OFF-THE-GRID..."Old Technology" Still Faster Than a Horse
How fast are you moving, and how does that affect your view?
Above the fields here in central Arizona, where indigenous people farmed a thousand years ago, my cousins constructed some modern technology. They harnessed the power of the wind to bring themselves closer to the world "out there."
Today there stands a hand-cut post, anchored in the rocks high above this family homestead from 1898. After farming and ranching here for 20-25 years, a wind generator was engineered from pieces of metal, wire and an alternator from an early vehicle. These remnants still remain, vigilantly overlooking the ranch, straining to tell a story of how to "stay connected."
Here is the alternator fixed to the base of the "tail" of the windmill assembly, complete with a homemade braking system that allowed one to stop the fan and service the unit.
We discovered these two pairs of old slip-joint pliers at the base of the post, rusted shut.
This mini-tower was in place atop the post to stabilize the windmill, allowing the top to spin 180 degrees in order to efficiently catch the breeze.
A home-made "battery carrier" was laying nearby with it's baling-wire handle. Using this, one could more easily transport a large 6 volt battery from the ranch house up to the wind generator, attach it to the wires coming from above, letting the wind do the work in charging it up.
The story goes that a battery charging system allowed my cousins to listen to their transistor radio. Perhaps they listened to latest news of a war overseas? A baseball game? Information about an upcoming election or a railroad or highway being built?
Anchor wires and pieces of the windmill lay about below the pole...one can't help but wonder what they would need to be up and working again.
A nearby spot in the rocks revealed old tobacco cans and remnants from a glass mason canning jar. Was this a good place to sit and enjoy the view?
More evidence of indigenous people--part of a rock wall foundation for a pueblo. Yes, I think this was a good place to sit and watch the view. There are still deer and antelope that wander into the lakebed below, quenching their thirst and grabbing something green to eat.
Horses driven by thirst work their way down the canyon from the mesa above.
The best way I've found to get around this rocky, high desert landscape is horseback. You can see more as your horse takes care to get the two of you through the rocks, and you can move across it quite fast! If you were walking on your own two legs without your horse, your eyes would need to be watching the obstacles at every step. You would need to slow way down or stop to have a very good look around.
I think about how our horses, and all our animals really, didn't care about our radio transmissions back then, and they don't care about our "blazing fast" internet communications these 100 years later. They DO care about having food and water and space and friends to move about freely with.
If you can feel into this perspective and provide such "basic" things for your
animals, anything you would like to do with in partnership will improve.
I wrote a bunch of other stuff about what horses care about. If your life has occasional moments that allow you to sit and hold a book in your hands, I'd love to send it to you. It has lots of stuff in it that your horses want you to know, and it will get to you much faster than the Pony Express.
Hope you are well,
Dr. Tomas T.