When I'm travelling a mountain road every corner beckons me to go on. The experience is one of new discovery and adventure. The higher you get the more exhillerating and grand are the views. A mountain road takes you farther away from cares and crowded city life. It's a road that can change, sometimes it's smooth and peaceful, other times it can be steep and dangerous presenting obstacles and weather that challenge the traveler. The name of our retreat does not just describe a place, it describes a journey.
Mountain Road Retreat is like a little trip that you take to get away from the hustle, to see mountain tops, to hear a gentle breeze in the tall trees, to taste the fresh spring water, and just breath easy. Most of all, it's a place to hear God. That is the atmosphere we pray and strive for. One that is filled with the Joy of salvation, and the name of the Saviour Jesus Christ. This place was started and remains for that purpose.
Mark and Lori Ann Steberl came to live here in 1997. As pioneers they started by clearing land, sawing logs and building a house to raise their family. Believing that this was to be 'a place where shepherds would cause their flocks to lay down" (a Christian Retreat) they united with others to form Mountain Road Ministries Society. This society exists to nurture a Christ centered purpose for the retreat. To this day the Steberl family continues to live and host at the retreat, directing the development of the facilty to serve the ministry's purposes.
Today there's a lot of talk about Homesteading and off grid living. Myriads of "how to do it" videos on the tube. For us we did not set out to homestead but the land required it. So we became pilgrims and pioneers. As we worked to live better the land made us sweat and gave us both rich and harsh experiences. By God's grace we're enriched. When I watch those homesteader videos I see familiarity, 'been there done that'. If I was given a chance, I'd do it again and again.
Without a lot of money things become very simple. Some choices are eliminated thus removing confusion. One of those choices was electricity. We wanted it, at least some, but it was too expensive to get connected to the grid. Therefore our path led us to micro hydro. We now have over 23 years of experience with generators, pelton wheels, solar panels, power management and all that goes with it. Most of it DIY and many lessons from our trials. My advice to those going down this road? Find a property that either has full sun year round or rights to a healthy stream on or very near it.