Building Range Line Road: August 2020

Aug 24, 2020

An interesting aspect of trying to build a house on vacant land is the introduction of modern conveniences gradually, over time. While the plan is to build a house, we also are enjoying using the property before the house exists. This means that since no house exists, no electricity exists on the site, nor running water, nor shelter. Over the past year we have spent much time in our new Michigan retreat, especially as a retreat and release from Corona Captivity. Until the house exists, we are living in nature (camping, cooking over a fire, and gradually introducing aspects of living that make things slightly easier. If rugged, uncompromised nature is one end of the spectrum (with no human presence), and complete human occupation (cities) is the other, we are currently closer to the former than the latter condition on our property.

The items so far that have been introduced by us to our nature: a gravel road to allow us to easier access the portion of the site that we want to inhabit; a water well (not yet useful as there is no electricity to pump the water out of the ground), a shipping container which we use to store tools and equipment, and the optimistic introduction of a vegetable garden. We’ll see how the vegetable garden works, as there are critters who will gladly eat anything that manages to grow, and I don’t yet have a reliable way to irrigate the crops, so I’m not yet convinced that anything will in fact grow. But, these things are steps on our way to domesticating a site enough to spend more comfortable time there. We have also located the spot for our future house, and have removed fallen trees from the area, and generally cleaned up the site where our house will grow.

We have further plans for the summer, hopefully as the house construction begins, in order to spend more quality time in Buchanan: Electric service has been requested from Indiana and Michigan Power, and hopefully within a couple weeks time we will have temporary electricity that we can use to pump water, charge phones, potentially power a laptop, and charge cordless tool batteries. We are also planning a camp site, where we can sleep more comfortably and avoid insects, rain, etc. Of course the attempt will be to make some kind of architecture out of this temporary living condition, and to make it comfortable enough for the rest of my family to agree to spend multiple days there. We’re going to need to shower (have some ideas for that), and find a way to tastefully deal with some of the other human functions that are part of daily living. We will, as we have been so far, move gradually and incrementally as we introduce our human comforts to our new natural home.

Over for now.