A Greener cup o’ Joe

Howdy, friends,

This past week was certainly full of excitement up here at the ‘Escape. Leo had a rough week with imminent thunderstorms causing him to seek cover under the protection of hard shelter. His confinement was NOT aided by suspiciously high helicopter activity in the area, scouting what we suspected was the Rock Slide blaze located to the Southwest of us. However, airborne activity reached a fever pitch one evening with several low-pass flybys. The “Whump-whump” of rotor blades filled our valley and was soon replaced by the whine of a fixed wing spotting plane – which vectored in just a couple miles East.


This spotting plane was joined by a slurry bomber which, on its second pass, opened its bay doors to drop its payload on a small fire which had sprung up behind one of the two little hills that stand between our camp and the Hoff Ridge. Both fixed wing aircraft made a second pass, where-in the bomber again dumped slurry, before returning to base. The helicopters reappeared, first with dumb bailers, and finally to drop a Rapattack crew in to mop up the blaze. We tried to hike to the site of the fire later that evening but were unsuccessful managing the many drainages and ravines between us. We did, however, confirm that the area immediately around the ‘Escape is receiving sufficient rainfall to keep us on the safer side of wildfire risk. A call to the county confirmed that the blaze was under control and we were not in imminent danger.


Back on track the next morning, it was time to begin construction of our newest addition – a deck! John’s construction background came in handy, and in no time he and Chris had knocked together the frame.

DeckThe following day, Laura and John set upon the structure with paint brushes, effectively camouflaging it to match the remaining ‘Escape outbuildings we’ve all come to know and love;Paint

Okay, so I know you’re thinking, “What does this have to do with the afore titled …cup of Joe…?” Well, as painting was going on outside, Chris was reading and assembling inside – ahem, with a cup of Joe. No? Not biting?

Oh fine. Ahem, drum roll please…We are at last ready to unveil our newest menu addition at Rocky Mountain Escape; Renewable Energy Coffee!

At long last thanks to the solar system parts supplier, our much anticipated solar system is up and running, even though some of the complexities and electrical jargon were lost on Laura…

“Look, Mom,…to get optimal output you’ll need to channel 1.21 gigawatts into the flux-capacitor at precisely the moment you want to power your…”;


Array1Yes friends, Rocky Mountain Escape now has the ability to run our water pump, power our refrigeration, and communicate with the outside world with just the bounty harnessed from the sun. So next time you’re in the area, pop on in for a clean, quiet, greener cup o’ Joe.






A big thank you to the patience and flexibility of our supplier, SolarPanel.ca, and to the man who taught me almost everything I ever learned about electricity and wiring, Ron Mitchell. Last but not least, a tip of the hat to Richard and Jan Chant, who were instrumental in working with and providing the pathway for us to turn our dreams of solar energy into a reality.

Until next time, Happy Trails!


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