When I moved to Bacon's Acres nearly 8 years ago, I was challenged, proud and entertained by my crash course in learning to live off the grid. It felt good. It felt green. It was all a very new experience for me. When I lived a simple cabin life (for about 6 months before I started my dog team), it was fabulously simple and peaceful. It didn't matter if my solar/battery system worked consistently or not. I didn't have a dog team needing to be fed and watered. I didn't have ATV's that needed to start so we could do our training runs. I didn't have freezers of meat and fish to feed the dogs.
After an experience with a couple very nasty freezers and consistently frozen water lines, in 2015 I put in a work order to investigate bringing power to Bacon's Acres. Somewhere in the decision-making process other life events (as well as timing and finances) trumped such a major project. Our living structures are nearly 1000' from the main power line, and the power poles must pass through swampy ground. Also, I waivered on wanting to give up the "simplicity" of off the grid living. My decision to go back on the grid took an acceptance of the fact that I'm not currently choosing to live a simple life. Initially, I felt like going back on the grid was "selling my soul". After much reflection, I decided I was "buying my sanity".
It's amazing all the "little" things all day long that are impacted by consistent power – personally, professionally and as a dog musher! The hum of the generator is silenced. I don't have to load up gas cans to buy gas to feed the generator. I don't have to wonder how soon the water holding tank will be empty requiring I start the generator to fill it back up. My laptop can always be charged. I don't need to start the generator to scan or print. Wifi can always be on, if I want. I can listen to music for as long and as loud as I want. The dogs' freezers of fish and meat stay frozen without a thought. I don't have to wonder if plugging in one more freezer will overload the generator when the water pump kicks on while I do laundry. Most of my wall outlets always work (much less confusing for those folks who aren't used to a 12-volt vs standard outlet option). When it's colder than 20F, I don't have to drag generators in/out of the cabin to keep them warm (if they get too cold sometimes they won't start), or trip over them in my kitchen. I don't have to drive generators to the Honda shop to get them fixed on a regular basis. I have lights bright enough to see my meal prep and dish washing -- no more headlamps required. I can plug in my truck in the winter, as well as trickle charge my ATVs. I can run heat trace on my water lines more consistently, so they don't freeze. I could go on & on...
We continue to use our solar panels and batteries, but now have the convenience of consistent power to use as needed. An instantaneous elimination of an abundance of mind clutter. Here's a huge thank you to all of you who helped make this process happen!!!