Monday, September 26, 2011


We got to the ranch around 11:30 on Wednesday.

We moved into the cabin and had lunch. After lunch I set up the big two burner cooker at the dining hall. Then I made another sconce for the cabin. The weather was very hot but we didn’t go to the creek this time. 

Thursday and Friday;

I worked on trimming the bathroom. I couldn’t find any wiggle molding that would fit the profile of the PVC roofing that I used in the shower. First I tried cutting the lumps off of the original wiggle molding and sticking that to a piece of cedar strip.


That didn’t work so I decided to make my own wiggle molding. I found a piece of corrugated plastic roofing to use for a pattern, scribed the pattern on a 2X4 and cut it out with a jig saw.


Its not perfect but it fits better than everything else I tried.


I had some cedar closet liner left over from another project so I cut it into strips


and used it for bats on the wall behind the toilet.


I also lined a couple of shelves with the cedar and used a piece of cedar for the threshold. The cedar looks and smells good.

I made a toilet paper dispenser out of a scrap sheet of beryllium copper, some screw hooks, a bent piece of 1/4” copper wire. and a short piece of dowel. 


Matt and Mike came up around 6:00. Joanne and Dave showed up around 8:30.


Joanne spent most of her time Saturday cleaning the dining hall. She climbed into the rafters and cleaned her way down to the floor.


Dave worked around his camp making a box for his cooler.


Matt worked on his camp and installed a wood stove in his tent.



Mike set up his tent in Matt’s old camp spot.


Later the guys did a bunch of weed eating. They cleaned up the area around their camps


and then went down to the old home site and cleared a big area for parking and cleaned up where we shoot clays. They did a really great job.

Patti and I removed the canvas from the front gable of the cabin and replaced it with the plastic that we had removed from the original front window. The job started with ripping several strips from the good edge of a scrap piece of 1x4.


This will be the trim for the gable.

The next thing we had to do was remove the old canvas.


then I built a frame.


We measured everything and went over to to the dining hall/shop, to cut out the plastic then we stapled the plastic film to the frame.


We installed the trim over the staples with a brad nailer and a generous number of brads.

The end result is great! Looks kind of like an “Ichler designed home”.


Later in the day I made two new sconces for the cabin. I had intended to make only one but I broke the one that I was using for a pattern and had to replace it. I think I finally have enough sconces.

The cabin looks nice all lit up at night



Sunday morning I finished installing the vent for the toilet.

Patti and I extended the drain from the cabin sink and buried the end.

We left to come home around 4:30

I will be going back up on Wednesday and will stay until Monday.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011


Patti and I are going to the cabin this morning.

Patti had more surgery on her hand yesterday. We hope this it the last.

I went kayaking on the river with bob yesterday. I did not take a camera. I am going to order a waterproof camera and am thinking about the “Pentax Optio WG1”. It looks pretty rugged and is shock, dust, water, cold and crush proof. Yeah, I think that might stand up to me.

Of course, since I didn’t have a camera we had some national geographic moments. One was a small Heron eating a fish. Another was a king fisher that I saw flying toward us carrying a fish across the river. I pointed it out to Bob but it must have thought that I was going to shoot at it because the bird dropped the fish it was carrying, did an about face and sped away back across the river.

We will be home on Monday so I will try to get a blog out then.

Saturday, September 17, 2011


Yeah, Okay, I know, I was supposed to publish this blog last Saturday. Well, I decided to stay up at the cabin for another week and since there is no internet or cell service up there so I couldn’t publish it so here it is now.  Enjoy!

When Patti & I got to the cabin about 1:00 on Saturday it was very hot so we ate a quick lunch and headed for the creek. It was much cooler down there with our feet in the water.


Patti got some nice reflection pictures.


Sunday morning, I tried to take a shower but the the flow was very low. Upon investigating, I found that the tank for the camp spring was empty. I think it is because the line from the spring has to go up hill for a short distance and the water is backing up into the spring. I will have to dig a short ditch to bring the line down a bit. I hope that works.

Later in the day I used the left over linoleum to cover the work bench next to the dining hall sink


and the food table in the dining hall.


Sunday was a very pleasant day, not to hot.

Our new Camera has a neat feature. It does Panoramic’s. Here Is the first picture of the whole camp that I have ever been able to get.


Monday, I went up to the camp spring and dug a short ditch to lay the input line in. Later I realized that the problem was not the input line. It was the leaks in the dining hall line. Need to fix that!

Peter and Leon stopped by around 3:00. They had spent the night at the grove.

