After the last three days cold, cold and daily accumulating snows here in my valley we are maybe half of that now. 12 inches.
We always maintain one vehicle all-wheel/or 4x4 drive with winter studded tires October to end of March. A sacrifice vehicle for the sand and gravel road crews spread (Grrr. now, some salt too); and the wilder crazy skidding drivers.
Problem is down here below 2000-3000 feet it does not stay constant to enforce snow knowledgeable driving. Problem is many, many transitions in/out of roads surfaces packed snow-ice, then rain snot-ice, then back to spot freezing along any 10 mile stretch. North hillside shadowing road stretches the worst. Like your Spring thawing out Groundhog Day repeating for four months unpredictably.
Follow a world globe around and be surprised that we’all in Washington state are actually sun shadow north of 90% of folks in the lower US, even Maine. North even of 80% living in Canada.
Not complaining. Explaining.
Why here an in-house woodstove in one year gets at least 3-5X the heat-worked hours of a southern boy system. They get up to 10 years on a barrel stove conversion. We get one/never more than three years. Daily heating needed usually from beginning Oct thru June. Not a lot in the shoulders months. One wheelbarrows worth in 3-4 days. Arctic air cold spells like the last fours days it is one overloaded wheelbarrow of stove wood a day.
Fir woods are low density, bulky. Too flaring, popping hard to control outside of a good airtight stove. A true large firebox airtight with good air contols make this “poor” (for fireplaces) wood calm right down and able to be combustion stretched out for a true 85% use efficiency.
And our Doug Fir trees do actually grow year around loving the clouds and raining.
Interesting to me that Ma’ Nature actually supplies needs in each environment. We just have to see, be flexible, and adapt ourselves.
WaState eastsiders can PV solar quite well. Good payback. Ha! Have to “arrange” for fuelwoods. WaState west(wet)siders four months of the years would kill for some sunshine. Very, very poor annual PV solar payback here. Fuelwood, aplenty.
Why we wood-for-fuel users here see well that the social-become-legal restrictions on using wood is pure unscientific based over-reach, social-over-control.
WetSide Greens in Washington State and Oregon actually do feel wood fuel users are tree killers, resource hogs, planet polluters, toothless 19th century throwbacks needing restrained. Reeducated. Failing that . . . locked up.
Their mantra’s out here:
After all. Natural gas is better. It is right there in the name.
Big systems Wind is better, because it is new, higher Tech.
PV solar the best even if cloudy wetside it requires Federal Gov’mint subsidizing to get folks to install. And then Fed-down payed back for grid feedbacks at 2-3x of currnet wholesale rates.
They openly declared and forced state law here that BigHydro is not allowed counted as a renewable power. Why? It interferes with free flowing rivers. Fish-killers. And interferes with Native American traditional rights.
And of course they are death to all Nuclear Plants. Me too that anymore.
But? How you’all Greens going to recharge all of your growing use out here of plug-in electric cars eh? Without Nuke grid inputs? Without Big Hydro inputs? More weekly Montana coal trains to the CentraliaWA steam power plant?
So you’d think the Greens out here would realize each home wood heated could be one more plug-in electric car grid supported. Nope. That would be logical. That would be practical.
Opps. Time to snow-drift-walk back home at restoke up the fire. Six hour power outage two nights ago from a car ice slid into a power pole. Electric heat folks were getting cold by the time of Grid restore. Airsourced heat pumpers, propane central furnace folks, even most pellet stove folks were without heat chilling down too.
Wood does it better
tree-farmer Steve unruh