Into the Wood: A Day in the Life of an Off-Grid Entrepreneur

Reader Contribution by Aur Beck and Advanced Energy Solutions Group
article image

Today’s Off the Grid job was only 2.7 miles from pavement versus last Friday’s off the grid job was over 6 miles from pavement and I had to ford a stream. Also last Friday I had to go the long way because Snake road was closed. Some days my life is an adventure. #GetEnergized#GoSolar

Truly a Couple of Off-Grid Customers

The GPS tells me that it’ll take 14 minutes to go 5 miles and I almost make it only to find THE Road was flooded as well as washed out so I had to backtrack about 30 minutes. I made it through a majority of the road even though it was washed out in places due to a big rainstorm yesterday. But I made it through most of it. I knew that snake road was closed for the snake migration so I went to take another road but I didn’t know that it was completely flooded. In the end I had to take the longest route around but made it.

One customer we put their system in 2 years ago and I was doing a check up on it.

The other customer put their system in at least 10 years ago and is now tripling their solar so they can put in air conditioning and a pool. He did a self install but he was smart enough to have me come to test and make sure the system was wired up, and hooked up correctly which it wasn’t.

It turned out to kind of be lucky that I got lost because as I was getting turned around a guy pulled up with a truck pulling a trailer and on the trailer was as an ZENN electric car of which only about 500 of them were ever made. He told me that it cost $66,000 to make each one and they were listing them for under $17,000. This all electric car was made from scratch to be all electric with an all aluminum frame and ABS plastic body. He said it’s 72 volts ( 6- 12 volt ) batteries and that it only goes about 25 miles on a charge. So basically a hopped up golf cart. All I know is it was completely unexpected to be deep in the woods and run into a guy who was just driving all the way from Chicago (about 6 hours)  where he had got this car off of Craigslist.

Before I bumped into him I was kind of cranky that I had gotten not really lost but had to completely backtrack almost 30 minutes of traveling.

I did see a wild turkey and some really nice nature as I drove through Trail of Tears State Park. I usually follow the GPS as it tells me the shortest way but it never really tells me the shortest time. Although we probably wouldn’t have known that the road was washed out and the creeks were still high.

I look forward everyday to the interactions I have on my Living Off Grid, Really!?!? Facebook page and hope you will join the discussion there.

Stay energized, aur

Aur Beckhas lived completely off-grid for over 35 years. He has traveled with his family through 24 states and 14,000 recorded miles by horse-drawn wagon. Aur is a presenter at The Climate Reality Project, a fellow addict at Oil Addicts Anonymous International and a talk show co-host at WDBX Community Radio for Southern Illinois 91.1 FM. Find him on the Living Off Grid, Really!?!? Facebook page, and read all of Aur’s MOTHER EARTH NEWS posts here.


All MOTHER EARTH NEWS community bloggers have agreed to follow our Blogging Guidelines, and they are responsible for the accuracy of their posts. To learn more about the author of this post, click on their byline link at the top of the page.