Cold weather, Wood Stove Cooking, and Bartering

Our night time lows are dropping into the single digits, the coldest temperatures we have experienced since we first moved into the bus. This will be the ultimate test of our ability to stay warm in the winter. In order to keep our water supply unfrozen, we buried the hose that runs from the hook-up to the bus, but gophers chewed holes in it. Two days ago we replaced the hose with PVC (live and learn.) We dumped a layer of sawdust on top of the line, but what we really need is a couple of feet of snow.

Fortunately, our new wood stove is working well. Since it has a cook plate, I have been using it for cooking as well as for heating. I have been able to prepare pots of rice and pasta and make sauces and soups. I stoke the stove when I want to bring something to a boil, then damper it in order to simmer.  I let the temperature in the bus drop before I start cooking so that I will not overheat the place when I stoke the stove.

Steve has his snow plow up and running. He is plowing the private road we live on road as “payment” to our friends for letting us park our bus on their land. He is also plowing the neighbor’s driveway in exchange for elk meat. This is the barter economy.

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