Sunday, August 28, 2011


It has been a quiet week .

I spent some time and money at the hardware store buying fittings for the septic system at the camp. The jeep is loaded with barrels, pipe, pipe fittings, a screen for the front window of the cabin and my kayak.


(More about the Kayak later).

On Wednesday, I went Kayaking with Bob and his brother Mike.


We put in at Guerneville and went up stream


to Korbel hole where we had lunch and paddled back to Guerneville. About 5 miles round trip. As usual it was a fine day on the river.

Yesterday, my daughter, Gabriella and Morgan, her husband came up to get our old Fol-Boat (a fabric covered two person kayak, that you can sail)


We loved that old boat but it was time to pass it on to a new home and besides, we needed the space to store the new kayaks.

I’m heading back to IC tomorrow (Monday) and I won’t come home until Friday.

Bob is also going up tomorrow. We will likely work on the septic system tomorrow and Tuesday.

Dave will be up on Tuesday and stay until Thursday.

Wednesday, Bob and I are going Kayaking on ether the Noyo or the Navaro Rivers. It will probably depend on how much water is in the Navaro. Dave is nursing a sore back and declined the invite to go with us. I will call him again tonight to see if he might be feeling better and has maybe changed his mind. If so, I can throw the other boat on the jeep in the morning. Bob will be heading north after the kayak trip and I will go back to IC.

Anyway, that’s why the Kayak is on the jeep.

The rest of the week will probably be spent working on getting the toilette and septic system finished. Maybe I will get time to put the screen on the front window of the cabin.

Of course, I will have all the details and pictures in the next episode..

Tuesday, August 23, 2011


We got back from Indian Creek last evening around 7:00.

It was a productive trip.

We got up there around noon last Wednesday. We moved in and just enjoyed the day.


I installed the final valve in the water system and soldered up the mixing valve for the shower. I tried making a mixing valve for the shower but it doesn’t work. I think that the pressure in our system is so low that the water heater is operating at near the low pressure shutoff threshold. There is also a significant pressure drop across the unit. I thought that I could run the tank-less water heater on high temp, plug it into one side of the mixing valve and just mix cold water with it but when I tried it, the heater turned off as soon as  the cold water valve was opened. The pressure on the cold water side is higher than the pressure of the water coming out of the heater and apparently stops the flow of the hot water. Oh well, the shower still works so I did no harm with the mixing valve and it allows the shower to be used with or with out the heater. It will be cold of course but on some days that is just what you want.

Sonny came up Thursday morning and I helped him put up my wedge tent so he would have his own camp.



Now he can come up when ever he wants.

I finished the plumbing for the shower and the sink in the bathhouse and put up the rest of the walls in the shower area. Patti scrubbed the walls down after I was done.


Sonny left Friday morning.

I worked on the sink at the dining hall, finishing the ditch,


hooking up the drain line and covering the ditch.


About an hour after Sonny left our friend Jane showed up.


Jane and Patti spent a lot of time chatting.


I did a couple hour turn in the hole.


Patti, Jane and I went down to the grove for a while in the afternoon and hung out by the creek. Joanne and Dave showed up Saturday evening and brought with them the toilette and linoleum for the washhouse. 

On Sunday Dave put a sink in and set up a wash station in his camp.


Patti and I repaired the front window to the cabin.


Monday, Dave took a turn in the hole


and finished it up.


(The barrel in the hole is just  a depth gauge)

Now I have to get the barrels and plumbing together. We should soon have an operating flush toilette.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011


Patti and I are going up to the cabin today and won’t be home until next Monday. Joanne and Dave are coming up on Sunday.

The next post will be Tuesday or Wednesday.

Saturday, August 13, 2011



Well, it’s Saturday and I am back from IC. I went up Tuesday afternoon and had planned to come home on Sunday but ran out of parts; and I had forgotten to bring up a propane canister for my torch so I couldn’t do any soldering.

I got to the cabin around 4:30 on Tuesday and spent the rest of the day getting settled in and planning what I was going to work on for the next couple of days.

We have always used 1/2” plastic nipples to connect the black 3/4” poly-pipe waterlines together and as connections to valves, etc. We never needed any clamps in the past so I was unprepared when we turned the water on last week and had leaks at many of the joints. As it turns out the last batch of pipe I bought is just slightly larger than the older stuff. I only had a few clamps with me at that time so we tried stopping the leaks as best we could.

