Seems that every time we load up the pickup to head to Dos Arbolitos, our off-grid property in Big Bend, we look like the Beverly Hillbillies. If we are not pulling a trailer, then we pack every square inch of space in the bed and cab of the truck with supplies and food. Because our cabin is 600-miles from our home in Katy we have to make the most of every trip.
On our recent Spring Break trip to the cabin we took some more furniture with us as well as supplies for a week of projects. The goals for this trip were to make the inside of the cabin a little cozier and to add shelving for lumber storage in our shipping container workshop.
We are happy with the progress on the interior of the cabin. The queen bed alone has made a huge difference in regard to comfort. Sure beats sleeping on our camp cots! Cheryl also added a comforter and lots of bed cushions to bring in a little color. The comfortable chairs are great for relaxing and reading in the evenings. We will add a couple of southwest-themed area rugs soon.
We also added a dresser / library combo piece that we recently found on a shopping trip. We like it because it has big and deep drawers on one side and a place for us to keep our books on the other side. And the rustic look is perfect for the cabin and ties in well with the old pic of my grandfather. We both enjoy reading in the evenings and this will be a great place for us to have our off-grid library.
We added some shelving in the kitchen. I made the framework for the shelves out of black pipe. Cheryl stained the wood shelves and then I secured them to the frame using pipe straps. I also added a paper towel holder made out of the same black pipe. This was an easy DIY project that has added some much-needed storage space. We will add our kitchen counter and sink on the next trip to the cabin.
We plan to do most of our cooking outdoors so I built an outdoor kitchen counter that fits in a corner of our porch. We painted it to match the porch and so that it blends in and doesn’t take away from the look of things. Forgot to take a pic but Cheryl loves it. We keep a 20-gallon propane tank underneath to fuel our stove. And, cooking outside keeps us from heating up the interior of the cabin too much, especially on warm days.
Lumber storage has been a challenge. The sun in the Chihuahuan Desert can warp a piece of wood left outdoors quicker than you can fall off a log. So, I built a handy storage area for lumber in our storage container that helps me see our lumber inventory and protects the wood from the sun. Again, forgot to take a pic. Will do so next time.
Cheryl and I were also able to start on some of our outdoor projects. We are working to make it possible for native grasses to grow, clearing creosote away from purple prickle pear, and digging water catchment under some of the native trees.
One very important project was adding an overflow pipe to our water catchment tank. We have captured about 1,500 gallons of rainwater with only margin for another 300 gallons. Without the overflow we were in danger of putting too much stress on our gutters in case the tank fills up. No more worries about that. Will add more water catchment later.
We are still in love with the phenomenal Texas skies, especially at sunrise and sunset. The dark skies with bazillions of twinkling stars still take our breath away. And the vistas of the surrounding mesas and mountains are unbeatable. Sitting out on a porch was never so good.
Thanks for following our off-grid journey. Look forward to posting again soon.
You are all ready for the shelter in place! Have enjoyed reading your blog.
Thanks for following our journey 🙂
What a beautiful and comfy place y’all have built! It’s been great fun to watch each step of planning and building, and now, decorating. I’m so glad that Frances is part of it! May you and Cheryl have many years of spectacular sunsets and star-filled night skies in that most beautiful corner of the world!
Thanks so much, Susan. I know Frances and Gene would have loved this.
It’s looking great! Love the mountain sunset pic.
Thanks, DT. Really enjoying this adventure.