

A used plow truck can be picked up for a reasonable amount. It's really just a matter of deciding how I want to solve the problem, getting a multi-use platform is what I'm shooting for.

Truck, tractor, or m1078/Unimog.
 

planomateo

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I had a guy run a skid steer for ~14 hours on my driveway to open things up. It's snowed about 3' - 4' in the last 3 weeks and the guy who's been plowing for me has had some issues with his truck.

Earlier this past week, the schools and many of the businesses shutdown due to the weather conditions.

#MontanaProblems

Still haven't decided how I'm going to solve the plow needs at this point. Being practical will probably override my want to go big. But having one of these (m1078) with a plow or snowblower on the front...

 

TerryP

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Still haven't decided how I'm going to solve the plow needs at this point. Being practical will probably override my want to go big. But having one of these (m1078) with a plow or snowblower on the front...
So, at your average of one mile per gallon, you should be able to do your driveway with four gallons of fuel.

I dare say you could make a beer run with a few feet of snow on the streets.

You're still ⛷ to the mailbox.
 

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