I brought a bunch of clamps with me this time so Tuesday evening after it cooled down a bit I tried fixing all the leaks in the water system. Well, the standard hose clamps that I had aren’t up to the job. Buy the time I could get them tight enough to slow the leaks down the clamps strip or just won’t get tight enough.

Wednesday morning I carried the new drum for the camp spring up the hill to a spot just below the spring.



I dug a trench and lade the barrel in the trench. Then I made all the connections to the barrel and when I was done I camouflaged it.


After setting the “tank”, I consolidated the valves on the system into two groups; one down at the camp


that takes care of the Main (top), the dining hall (left), Dave’s camp and the wash house and central hose bib (bottom).

And one group about halfway up the hill.


This set covers the cabin spring on the right with a valve and a check valve because the camp spring tank is a little higher up the hill than the cabin spring tank. The line to the cabin is on the bottom. To the left is a valve to separate the two tanks. I still need a valve to shut down the line coming from the camp spring.

I also worked on the overflow for the cabin spring tank.

Thursday, I started assembling the mixing valve for the shower. That is when I realized that I didn’t have any propane for the torch. I went ahead and cut all the pipe I needed and assembled everything that I could without soldering.

Next, I set about installing the new Farmer style sink in front of the Bath house.


I had the same problem doing the plumbing for the sink as the mixing valve (no torch) so I did what I could.

Friday was pretty warm so I took it easy for most of the day. In the evening when it cooled down I started digging the ditch for the drain to the sink at the dining hall. The ground here has been bull-dosed so many times that it is almost down to bed rock so digging a ditch can be pretty rough. I scratched the ditch for its full length but couldn’t get it very deep. I ran water through the ditch for a while to soften the dirt a little and let it set all night.

This morning I took another stab at the ditch but was only able to get it dug about half way across the flat. I’ll get it dug eventually Maybe next week.


Okay that’s it for now…

Monday, August 8, 2011


Sonny and I got to IC around 11:00 on Wednesday.

Dave was up there when we arrived. He was picking up some of his camping gear as he was going hunting with Mat in the Mendocino forest next weekend. We unloaded the van and I moved into the cabin while Sonny took his stuff down to Dave’s tent. We visited with Dave until about 3:00 when he left for home. About an hour later Bob showed up. He was on his way to the coast to do some kayaking and stopped by to spend a couple of days and start on the hole for the septic tank.

On Thursday morning Bob started digging the hole.


Sonny and I cleaned out the ditch that Harvey dug last week


and lade the dining hall water line in it. We connected the system to the main water line but unfortunately we didn’t have enough clamps so there are some leaks that I will have to fix next time.


Bob dug.


We buried the water line to to the dining hall.


Bob dug in the pit.


On Friday, Patti came up but Harvey had a chance to go water skiing with one of his football buddies and decided that water skiing was much more fun that digging ditches so he didn’t come. Go figure!

Bob continued digging in the hole


Sonny and I moved the central sink to the end of the Dining hall IMG_6087

Bob dug,


Sonny and I took apart an old table that I had built years ago and used the lumber to build a work counter connected to the sink.



Bob continued to dig.


Around 1:00 Friday afternoon Bob had had enough digging and headed for the coast. He did a great job on the septic tank hole.


He said he was going to just get the hole started but in the end he dug it over half way. Thanks a lot Bob!

The plan is to use two 55 gallon drums for our septic tank. The system will be connected to the toilette only so it should last for a long ,long time.

Saturday morning Sonny and I installed a hose bib where the central sink used to be.


We took the rest of the day off. 

We came home on Sunday.

Harvey and I were supposed to go kayaking this week and then go up to the cabin but it looks like he is going to be tied up with football practice for the week. I may just go buy food, a barrel and the parts I need and head back up to the mountain tomorrow or Wednesday.

Stay tuned.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011


Okay, I got the rack done and It is on the jeep. I still have to paint the blue cushiony stuff but I am waiting for the glue to set good first.


Sonny and I are going up to Indian Creek this morning. Bob is coming up to day also. Patti and Harvey are coming up on Friday and we will come home on Sunday so that Harvey and I can go Kayaking on Monday.

I’ll talk to you again on Tuesday.