My name is Pat Quest. As my last name suggests “Quest” has been integral to the paths in my life. Learning, exploring, experiencing, pushing my own limits. I’m the kind of person who needs to see what’s around the corner.
Tiny, alternative living has been my norm for approx. 11 years. When living in Anacortes, Washington, before moving to southern Arizona 11 years ago, I totally, and I mean totally renovated a 1920’s fisherman’s cottage the neighbors referred to as the police house before I bought it. Imagine the neglect and damage. Being in the wet Northwest, there was a lot of rot. I bought it cause it was the last cheap (under $100,000 in 2000) in old town, and I was still providing for two children. I learned (and passed inspections) structural framing, running new electric throughout the house, ran gas line, plumbing, appliance installation, replaced all windows and doors, wall and flooring applications. When my neighbor saw me roofing the addition she yelled out “Shit fire girl”.
After my move to the Tucson, AZ area I took several workshops in Permaculture, Renewable Energy and Natural Home Building. I lived in a vintage 12′ 1954 Rod and Reel canned ham travel trailer (My son and I renovated completely) on a10 acre parcel I purchased of rough, untouched terrain in the Santa Rita Mountains. I learned a lot of lessons about the desert, living off-grid remotely (squirrels became my conversation companions), solar, water collection and surviving the Sonoran Desert summers without air conditioning. I never realized my goal of building an earthbag home on that property when Fibromyalgia took me down the first time.
My next move was to a friends land in Arivaca, AZ (the last outlaw town in southern AZ). I continued to live in Rosie the Riveted, my canned ham, but more than doubled my living space when I rescued a 1956 16′ Shasta. Another total renovation. Also off grid. But living on someone else’s land, making improvements I would never be able to take with me, and the trailers were not ideal for the extreme temperatures and my fibromyalgia, I started brainstorming alternatives to having my own home, a real house that provided the comforts my body and mind were screaming for. I thought of building a tiny house on wheels even before I heard about the movement or Jay Schaffer or Dee Williams (who I admire for advancing/launching the movement). I’m glad to know there are a lot of like minded humans out there.
So, when people ask me “where did you learn how to do all this?” I reply “Common sense, seat of my pants, my Dad set a good example of self-reliance and oh, and I love my tools!”.