One thing for certain is it is better to be prepared than to be caught unprepared. On trips I am known to pack basic tools and car repair manuals with me in case of a breakdown. I have replaced fuel pumps, alternators, fan belts, flat tires, power steering lines, radiator hoses, and headlights, on the side of the highway or freeway without needing a tow, just a hitch to the nearest supply store and back or I might use some spare parts I packed with me, just in case. Most of the time, I do not have break downs, but the one in a 1,000 chance I am prepared. Perhaps this is foolishness or too much zeal, but it has got me out of few jams with relative ease.
This mindset of being prepared has been a necessity on a homestead; especially, with the rumor on the wind that North Idaho may be due for a big snowfall this winter. This past year we did not have much, and it has steadily decreased since we moved onto the property. A big snow year could be a pack of 6 feet around the house that stays until spring thaw. Two years ago, I invested in a snow blower to remove snow from the drive way and pertinent paths around our home. It works great and continues to do so, but our easement/driveway is a quarter of a mile long and requires a minimum of 5 passes by the snow blower to clear it. That is over one mile of snow blowing during the winter storms that can drop a foot of snow one day and two days later drop another foot. A four to six hour snow removal each time is brutal, which was before our generous neighbor bought a snow plow truck.
The first winter we moved here. I have been hoping to buy a snow plow truck. This year my generous neighbor found a plow truck for the right price ,and I purchased it. The truck needs some transmission work, but if it can’t be fixed for a reasonable price, I will most likely install the snow plow onto our other truck, Brother Red. I am hoping that with this acquisition, I will be able to help out the neighbor who has helped me out the past few years. I should be able to ease the work load of his volunteer service to the neighborhood with both our plow trucks on the road.
Already it is the end of July, and we are preparing for winter. Currently, I have been working hard to cut, split, and stack 8 cords of wood for the winter season. As of writing this entry, I have successfully cut, split, and stacked 6 cords of wood for the winter and hope to reach my goal before the 1st of August. Update…As of last night, August 7, I have 8 cords stacked, but I still have 3 trees down that we will cut split and stack before the end of next week.
I have also prepared the generator and snow blower for the winter season. They have had their oil checked, fuel stabilizer added to their full gas tanks with non-ethanol gas. I ran each motor for 5+ minutes to get the stabilized fuel through the carburetors and intake manifolds. Both motors started right up and are prepared to be called upon this winter. This winter; we will be warmed by a nice fire in the wood cook stove as we plan for next summer’s preparations for winter.