Midian Ranch Blog

This is the web log for Midian Ranch, an isolated homestead in rural Nevada. It is owned by Jason and Tina Walters, whom are also its regular posters. This blog is exclusively for the enlightenment and edification of our friends, family, and colleagues.

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Location: Gerlach, Nevada, United States

Monday, February 20, 2006

February 11th, 12th, and 13th

Unlike the last misadventure plagued trip, this one went oustandingly well. Tom of Tom’s Manufactured Housing Services managed to remount the office building before Tina, Snap, and I even got out to the ranch. He's lowered it a foot or so to cut down on wind resistance, added more jack stands, and used a bunch of those “giant screw” fasteners to hold it to the ground. Although this was all a little expensive, I am more than satisfied with the results, which are certainly better than anything I could have managed on my own.

Tina and I heated up the house Saturday night using the wood burning stove that we’ve set up. This pleased me a great deal, as we have been entirely reliant on propane for home heating until now. Wood will not only be less expensive (ok, it’s usually free) but has a more “natural” desert esthetic to it as well. Tina also has plans to put up more tile-and-wonderboard panels around the stove for extra protection, but it probably isn’t as necessary for safety reasons as I thought it would be. The walls around the stove don’t seem to be getting dangerously hot or anything like that.

I installed the new solar charge controller I picked up from West Marine in Berkeley. Although it was a bit complex compared to my old controller, it seems to work quite well. Next trip I’m going to install a second, more heavy-duty controller so that I can get the three 50 Watt panels I’ve got set up wired into the power system as well. With any luck we should barely need to run the generator by late spring.

I also buried a bunch of the wiring that runs between the ranch house, the generator shed, and the office building, primarily for appearance sake. With this done, the two of us embarked upon the long overdue process of radically repairing the property’s plumbing. We emptied out the fetid contents of the old water storage contents (which smelled quite foul), dug a three foot trench all the way around it, then pulled the tank out of the ground using the ATV (along with a rather considerable amount of elbow grease). With that done, I replaced the old, chaotic, and leaky plumbing with new, properly sealed pipes, then buried the entire thing two feet down to protect it from freezing. I am hopeful that this improved plumbing will lead to improved water pressure, which in turn leads to an improved desert lifestyle for everyone concerned!


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