Monday, December 30, 2013


It was a good few days at the cabin.

I got up to the cabin around 10:30 Thursday morning.
I started a fire in the wood stove and unloaded the jeep.

I decided to see what I could do with my cordless electric chain saw with respect to the small fir tree top that fell on the road.
I was able to cut off the branches but but by the time I got to the main part of the tree; the battery was dead.


I have another battery but decided to save it for other cutting.
Dave finished cutting the tree the next day.

After that I decided to work on the leaks in the water system. I put clamps on all the connections that I could find.


Bob showed up after noon. We sat around the cabin for a while then took a ride up to the Bear Spring.


We wandered around there for a while checking out the spring and looking for some dry firewood.

Bob is looking at some cow droppings on the log. The strange thing is that there are no cows that we know of in the neighborhood.


I left bob there as he was going to hike up the hill and make a loop back to the cabin.

I went back to the cabin and split some wood for the stove.


Dave came up Friday afternoon.

We walked up the hill to see if the spring tank was full after I clamped the fittings.


There was water coming from the overflow for the camp spring tank.


It isn’t a lot of water but it is steady.

Later I took Bob up to the top gate so he could walk down the mountain looking for other springs. He found a good one but it may be on a piece of property that Peter just sold. We will have to see the new property lines on a map before we will know if that spring is available to us.

Dave and I split some more wood.


Saturday morning Bob took another walk while Dave and I finished cleaning up the tree that fell on the road.
Bob’s back was giving him trouble so he laid down in his van for a while.
Dave and I took the jeep up to the Bear Spring and cut some wood off of down Madrone tree. We brought a full jeep load back to the cabin


where we split some and stacked it all.


We are in good shape for wood for a while but we will have to keep cutting wood all winter to keep up with usage.

The rest of the time we just hung out in the cabin and ate a lot.


Below, Bob cooking a excellent stir fry dinner.


Peter came up on Sunday morning and stayed for a few of hours.

It was a great couple of days in the woods.
The weather was cold; lows were in the high 30’s and highs in the high 50’s. but at least we got out and played in the woods for a few days.

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

12-25-13 Christmas day

Okay here it is;

Merry Christmas!!

I hope every one has a great day.

We are going to Joanne and Dave’s for Christmas dinner.

On our way we are going to stop and visit with Jerry and Loraine.

Tomorrow I am going to the cabin. Bob is also going up tomorrow and Dave is coming up on Friday.

Have a good day!


Tuesday, December 24, 2013


The saga of the slip-shaft eliminator kit continues.

You may recall that last summer and fall I had a bunch of work done to my jeep. One of the things that I had done was the installation of a slip-shaft eliminator. This is a kit that goes on the output of the transfer case which replaces the old slip-shaft with a CV stile drive shaft. The job was done just before we took off for Quartzsite last December. We towed the jeep behind our motor home.
When we got to Quartzsite I noticed that there were oil spots all over the back of the jeep. Upon crawling under the jeep I noticed that transmission fluid was leaking from the seal on the output of the transfer case.

I called the 4wheel parts store in Santa Rosa where I originally got the work done. I asked Allen, the guy that I had dealt with to see if there was anything that could be done. He set me up with the 4wheel parts store in Phoenix to have the seal replaced. On the appointed day Patti and I drove the 112 miles to Phoenix.
The guys at the store were very nice. They took the jeep right in and about an hour later they had the seal changed and we were on the road back to Quartzsite.

When we got back to Q I looked at the rear of the jeep and saw oil spots. I climbed under the jeep and saw that there was transmission fluid leaking from the output seal again.

I got back on the phone to Allen and told him what was going on. I decided to just keep an eye on the fluid level in the transfer case and get something done about the problem when we got back home.

When we got back to Santa Rosa I took the jeep to 4wheel parts and they changed the seal again for free.

After taking a ride to Boonville and back I noticed that  there was still a leak. Back to 4wheel parts I went. This time they decided that the complete kit needed to be replaced. It took  several weeks to get the new parts and then install them.

About the time the jeep was done I had to have surgery for this aneurism so I couldn’t drive much.

Last weekend I drove the jeep to Boonville and back and guess what. When I got home I noticed oil on the back and when I looked under the jeep I could see transmission fluid leaking from output on the transfer case.

Monday morning found me in the 4wheel parts store talking to Allen. What we decided is, that they were going to remove the “Rugged Ridge” kit and replace it with another one from a different manufacturer.    

This whole thing has been kind of a pain in the neck but I have to say that the guys at 4wheel parts have been really good about getting to the bottom of the problem.

It will not happen until after the holidays but maybe I will get this leak fixed this time.

The saga continues. I’ll let you know how it all works out.


Monday, December 23, 2013


As you may remember I was planning to take Harvey up to the cabin on Saturday.
I was to pick him up at 9:00.
Around 8:15 I got a call from his mom. Harvey was sick and would not be able to go this time.

I decided to to take the jeep and go on up by myself.

I got to the cabin around 10:30 and unloaded the jeep.


The temperature was in hi forty’s so a fire was called for, therefore the next thing I had to do was clean out the wood stove and start a fire.
It only took a short time to get that done and the cabin was warming up nicely.

My fire wood supply is very low so a thought I would split some large chunks of redwood that I had stacked behind the dining hall.

I walked around to the back of the cabin where I have some tools to get the splitting mall.
As I came around the corner of the cabin I saw this mess.