Tuesday morning, I went up the hill to turn the camp spring on. Coming back down the hill I stopped to take a look at the cherry tree It looks like it has some kind of disease. While I was checking it out I noticed a small Rattlesnake coiled up near a hole by a stump a few feet away. I couldn’t find anything handy to kill it with so a called down to Patti to bring me an ax or shovel or something to kill the snake. While I was waiting the rattler slowly slid into the hole so I couldn’t get to it. I asked Patti to bring me the pistol. I aimed down the hole and blasted away I don’t know how far the snake went into the hole but I figured it was worth a try. After I was done shooting I poured Gasoline all over what was left of the hole so if the bullets didn’t get him maybe the gas would suffocate him.

Patti and I left around 2:30. Patti for Santa Rosa and I for Ukiah to re supply. It was very hot in Ukiah and I had to go to several places to get what I needed. Finally I was able to get back to camp by around 5:00.


Dave showed up around 10:30.

After he got moved in we went down to the creek to get some rocks. I needed some flat rocks for the steps to the wash house and Dave needed some road rock for the front of his camp. We came back to camp and worked on our separate projects.


Dave worked on his camp and I worked on finishing the stairs to the wash house.


It was vary hot so in the afternoon we headed for the creek to cool off and get another load of rock for Dave. We had just set our chairs in the water when I noticed a small red frog or toad sitting very still on the bottom of the creek.


It sat so still for so long that at first we thought it might be dead but Dave poked at it with a small branch and the frog/toad swam off.


Very Hot again today. In the morning Dave and I took a ride.

I had been telling him about a spot on the ranch that Peter calls the Edward’s place. It is a small apple orchard, maybe 4 trees near a broken down shack


on top of a high hill surrounded by massive Oak trees.

There are a couple of springs in the area and it is a great place to ambush a deer or a pig.

On our way to the Edward’s place we had to cross the creek. As we began to cross, I noticed something started to swim in front of us. I recognized it and stopped the jeep just in time.


I don’t know what kind of turtle it is but it is a good indication of how healthy this creek is.

On the way back to camp we stopped for another load of rock for Dave. Dave has been filling five, five gallon buckets with rock each load and spreading them around the front of his camp. It will make a big difference when the rains start.


It took a total of 20 buckets full before he was done. 

After we got back, Dave continued working on improving his camp.


He covered his wash stand with some of the linoleum that was left over from the bathhouse.


I took the rest of day off and just puttered around.


Matt and his brother-in-law, Mike, showed up around 11:00. Dave and the guys did some work on Matt’s camp. I put up a screen on the front window of the cabin. It was very hot again so later in the afternoon we went to the creek to cool.

Sometimes it’s hard to believe the beauty and tranquility of this place.


Not all the beauty is just in the views of the creek.






Matt and Mike left around 11:00 and Dave pulled out about an hour later.

I worked on finally putting the ends on the metal surround for the wood stove. Now, I can taken that one off the list.


Just as I was putting away my tools Patti and Dina showed up. They only came up for the day however as Patti had to go to the dentist tomorrow (Monday) morning to get a painful tooth worked on. Patti said that she may be back on Tuesday. I hope so. 


I was going to go to Ukiah today for gas for the generator and other supplies but changed my mind. I started the generator this morning and charged the laptop so I could catch up on the blog. The generator is still running and charging the battery for the fridge  controls  and the XM Radio. When I get done here I will plug the laptop back into the geny.

I started working on the trim for the floor in the bath house but the “wiggle molding “ that I got has a different pattern than the corrugated roofing that I used in the shower area.


I will have to take a piece of the roofing with me to the store to see if I can get matching molding. I sure hope so other wise it won’t look or seal as good.

Okay, its time to turn this computer off and see if I can get it charged before the gas in the generator runs out.


I drove over hwy 253 to Ukiah this morning to do some shopping. It was cool at the camp when I left but by the time I got to Ukiah it was already getting hot. I couldn’t find the molding that I was looking for in Ukiah so I will look for it in Santa Rosa next week.

I got back to camp around lunch time. After lunch I started taking apart an old table that we built about 20 years ago. It had been sitting outside for years and looked pretty dilapidated but I was surprised how hard it was to take it apart. The table was put together with 20 penny galvanized nails and they still held tight. Un fortunately the lumber on the top is pretty rotten and not as useful as I thought it would be. I am hoping to use some of it for the enclosure for the refrigerator. We’ll see if I can salvage enough sound wood.

It got so hot while I was working on the table that I stopped work and went to the creek to cool off and spent the rest of the day there.


Today was a pretty productive day. This morning after breakfast I finished the job of taking apart that old table. I pulled all the nails and stacked the wood on the lumber stack behind the dining hall. After that I tackled the leaks in the water line to the dining hall. This time I used galvanized nipples and painted them with “Rector Seal”. I ran out of fittings at the sink but that leak is small and I will fix it later.

