As some of you who follow this blog know, I live at the White Wolf Mine in a hovel on the Mogollon Rim in Arizona. I don’t live “under the Rim” or in “Rim Country (which means under the Rim). There are not that many people who live on top year round.

Savage River – Susquehanna 18′ Canoe

Yes, I have the canoe temporarily parked downstairs in the guest area. You shouldn’t have a problem with it. It’s not like I’m parking a Harley Davidson rigid Paughco frame Knucklehead in the living room with the chain oiler dripping on the carpet…

There are advantages to living remotely, an hour’s drive from the nearest store, and there are down-sides to being remote. One of the biggest problems is bandwidth. During the summer, and on a weekend, people from the hot desert lowlands come up to the Ponderosa forest, connecting their televisions and i-pads, and the lack of bandwidth becomes a spectacular problem.

I’ve been told that I live in a “compound”, but I don’t. Well, I didn’t. Maybe that will change? My second (of four) daughter and her family plan to build a house/cabin on the property. There is a large guest area dedicated to that purpose in the hovel itself, but they want their own set up.  I have plenty of room to add more such structures should the rest of the family want to move up, or build a vacation home.  There’s water, there’s power, or they set up their own power (solar, etc) and stay off the grid. It all works.

They want to build a large garage on the ground floor and live in the second story. That works too. Garages matter a lot. And for young families with boys and boy’s toys, they fill up fast.

These are the building lot options that I suggested, but they may have other ideas.

Building Lot Option 1
Building Lot Option 2


  1. “keep your friends close, and your enemies closer” and your family, depending on how they turned out, closest or farthest away.

    I have some of both of the latter………..

    • I genuinely .enjoy the company of my family. It would be nice to have all of them close.

  2. Will they live there full time? It’s beautiful, of course, but that kind of remote isn’t for everyone.

    I’m sending this with my VPN on to check if it will go through like that.

    • You made it on the VPN!

      I think that for the moment, it will be a summer/winter holiday cabin.

  3. No idea on lay of the land or climate quirks, but the orientation of the structure can be really important- nice to have sun penetrate deep into the house in winter, and be in shade in the summer, that sort of thing. They have a big advantage in this as you know the immediate area well.
    Is it a useful thing to have the structures at a distance where they can reinforce one another?

    • That’s one of the things I notice around Preskitt, about an hour or so from LL. We in this area have LOADS of sunshine, really cold nights and lots of pleasant afternoons even in winter. Yet I see very few houses with a lot of windows facing south. A lot of wasted heat opportunity.

    • The cabin would be in a bit of a blind spot (sort of a blind spot) for he hovel. As to placement, terrain in this case, has a lot to do with how the structure is placed. Morning sun.

    • At the moment, I don’t know that they will be home schooled, but my daughter is an elementary school teacher, so it could go that way. Up to them, of course. But the boys can always spend summers with grandpa.

  4. That canoe is just natural prudence, in case of flooding. I think the Coast Guard requires it, for safety!

    Compounds are good.
    You can put observation posts on the structures near the perimeter. Communications tunnels between buildings would be only reasonable, due to unpleasant winter weather.


    • It’s good to have invisible lines of communication and escape. Concrete conduit works best.

    • I’m on BEDROCK. There was a lot of blasting to get the shack’s lower level (not really a basement but sorta) in place. I don’t know if the kids are going down. My sense is that they won’t. They’ll pour a slab and put their cabin on that.

      • OK, I thought I remembered you had to use a suitable amount of explosives!

        I was just thinking about a good grounding system there….just one o’ them tahngs I ponder about.

        When I worked on big radio projects in that kind of terrain, getting the trenches jackhammered out to lay in the ground buss was always a Big Deal.

    • I’m way too soft on my kids and grandkids. I’m puddy in their hands. Love them WAY too much.

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