Off the Grid (101)

Boathouse Built by Dean Ellis

This is a graceful little steel-framed boathouse that Dean built on the beach. Posts are 4″-5″ square steel, 8′ on center. The steel purlins are 2½″ steel tubes. The 1″×6″ sheathing is welded to the steel purlins with nails. Photo by @lloyd.kahn

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Casting Call: DIY Network Looking for Off-Grid Home Builder

We just received this email.

Greetings, My name is Gwendolyn Nix and I’m a casting producer with Warm Springs Productions (www.warmsprings.tv) and the DIY network. I’m currently casting the third season of DIY’s show “Building Off the Grid.” I’m reaching out to you to see if you or anyone you know would be interested in this opportunity.

We’re looking throughout the United States for folks who will soon be building an off-grid dwelling (i.e., starting within in the next few months). We cannot consider homes that are already underway.

All types of structures can be considered i.e., straw bale, earthship, tiny homes, yurts, container homes, earth-sheltered, log, stick-built, or whatever else your imagination comes up with! If you’re chosen for this project there is generous pay involved.

If you’re interested, please reach me at the contact information that follows my signature via either email or phone.

Please note, in order to be considered for the show, the home must be built on the land where it will ultimately exist (as opposed to being built in a warehouse and then transported to the land)

Here is a sneak peek link to the show: www.diynetwork.com/… Thank you and I look forward to hearing from you.

Sincerely,
–Gwendolyn Nix, Casting Producer & Social Media Manager
Warm Springs Productions
Cell: 406-214-6405
Email: gnnix@warmsprings.tv
Available 9am-5pm Mountain Standard Time

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Day Three on the Lost Coast

At end of trip. Note driftwood trekking poles.

Set out at 8 AM after breakfast of granola with hot water and my last hard-boiled egg. Had to cross creek and I wasn’t about to try balancing on slippery log with heavy pack.

My technique: take off shoes, tie laces together, hang around neck, go barefoot across creek with my 2 bespoke driftwood hiking poles, v. carefully; slipping would be a disaster. Got across, dried feet, rebooted, was on my way.

Felt great — it was lucky that the fast-moving hiker the night before had told me how to get up on bluff trail; otherwise would not have seen it and struggled through beach boulders and deep sand.

Whoo! Walking on a trail was a cinch, and this one was lined with flowers. Fortified with almonds, chocolate, and 14-grams-of-protein Power Bar, numerous water stops, I made it through the 2nd high tide zone.

What I learned to do was rest before flat-lining. I stopped for 15 or so minutes, 4-5 times, resting near a creek and once, lying in the shade in a driftwood shack, to regain strength and then pushed on. I ended up walking for 8½ hours until pretty near exhausted, reached Shelter Cove around 5 PM.

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The Lost Coast Beach Walk (part 1)

Just back, now in Gualala. Exhausted. 25 miles of hiking in soft sand and boulder-hopping and high-tide dodging. It was the adventure of my life. On the second day, wasn’t sure I’d make it, but got a rest and pushed through for 8½ hours yesterday. Utterly wild, raw, tough terrain. If something goes wrong out there, there’s now way to get help. I’m so proud.

Had steak, 2 pints IPA at the just-opened brewery in Shelter Cove last night to celebrate, the Big Boy breakfast this morning in Trink’s, my body restocking on depleted reserves. Boy, is it great to be ravenous and burning up whatever food is consumed.

Shot pics of lots of beach shacks.

Sea lions were unexpected: maybe 75 of them snoozing on the sand near the abandoned Punta Gorda lighthouse, hardly mindful of humanoid in their midst.

Will write more soon…

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Island Cabins Built by Bruno Atkey and Wayne

In the early 90s, Bruno and Wayne built a number of houses on a small flat island off the Pacific Coast. They had to go out every day from the mainland, anchor their boat, and somehow get on the island. Wood came via helicopter and on barges from the mainland. All of the wood came color-coated for assembly. “We flew enough wood in for two houses in less than three hours.”…

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Off–Grid Tiny House



This tiny house has everything this young couple needs. It’s set up to be completely off the grid, running on renewable energies. The home has solar power, captures it’s own rain water, uses solar water heating and even generates it’s own gas via a bio gas digester.

The bio gas digester works to turn household food scraps and garden waste into useable gas, which the couple can use for cooking and could also be used for heating water for the home. Living off the grid in this remote location, it helps the couple to be even more self-reliant.

Inside, the home has absolutely everything the couple need. The design of the home is light and open plan, with kitchen, bathroom, lounge, office and storage stairs which lead into the loft…

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Custom Sauna by Travis Skinner and Marc Goodson

The Steam Roller is a custom collaboration project with Marc Goodson of Engaging Environments. Marc is a very talented carpenter and welder and he visited me in Olympia to see the Snail Shell Sauna. We decided to collaborate on another sauna that was his main design in his shop in Portland, Oregon. Over the past few months we have met for a few days at a time and chipped away on all the details. After a lot of on and off work we spent Easter weekend jacking up the sauna and getting it on to a trailer and out of Marc’s shop!

What to do with this beautiful sauna? We are not entirely sure. It has been a terrific project and we hope to use it to showcase our work and potentially find a buyer. I think Marc is a bit attached to this sauna, but for the right price he could be convinced to let it go. For now it will live outside of his shop in Tyler Smith’s yard, but if you have any interest in seeing this building or taking a sweat, don’t hesitate to contact either Marc or me.

–Travis Skinner

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