WELCOME TO RIVER DAVES PLACE

Going off the grid, our family story.

brgrcru

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Awsome life changing thread . Just fantastic to see and read .
Congrats on all of it .
Merry Christmas .
 

rivergames

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Best Thread on RDP and it's not even boating related! Congrats on the new pad and outstanding work! Merry Christmas!
 

Universal Elements

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SERIOUS QUESTION:

Would you be interested in offering a onsite (not right next to your house) camping/farmer/rancher for a day set up?

I'm not sure how much unused space you have on your property. But after reading this entire thread and following along, I think your life style and daily work is something that could seriously be a destination type location. I would gladly drag my trailer out there for a couple days just to get the experience for the kids. I'm in if you ever decide to do that type of thing.

This thread has to be one of the all time best threads on this site. Good work to you and your family.

Merry Christmas!
He use to have something like that. Read post #527. The link no longer works.
 

SBMech

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Awesome update Joel and congrats to you and Amy on the grandchild!

One of the most amazing journeys I have ever had the privilege of tagging along with, thank you so much for sharing this with us all!

Truly inspirational in so many ways, Merry Christmas to you all!
 

rivermobster

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You must sleep like a rock at night brother...

It's hard to imagine the amount of work you have done. But easy to imagine the gratification you get from looking at what all you have done.

Congratulations to you and Amy for all your new additions this year!

Signed,

In awe.
 

MeCasa16

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Nothing like waking up before everyone else on Christmas and finding the updates in one of my absolute threads on here. Your lifestyle is one I often dream about. You guys are really doing amazing things. Congratulations to you and your family and thanks so much for letting us tag along on your journey.


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
 

SoCalDave

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Growing up in a small town farming community I can understand the daily work that goes into such a venture as what you two have taken on, such an inspiration and so glad you have chosen to share your endeavors with us.
Merry Christmas and a prosperous New Year for your family.
BTY, grandkids are the best!
 

jetur3

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Merry Christmas. This update is the best present for me. Thank you for sharing. Congrats on the new grandchild.

You two are truly living all of our dream.
 

wash11

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Awesome Joel !!!
I noticed the name on the delivery truck 'Mohave Homes, Golden Valley' is that who you ordered through ? Not nearly as many dealers in the area as there were pre-recession.
After watching our property neighbor Benjamin's struggles getting his 0ff-grid stick built home up at SVR Hackberry, I'm pretty sure you had the right idea.

I sure love this thread, sure wish I were 30 years younger, lol :rolleyes: :D
Yes sir, we went with Mohave Homes. We're happy that the last recession cleared out many of the dealers, leaving only the solid ones. They've been great to deal with.
 

wash11

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AWESOME dogs for their intended work purpose, and great family pets if you've got little kids visting. But if I ever come around your place.......please introduce me to them as part of your family :)
You got it. They've been well socialized and are easy to handle. They have had the run of 50 acres right from the start so militant obedience and cute dog tricks will never be their strong point. They are good with basic commands and know the pecking order with us being the bosses, we let instinct take care of the rest. Once they start killing something, you just have to let them do their thing and have their prize. We've always introduced livestock to them and somehow they just know the difference between undesirables and what they are there to watch over.
 

wash11

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SERIOUS QUESTION:

Would you be interested in offering a onsite (not right next to your house) camping/farmer/rancher for a day set up?

I'm not sure how much unused space you have on your property. But after reading this entire thread and following along, I think your life style and daily work is something that could seriously be a destination type location. I would gladly drag my trailer out there for a couple days just to get the experience for the kids. I'm in if you ever decide to do that type of thing.

This thread has to be one of the all time best threads on this site. Good work to you and your family.

Merry Christmas!
We've entertained all sorts of scenarios. We pulled our listing for the campsite from Hipcamp this year as the scheduling was interfering with our travel schedule. Camp site is still there for visitors of course. So many, "firsts" we wanted to be there for with the granddaughter. The travel schedule is likely to settle down the next couple years and we'll get back to hosting more folks again. We've met some very cool people this way, one guy even proposed to his girlfriend on our bluff and we got great pictures of the whole thing.
 

wash11

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Thank you for all the great responses, PM’s and kind words. This thread has been ongoing therapy for us and I enjoy updating it and reviewing the “highlight reel.” Re-reading it has given me the energy to press on more times than I can remember. We have sacrificed so much to get to this point but have gained more than I ever imagined we could. In a world gone mad, we somehow found comfortable confidence knowing we have the final say on so much of our life now. Whatever the political/social climate is for the moment, it has trouble reaching inside our gates to rattle us. On occasion, I’ll “plug in” and get updated on whatever crazy current events might be happening but i’m finding it harder and harder to relate to and spend less and less time trying to understand it all.

