Homes and Land Available in California's Eastern Sierra Region

– Survivalist | Prepper

Survival may be an extreme reason for living in Sierra East, but in these days of extreme economic, resource, and environmental uncertainty, who doesn’t at least occasionally think about having a back-up plan?

First off, WATER. It’s not a day goes by that diminishing or uncertain water supply futures make the news. Sierra East is unique in that it drains one side of the massive Sierra Nevada mountain range to a tiny population of local users. Even the City of Los Angeles’ aqueduct diversions do not deplete the ground water supply as human mechanisms do in most other places. Much of Owens Valley is over a ‘contained aquifer,’ which means that impermeable substrate above it gives rise to artesian wells and wells with close-to-surface static water level. Cartago is a case in point, where water lies 3-to-4 feet below the well casing, making it possible to access ground water without even pumping it out! Even in this current time of sustained drought, there has not been significant change to water levels in and around Cartago. Since water is #1 on anyone’s survival list, you can come out here and not just survive, but thrive on it!

Artesian Well in Owens Valley

Here’s a survivalist case study:

“Having a place in Sierra East was a back up plan for my existence in Los Angeles County. I wanted to have a place to ‘escape’ to for relaxation and recreation but also in case things got ugly in civilization. Then my home of 9 years burned to the ground because LA County did not try to save it when a group of drunken criminals started a fire in the unpatrolled State Park above me. When I found out that my so called ‘replacement’ insurance policy would not cover the cost of rebuilding and that LA County would not let me live in a temporary dwelling on my own property, I moved full time out here. So my back up plan turned out to be useful!

Now I live in comfort with everything I could want, only more distance to the conveniences of modern day living. If things went bad here, I am much better situated to survive and even prosper. My $1000 investment in solar panels may not be enough to drive a refrigerator full-time, but it will provide me with all the water I need and sufficient power for lighting and smartphone connectivity.

I have a pellet gun which I am prepared to use on the abundant quail and cottontail that are constantly in view around my house. Recently I heard a loud bang on my glass door and ran out of my office to see a belly-up quail on the porch and a stunned hawk next to it. Apparently both flew into the glass but the quail perished while the hawk staggered off when it saw me. Well. I decided not to waste the life, so I got on the Internet to find out how to prepare the critter. It was easy and quite acceptable!”

Beautiful quail killed by my glass door when trying to escape a hawk

A quick Internet search taught me how to easily harvest the breast meat

It went on the propane-powered grill with chicken I was already making and cooked up quite acceptably.

Here at Cartago Springs, the year-round wetlands just downslope is not only a prized Audubon Society Migrating Bird Sanctuary, but home to lots of delicious crayfish! I bought a fishing license and an inexpensive trap, and have enjoy several Louisiana-style dinners here in the wild west!

Fresh crawfish from Cartago Springs. The nearby Owens River is teaming with these and several delicious species of fish.

Boiled up in Cajun spices, these crawdads are yummy.

One learns to give veggies a lot of space out here!

One learns to give veggies a lot of space out here!

Gardening is quite amazing here with so much sunshine available. It does freeze, so it’s only a year-round activity with the aid of a south-facing wall and/or a greenhouse, but during the long growing season, fruits and vegetables go positively crazy.

Fresh clean water is abundant and assessable (and there is no chlorine or fluoride in it)! The water here in the Cartago Springs unit well has a static level of only 3 feet below grade, which makes it easy and inexpensive  to pump. It also means one does not even need electricity to access it- all it takes is digging a 4′ deep trench next to the well and putting  a tap in the casing, and water will flow by static pressure alone! This is one of the few places in California where the groundwater is pure, easy to access, unlimited, and not overpumped by agribusiness and municipalities!

P.S. “Doomsday Preppers,” check out this article and website about a company that makes very interesting underground dwelling units!

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