Over the weekend we also installed the solar panels on top of our trailer. I was pleased I could dismount from the ladder and walk on the roof like a carpenter in training. Those exit moves when I was a rock climber were always tricky for me. There is some weird weight shift when you are moving from a vertical world back to the horizontal that always gave me trouble. Maybe its due to my low “center of gravity.” I thought I didn’t have to worry about that when I retired from climbing but now its ladders and roofs.
You might think that I would be geek enough to share some specifics on our solar system, but the details continue to fly around my head never taking a seat. I can say we have two 3×5 foot panels and 4 heavy duty deep cycle batteries. We opted not to do an inverter for the entire system to save money. So we have direct current from the batteries that runs our lights, fans and water pumps. We’ll use a small plug in inverter to charge our tooth brushes and laptop. Russ Forba, a recent EPA retiree, designed the system for us. He just started Elkhorn Solar. If you want to contact him let us know and we’ll get you the information. Maybe he’ll read this and provide some sexy details and contact information in a comment.
The logistics of packing the house seem to be under control. It’s just fitting everything in the 22′ trailer I can’t figure out. We sold the piano yesterday. Thanks to Cody for valiantly volunteering his very stout skateboard to use as a dolly. Trying to get the board under the piano required as much effort as lifting it into the back of our pick-up. So after we realized we (inexplicably) have the nicest sidewalk in a two mile radius, walking the piano on a skateboard was not the best option, despite Cody’s board handling skills. We were glad to see the destination had a porch we could back right up to. Word to the wise: if you promise to deliver a piano, its best to see where you are delivering it prior to agreeing to a price.
While Burt closed the deal on the piano I hiked to the top of Mount Ascension and ran into Todd and Gretchen at the tippy top. Always fun to find friends out in the woods. I also worked on the traveling library…in this Internet age it’s still hard for me to decide what I need in a physical form. I think the travel guides are going into storage and we’ll rely on the Internet. Music is, so far, coming with us. Its boggling to see the volume of lyrics and chord charts we think we need. I decided to ditch the mini-disks and recorder. If I do a lot of field recording I’ll update to an MP3 player.
Here’s a pic with Burt and the Mistrel guitar.
Next post…the new guitar…As soon as I figure out the video size limitation issues.
The Gypsy Carpenters launch their new web page…Thanks to Cody Ekmeyer for setting this up for us. The Gypsy Carpenters are Burt Mittelstadt on guitar and vocals and Susan Mittelstadt on mandolin and vocals. They are vagabonds traveling the U.S. hoping to make friends, eat good food, play music and maybe remodel a kitchen or two.