This is my new favorite picture. After all these years, our life really is this peaceful.
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wash11

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It seems like the world has gone and found a bit of "crazy" in the last couple of weeks. I admit freely to not watching the news or listening to talk radio, so I'm out of touch with many of the current events, but it's hard to hide from the volatile stock market and global pandemics, especially if you check in on RDP.

I suppose I'm "up to speed," as much as I want to be anyway. A small part of me feels a little validation for spending hundreds of thousands of dollars and almost seven years of our lives building a place like this. Strangely, it's not comforting. I enjoy an excellent economy and seeing my friends thrive and prosper. I like checking in on social media and seeing everyone's highlight reels. New boat builds, old boat restorations, new truck to pull the toys, vacation selfies, new boobies for the gal in your life- yeah, I dig all that stuff.

While several in our position are doing the "I told you so" dance as people no longer make fun of their prepper mindset- we're pulling for the world to get back on track ASAP. I don't know what that looks like, though. Your 401k just had its eyes beat shut, and entire industries shut down overnight with no way to measure the coming trickle down, there's so much that is beyond our control in the coming days and weeks.

Staying home and limiting interaction with others is being suggested. As a guy that has turned this idea into an art form, I can't recommend this enough. I would suggest limiting my interaction with the media as well, though. While they enjoy the crisis ratings, they can't be helping the situation at all.

Pick up some healthy food and make dinner at home. Replace the nightcap with water. Spend less time commuting and more time in bed with your wife (bang her like she's the one that just killed your 401k, it's a win- trust me). The best way through this looks nothing like panic.

Not much has changed around here. It's the natural transition toward spring. Temps are rising, and the days are getting longer. All the steers for the year are getting butchered. The laying hens are finished molting and look their best while producing eggs again. Winter compost is finished and loaded into garden beds for this summer's veggie production.

Plenty of lazy days for the critters this time of year as well as good afternoon naps for us.

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We're keeping a 1/2 steer for ourselves this year instead of a 1/4. Better safe than sorry. With beef exports slowing or stopping to China, there's no telling what kind of shit beef will end up in the grocery store in the coming months.

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The dogs get fresh steer legs and hooves as their bonus for working night shift all year long keeping mountain lions away. BTW, leave them alone for a few days when they get these. Gus is ok but trying to take a leg away from Maggie is a good way to bleed.

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In the event of a virus pandemic, this is about the perfect distance to your closest neighbor.
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Costco was out of water cases. I think we're good.
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I took this last night through the living room picture window as I sat on the couch.
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We are line of site to the Verizon tower and have very fast speeds since we only compete with I40 travelers. The tower is generator powered and runs out of propane from time to time so we drop service for a few hours up to 24 hours when the road is too muddy to get a propane truck to it. We added satellite internet as a backup so we don't lose touch with the world when Verizon drops.

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Sandlord

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Looking good Joel. You and Amy have all the right things going on. Hope to see you soon.
 

Done-it-again

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What do you do with the steer hides? Would like a couple of tanned ones. Does anyone do that there?
 

wash11

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Just want to thank Joel and Amy...we have been ordering our beef from them for a few years. It pays to be a repeat customer, we ordered a 1/4 just before the shit hit the fan. Thinking of them tonight.
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We've worked hard to put existing customers to the front of the line. Thank you for the support through the years!
 

Sherpa

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success story like non other............ obviously you've got the right woman to share the life with. not all of them would "enjoy" it. some might tolerate it.

counting my days until I can at least "try" being close to your story.........

--Sherpa

keep the posts coming. they're very good to the soul to read and experience.
 

Xtrmwakeboarder

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Just want to thank Joel and Amy...we have been ordering our beef from them for a few years. It pays to be a repeat customer, we ordered a 1/4 just before the shit hit the fan. Thinking of them tonight.
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I can't wait till all of this is over so I can get 1/4 Cow. Finally got my freezer after every store being sold out, and then my truck dies. Living the dream Wash. What a cool life.
 

Howardflat

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Awesome thread. I just read the whole thing start to finish. Im thinking about property in your area but wont be doing 1/100th what you got going on. Hope everything is going well for your family. Keep up the posting.
 

wash11

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Forty-one days ago, the first of our kids made their way home with our one-year-old granddaughter.

