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Simple Life: Hauling Water

Life was simple living in a small cabin in the hills: another middle class white kid who moved to the country and didn't really know what he was doing. I never went to the dump as I didn't have any garbage. Yeah, the original ecologists: if you don't have money you don't make trash. That still blows my mind: I didn't have garbage! And no running water either so I decided to do something about that.

The first year on the mountain I hauled gallon glass jugs up the hill by hand, maybe five gallons twice a week up from the county road. That winter I went back home to Indiana and came back the next spring with a $300 Dodge Dart station wagon. The first time I drove up that steep dirt road with a 55 gallon barrel of water in the back there were lots of other things in the car from my trip wedging in the barrel. At the top of the road I ran the water into another barrel above the cabin. A black plastic line snaked to a faucet over the little sink. 

The next time I hauled a barrel up the hill I didn't remember doing anything special to secure the barrel the first time so I filled that sucker up at a nearby spring and headed up the mountain. When I got to the top the barrel burst out of the back of the car smashing the tailgate glass and hurtled down the hill, 440 pounds of out of control water. If it had hit the cabin there would have been two big holes in it.

I had to go all the way to San Jose to get a new piece of glass to replace the smashed one. After that misadventure I started securing the barrel with an old tire. The next year I got an old Dodge truck and could haul two barrels at a time--I was on my way.

One Comment

  1. Noel Manners March 13, 2020

    I always enjoy Paul’s writing in the AVA and formerly in The Gulch Mulch. Keepin’ it real.

    Having observed “poor” people living simple lives in the US and elsewhere, I have noticed that they leave a significantly smaller carbon footprint than their wealthier neighbors.

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