After lunch, I put some shelves up in the cabin



and moved the showerhead in the shower.

All in all it was a good day and I was able to cross some items off “The List”.

I was taking a break in the cabin and noticed a small mob of turkeys wandering through the woods just up the hill.



Later on I checked the waterline for leaks and the only one I found was at the sink. Its just a sweat but I’ll have to get one more fitting,


It was cold and foggy when I got up this morning. I even started a fire in the stove. Once the fog burned off around 10:00, it was a beautiful fall day.

I built a night stand to put between the beds. I used a 12 ft piece of 1X12 that I had forgotten about. It had been part of a scaffold that was used when building the roof on the dining hall and was left up in the beams. There was just enough material to make the small nightstand.


Later on while I was sitting at the table, looking around the cabin I decided that what was needed was someway to put a lantern up on a post so I came up with this.


It looks pretty cool at night too.


I may have to make another one for the back wall.

I got back to Santa Rosa around 1:30. we went to watch Harvey’s team play at Winsor high school. They lost 34 to 21 but the JV’s did better than the varsity team did. At half time the varsity team was down 41 to nothing. I don’t know what the final score was though.

Here are a couple pictures of the boy in action. He is Number 7 in the white jersey and orange sleeves.




Okay that’s it for now.

Saturday, September 3, 2011


I arrived at the cabin around 11:30. Got moved in and was just finishing lunch when Bob showed up.

We visited for a while and then headed down to the creek for a load of rock for the septic system. We lined the bottom with some of the stones so that the barrels won’t be setting right on the dirt.


After that it was time to poke holes in the barrels so I pulled out my trusty “.45 cal. Red Neck Hole Punch” and started punching holes.

As you can see in the following video, I started rather slowly, Standing off a ways and shooting at the drums. I had the two barrels lined up so I could try to make four holes with each shot but the bullets would only penetrate one barrel and dent the next one. I was a little concerned with ricochets.

Finally, I got warmed up and just walked around the drums blasting holes in them as I did so.


I got about two holes for every shot (in and out) I fired about 100 rounds so I figure that I put about 100 holes in each barrel.


These barrels will go in the hole to form a space for the sump.

Tuesday morning, we started plumbing the plastic digester barrel and set it in the hole.


Then the metal barrels went in.


About the time we got the barrels in the hole Dave and Sonny showed up. They were just in time join the bucket brigade and  throw rocks in the hole.


After we used up the first load of rocks we decided that Dave and Sonny would install the toilette flange


and get things ready for the toilet.


Bob and I went down to the creek for another small load of rocks


and filled in around the barrels in the hole.


Wednesday morning Bob, Dave and I drove over to the coast to Kayak the Navaro River. It was a pleasant day and we had a good time paddling on the river for about three hours.



We found a nice gravely beach to have lunch on.


Everything was going great until we were getting off the river. As I was getting out of the boat


I slipped and went about chest deep into the river.


Unfortunately our wonderful little Cannon Power-shot camera was hung around my neck and was drowned. The chip with all the pictures I had taken was not harmed though and I was able to down load them.

From there Bob headed up the coast to find some more places to Kayak. Dave and I headed back to the cabin. We stopped at a hardware store and picked up some pipe and parts to finish the toilet job.

Sonny spent the day just puttering around the camp. He made a work table for his camp and just enjoyed the day.

Thursday, I put some tar paper over the hole to keep dirt from filling in between the rocks while we worked. We connected the waste line to the Digester tank


Dave hooked up the water supply for the toilet.


Then we cut and laid the linoleum on the floor


Then installed the toilet.


Dave and Sonny took off around 4:00 and I spent the rest of the day resting.

Friday morning, I began back filling the hole. I spread a couple layers of tar paper over the hole, then I laid in some metal and plastic roofing to add support, then I shoveled in the dirt. Un- fortunately I didn’t have a camera now so I don’t have a picture of the finished project. I’ll get some for you next week.

I left the cabin for Santa Rosa around 1:30.

Patti and I went to Costco and bought a new camera. We got a pretty good deal on a Fuji SLR digital camera. It looks like a good one but is some what larger than our little Cannon.

Patti and I are going up to the cabin today. She will stay until Tuesday. I will stay up there until Friday when I will come home to  go to Harvey’s game if he plays. Harvey sprained his ankle in practice and is on crutches, could not play in his first game yesterday. But the end results was Harv’s JV team won 24 to 6; go Panthers!! 

Okay, I guess that’s it for now. I’ll try and send you another post next Saturday.