Cheryl and I returned to our off-grid cabin to spend the last few days of the year under the endless Big Bend skies. We look forward to every sunrise and sunset out here. Somehow something as simple as the sun coming up over Nine Point Mesa or painting evening skies with brushstrokes of fading light is just like a soothing balm for the soul.
Because we only visit the cabin a few times a year, we always have a few projects to do. This week we wanted to get the last eighteen rough-cut cedar posts in the ground on our new tract in preparation for the next phase of fencing.
Cheryl and I have our fence post routine down and can work pretty fast. Once we measure and mark the location of the posts, I dig holes with an auger and Cheryl cleans them out with a post hole digger.
Once a hole is ready, we set the post and then tamp it down. No cement necessary. Once tamped, the posts are set rock hard. Later we will add t-posts between the cedar posts and then stretch field fence and top that off with a single strand of barbed wire.
We also added a second fire pit in an area where we plan to build an outdoor cooking area. A friend gave us the fire pit and stone surround. Setting it up was easy. We invited friends who are camping on the property this week and one of our neighbors to join us for hot dogs. We sat around the fire until late into the night.
Our final big project was to add a few inches of caliche to the entry to our property. We have been wanting to do this for a while in order to keep some mild erosion in check. I ordered six yards of material from a local guy.
My friend Dan Williams helped me to spread and tamp it down. Dan and his family camped on the property this week while doing day hikes at the national park. They had a great time and we enjoyed having them around.
As I write, the wind is blowing hard, the temperature has dropped, and the sky is covered with clouds. I ran down to Little Burro Country Store to buy some propane and talked to a guy who had just come in from Alpine where, he said, it is snowing. Even though it’s cold, Cheryl are I are hoping for a dusting of snow.
Thankfully, our little cabin is well insulated and we have some warm blankets. We are just going to hang out inside and read, drink hot chocolate, and wait for snow.