It wasn’t long into our inaugural hunting season that we came to the realization that there is no easy way to rely on solar power…. in the fall…. in Michigan. The daylight hours are short and the solar supply equally as short. It only took a few weekends of struggling with invertors, panel positions, and battery banks for him to proclaim we’d be getting power ran to the cabin. All the respect in the world to those who make a life using solar power. For this, our vacation setting, that lifestyle just wasn’t for us.
Right after rifle season, and shortly before Christmas, UE and I spent the weekend picking up and installing a 20′ power pole. This is in no way an easy task. From designing a hitch extender for his truck to haul the pole, to digging the 5′ deep hole using an altered ice auger he designed using galvanized pipe and cap ends; It was an incredible challenge from beginning to end.
As I am sure anyone can imagine, two people putting in a power power pole is quite a sight. It wasn’t the hauling. That was solved with his hitch extender. It wasn’t the augering of the hole, thanks to his briliant ice auger turned earth auger design. We won’t even mention the challenge of the water table filling in the hole as we dug it out. Making it mud and clay that we were hauling up out of that hole with every six rotations of the 18″ auger. Nope, the biggest challenge was yet to come.
How do you stand that 20′ pole up into the hole? There were no straps long enough, and no way to get them to the right anchor point in the trees even if we had them. Neither of us over 5’6″ so even standing in the bed of the truck there really was no leveraging it. So there we were, 5′ hole dug, pole on the truck, and no pre-planned way to stand it up. Instead, he went into problem solving mode and before I knew it, he was lifting the pole from the bed of the truck. I put the truck in reverse, he “walked” the pole up as if to get it into an upright position, using the hitch extender as the folcrum point, and then it dropped into it’s new home.
Amidst the chores and tasks we are often reminded of all that happens around us. Prior to setting that enormous pole, we had to clear the path for the wires through the woods so we were surrounded by broken branches and sticks. It wasn’t until we stopped for a few minutes that we realized, amidst all the debris, there was a buck rub only inches from the truck. A subtle reminder to pause once and a while, and take in all that is around us.
Fast forward to December, a bunch of phone calls and approvals, and we’re installing a power panel and pole mast. Thanks to a climbing stick from a tree stand and a very special electrical monkey. All was set in less than a day. He made this look easy!
After the holidays and a brash of winter storms, we decided to make a visit and check on the place, only to find that the power company was there doing the install that very day.
With power now ran to the pole, we can bring power to the cabin. It won’t be long and we’ll be up and running or will we….