Our son-in-law was following the virus long before anyone else that we knew of and had concerns for the baby who has a compromised immune system. There was chatter at the beginning of March about them heading this way if things escalated. Honestly, I felt it was a bit of overreaction but welcomed the idea of some baby time. Within a few days, our daughters "just in case" packages starting showing up from Amazon. Hand sanitizer, Clorox wipes, formula, diapers, shampoo, soaps, razors, multivitamins, etc. Everything they used daily at home in Texas was well stocked in our storage long before most people considered this to be "a thing." Whatever. We had space, and I knew it made them feel better. This many years in, we are used to having several months of dry goods stocked and freezers full of grub to minimize the 80 mile round trips to town. We followed their lead and hit Costco on March 7th to top off our supplies going into Spring, which is something we typically do this time of year anyway.

Things were escalating daily, and by March 15th, our other two kids had been laid off work and started making plans to come home too. It was decided that our 15-year old (step) granddaughter would come from Texas also. Almost overnight, we went from being empty nesters to a family of eight in a 1200sq ft house.

The first couple of weeks had daily family meetings regarding our new reality. The grown kids were now partners in all this, and we would share the workload as best we could. Scratch cooking three healthy meals per day means lots of planning, prep work, cooking, and cleaning.

Our trips to town are limited to two people that undress and drop clothes in the washing machine on their way to the shower upon return. Face masks, hand sanitizer- the whole business. Everyone quickly fell in line with our healthy living/eating habits, and collectively, we decided that limiting booze would be a good idea.

All of the above sounds extreme when I read back through it, but it's just our new normal. It's a busy time of year on the farm side, so having extra hands is nice. We've also been working on a couple of big projects that I'll update later, again the extra help is great.

There are struggles of finding alone time, waits for the bathrooms, and hot water shortages, but personalities mesh well, and everyone works toward a peaceful environment. We're back to playing board games on rainy days and movie nights from our extensive DVD collection. Sharing baby duty takes up the rest of the day with Amy doing most of the grandma stuff.

This real-life drill showed us the weak spots regarding what we keep on hand regarding dry goods, which are easily changed now that most products are back in stock online. The extra money spent on the solar system has paid off as well. We are incredibly power-hungry these days, and the system hasn't skipped a beat. We still don't have a backup generator and haven't needed one either.

All stresses considered, this time will go down as some of our best family memories we've ever made at a place we all have some sweat equity in.

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One of our first family outings in over a month. Did some exploring in the Rangers with our neighbors.
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The baby showed up just coming off strep throat and an ear infection. Twice daily breathing treatments for her asthma and a runny nose that lasted since birth. Living in a sterile environment with grandma Amy, this is the healthiest and happiest she's been. If she were to come in contact with this virus now, she actually has a fighting chance.
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Daily life indoors. I still have my spot on the couch at least.

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Brooding layer chicks indoors during a cold snap as if the house wasn't loud enough already.

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Running equipment day after day with my 23 year old son.
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Our local grocery store. We go through a ton of food.
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Raising beef for a living means end of times are delicious.
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21 year old daughter and 15 year old granddaughter took over a stock trailer to do some camping and have their own space for a bit.
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Sandlord

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Nicely done my friend. I'm amazed at everything you've done.
 

charlyox

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Sounds like all’s well on the farm. It is great to have the family together during these times. Amy looks like one proud grandma. Stay safe.
 

Sleek-Jet

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Glad to see the family is safe.

You can also see why Farmers and Ranchers used to have big families. "I looked around this place and said ,'Mama, we need some help.' So we had 8 kids.". :D
 

whiteworks

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One hell of a subsistence strategy you have built for your family. I’ve been ready to move to a more ag based community/lifestyle for a while, wife says 10 more years until she is done with her chosen profession and the kiddo is raised. I’m okay with that for now, we will be mid 50’s when it’s time to jump. I’m researching properties all the time and doing my homework, I can see acquiring the property within 5 years and begin the transition. This thread is just fantastic real world information, thank you for taking the time to write this.

You think the kids will stay onboard with you guys now?
 

monkeyswrench

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@wash11 , if you ever need someone to put eyes on something out my way (Prescott Valleyish), or if you need something quick from a TSC or parts house like Yavapai Fleet, let me know.

Due to the current debacle, not many river trips for us right now. Your area, Fort Rock exit, is almost exactly the halfway point from homebase to river pad.

We only made the jump part way 8 years ago. Thought hard about some properties in the Seligman area...kind of chickened out. Now the kids want to be out that way more as they see how much different things are, even before all this.

Looks good, both the family and the life you have going.
 

AZmike

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Joel,

I just spent 3 hours reading everyone of your posts and just wanted to say thank you. I'm absolutely blown away by your ambition and desire to take on this lifestyle change. I wish you and your family all the best!

Mike
 

Sleek-Jet

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I am not able to get Wash's beef, but I picked up a quarter of grass fed beef from a farrm out here and all I can say is "damn". I forgot how good, good beef tastes.

Find a place that sells well cared for meat and treat yourself, it is worth it.
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