The first thing we had to do was clear some trees for the power lines that needed to be put in. Apparently, we needed three poles and the wires had to come up our thickly wooded hill.
We also had to clear a drive for their trucks to be able to get to the work area. All in all, it was about 50-60 trees that had to come down. We were paying rent on our apartment, mortgage on the land and trying to build a house. There was no money to hire tree people, so we did it ourselves. We purchased a chain saw, pulled our wheelbarrow out of storage, and got to work.
It was December and we quickly learned the hardest thing we had to deal with was the cold. You’d think that would be obvious but coming from Georgia we hadn’t experienced a winter at 8000ft altitude before. Honestly, we were just struggling with breathing at that altitude after almost a decade at sea level. We invested in winter clothing for the children and layered, layered, layered. We spent a lot of time there over Christmas break. My husband had the whole week off and we needed that time to get it done. The electric company wanted to come out the 9th of January.
Unfortunately, there was a horrible cold snap that week. The highs were in the teens. We quickly learned how important it was to stay bundled up and stay dry. We also took the time to make a fire pit. Our first improvement to the land. Over the past year the fire pit has morphed into something really nice. It started as a hole in the snow. We used logs we had cut for firewood to sit on. As the snow melted we gathered rocks and make an actual fire place. In the summer, We found some downed trees on our (very steep) hill. They were already dry, the bark was off and they were perfect for benches. We carried them up the hill (remember the breathing at altitude thing? Yeah, not any better during allergy season.) and now our fire pit is a pretty nice place to hang out.
One of the reasons we started this journey was so we could teach our children how to work. They all helped. Depending on their age and abilities they did what they could.
Very quickly we had stacks and stacks of firewood and are now set for several years to come.
We finished those trees, the electrical poles were put in and our first adventure on our property came to a close.
I’m still warming up.