Heading west out of Taos, New Mexico, my wife and I were bugging on down the road trying to make it to the area of southern Utah for the night.
We didn't make it.
Out on the horizon was a strange sight. Well, strange to us as we approached.
There were a lot of houses in the distance, but they looked distinctly different from what we are use to in southern Mississippi.
Most were widely spaced out in the land that was desert. The basic walls looked strange.
A lot of the walls were rounded. And the south-facing areas had banks of glass.
And then as we got closer, we saw the sign "Earthship."
We had to stop and take a look.
Although not as yet "truly off the grid" type of people, Linda and I were interested in their concept of an "off the grid ( self-sustained and not hooked up to any type of utility, water or sewer lines for which there is a monthly bill paid to someone else) living options.
We took a tour of the facilities (at a small cost) and found it quite interesting.
Families were living in the desert keeping warm and cool through natural sources rather than paying a utility company. They also recycled collected water four times with the water directed to their gardens to grow fruits, vegetables and flowering plants.
I have entertained the idea of living "off grid" but having looked into the situation, it seems the initial investment may be cost prohibitive for some.
For someone just beginning on their journey in life, the costs would probably be recouped.
But to each his own. Getting "off the grid" seems like a noble cause, but it takes a lot of ingenuity and building differently than what most local codes allow.
If one looks at some of the "gloom and doom" forecasts for the future, getting off the grid would be the right path to take.
Someone who learns early on how to be self sufficient in all ways, will find it easier to sustain life if the electric grids go down and transportation becomes so expensive that food costs too much or is impossible to obtain.
Our visit was rather revealing. We don't want to live in the middle of the desert, but some do. We like to see giant pine trees growing, as well as live oaks, sycamores and maple trees.
But then again, maybe some day the whole world will look like a desert and then we will have to adapt whether we want to or not.
Next post: Sunday, Sept. 12, 2010