The Mechanics of My Off Grid Home.
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Hello, my name is Lou Hall Sr and the purpose of this web site is to share some of my off grid living experience with others who might be interested in doing the same someday.
I've lived in two beautiful spots over the last 21 years. The first, from 1992 - '99, was in this home-made log cabin at the top of Thunder Road in the Washington County town of West Hebron. It was quite a place.
The man who built it, Windy Baker, was around 49 or 50 when I met him in '92. He had grown up working on farms in Vermont, was tough as nails, and not a man to trifle with. Windy gave new meaning to the term rugged individualist. I believe it was in the late 70's cutting trees on a road crew, when he fell from a pretty good height.
The fall alone would have killed nine out of ten men, but not Windy. The tree fell too, crushing nearly every bone in his body. Immediate survival was nothing short of miraculous, but long-term, he would endure countless surgeries and two grueling years, in a full body cast, at Glens Falls Hospital. His doctors said he'd never walk again, but their verdict proved untrue. After several years of strenuous physical therapy and fierce determination, he was back on his feet, carrying on with his full-time job of living life.
Fast forward to 1992 when I met him, and despite ongoing disabilities, Windy Baker was one of the hardest working men I had ever met. For the entire six years I lived there, he'd be up at the crack of dawn working. If there was still light after supper, he'd find something else that needed tending to and he rarely left a job unfinished. To this day, I wish I had a quarter of his ambition and motivation.
I'm not sure if there was anything useful Windy couldn't build from scratch. He and his wife Cindy had built the log home above entirely by hand, without grid power. A few years after the cabin was done, he built a sawmill on the property with railroad rails for the log carriage, and a diesel engine he salvaged from a wrecked tractor trailer. When I arrived in '92, they had already decided to build another home further back on Thunder Mountain, and they wanted to sell the cabin.
I had just started a new career in real estate, so when they asked me to come and take a look at their home, I was happy for the opportunity. I ended up listing it for sale, but as much as I liked it myself, some of the other properties on the way up Thunder Mountain were an eye-sore, and it was difficult getting anyone interested enough to make an offer. Not long afterwards, on one of my trips from Glens Falls, I asked if they might consider renting it to me. The answer was yes, and my eight year adventure on Thunder Road began.
I was eager to move into my new cabin in the woods, so I began working part time with them the rest of the summer, sawing home grown timber into posts, beams and boards, and helping them build their new home, which was totally off the utility grid, on the back side of Thunder Mountain.
At the end of my seventh year there I had already begun working for a logging and land sales company in Warren County and through my interest in out of the way places, I ran across my current off grid home site and jumped in with both feet. I'll have to say it was love at first sight. The view was nothing short of exceptional, and it was just about as remote as you could possibly find in this neck of the woods and still get counted on the census.
The down side if there was one, was the home itself was in rough shape. The previous owners had an old 15 kw Onan four cylinder propane generator which was total overkill for the small battery bank of eight golf cart batteries, but it did have a small Trace inverter, and everything worked. It was all I needed to get started, and I was extremely happy to be in my own place. I wouldn't go so far as to say I was antisocial at that point in my life, but there was no question I was happy to be living in the woods.
The property is located in picturesque Washington County, NY, roughly 18 miles SE of Lake George. It's surrounded by almost 1,200 acres of woods, ponds, pasture
and mountains, overlooking
the Green Mountains on the Vermont border. It's also on a club sponsored ATV trail system with over 91 miles of groomed trails.
My off grid home a few months after
I bought it
in the Winter of 1999.
to see the re-construction of my off grid home
Peacefulness After A Hard Winter Snow
Crisp, Clear, Sunny & Cold
From My Deck
Taken the same day as the image above.
February 10th, 2008
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Louis "Lou" Hall Sr
Licensed Real Estate Salesperson
is in every American, I think, something of the old Daniel Boone, who,
when he could see the smoke from another chimney, felt himself too crowded
and moved further out into the wilderness.
H. Humphrey (1911-78); U.S. Vice President
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