Oh, oh: it looks like we have had a visitor while we were gone.

I am not absolutely sure what kind of critter did this but after checking things out I decided that it had to be a bear; probably a young one.

It pulled the bag of Rat poison out of the back of the upper shelf of the cabinet you see on the left. The critter ate the entire contents of the bag plus two blocks of the poison that I had set out for the rats and mice. 
The beast chewed up all the fuel containers that I had stored in the back. It must have really liked the 4 gallons of kerosene because he chewed it up a lot.
He also chewed up a 6 gallon gasoline jug which had around 3 gallons of gas in it. It chewed through some aerosol paint cans,


a can of Try Flow spray lubricant and a can of PVC glue.


Some where I think there is a very sick bear. I wouldn’t be surprised if the bag of Rat poison killed him, not to mention all the other chemicals it ingested.

I got the mess picked up


Then I got the splitting mall and tried splitting a couple small logs. After the second one I decided that I wasn’t quite ready to split wood yet so I put the mall away.

I moved some wood into the cabin. Then I ran some water in the sink. I noticed that the water pressure was low and getting lower as I ran the tap. I filled a coffee pot with water and turned the tap off.

I climbed the hill to the cabin spring and found that the tank was empty. I unplugged the input pipe and found that water was coming out of the spring at the normal rate.

This picture is a little blurry but you can see the trickle of water coming from the pipe.


After checking the cabin spring I walked across the hill to the camp spring and found that tank was also empty.

I walked down the hill and found that the pipe that carries water to the main camp had come apart at a joint.


I plugged the pipes back together.


I walked over to where I have some valves on the system and found that the line that goes to the cabin had also popped off. I plugged the pipe back in.

The pipe coming from the top of the picture is from the camp spring.
The pipe on the right comes from the cabin spring. The pipe going down the hill is to the cabin.
That is the one that was disconnected.


I suspect that freezing water is what caused the pipes to separate. I will have to get some more clamp’s for the system and put them on the lines the next time I go up.
I am planning to go back up the day after Christmas.

Even though there were some issues to take care of, I had a good time at the cabin.
I left around 12:30 on Sunday.

Friday, December 20, 2013


Okay here is another update.

Everything is healing just fine. I am now able to completely dress my self and drive the jeep so I’m good to go.

Now all we have to do is wait to get the CT scan in the middle of February. Then we can leave for Quartzsite.

On Wednesday; Patti, Joanne, Dave and I went to the theater to see the second Hobbit movie. It was very good. Now we have to wait for another year to see the last installment. After the movie we went to Giorgio's Italian Restaurant in Healdsburg. The place has been around for close to a hundred years. The service was a bit slow and the waitress got our order wrong. But the food was good.

Tomorrow, my grandson Harvey and I are going to the cabin. It has been several years since Harvey has been up there. We will be spending the night and coming home on Sunday.
I should have some pictures for the next post. 

Thursday, December 12, 2013


Okay it’s time for another update.

Everything appears to be healing up just fine. There is still a little discomfort by the end of the day.
I still have the searing pain in my left thigh when I do certain things like trying to put on my socks. Patti still has to do that for me but I can now dress myself and put on my shoes.

Most importantly, I can now drive the jeep. The bouncing is a little rough but that will get better with time.

I will be having a CT scan around the middle of February. We are planning to leave for Quartzsite right after the scan.

Okay, I guess that’s about it for now. It’s not very exciting I know but we haven’t been doing anything very exciting lately.

Sunday, December 8, 2013


What a great day!

A storm came through starting Friday afternoon and lasted until after mid night.
Behind the rain storm came a freeze. Of course everything was covered in ice Saturday morning.

We had planned to go to the cabin with Joanne and Dave on Saturday.
When Patti went out to her car to put some stuff in it for the trip, the doors were frozen shut. We had to wait until she sun got high enough to warm things up a bit. Around 8:15 the sun had warmed the drivers side door enough so that it would open. Patti went out and started the engine so the car would warm up inside and maybe release the other doors from the colds icy grip.
By 8:30 things had thawed to the point where we could get all the doors open.

We loaded the little bit of stuff we were taking and headed for Joanne and Dave’s. The highway department had been busy this morning sanding the intersections and other icy spots on highway 101. It must have been pretty dangerous in the wee hours of the morning before the sand trucks got to work. We saw at least one smashed car being scraped up from the side of the highway as we drove north.
We got to J&D’s by 9:00 and after a few minutes we were back on the road heading north.

Highway 128 that goes to Boonville is very curvy and has long stretches that never see the sun at this time of year.


Fortunately the highway department is very aggressive about sanding the road so the drive was no problem.


We stopped at the Boonville Market to pick up some deli sandwiches to take to the cabin for lunch.


We were expecting to encounter down trees or other obstacles on the dirt road to the cabin but everything was just fine. The only tree that was down was near the cabin. The top of a fir tree had broken off and was lying on the side of the road. It was easy to go around so we left it to be cleaned up at another day.

As soon as we got to the cabin, around 10:45, I started a fire in the wood stove. The thermometer on the porch read 36 degrees.

You can’t really see the temp in this picture.


We sat around in the cabin for a while as it warmed up.

The next thing I wanted to do was to check out the spring tanks to see if there was any water coming out of the overflow.
Dave and I climbed the hill to the camp spring. It took me a while to make the climb as it is kind of steep and I had to stop a couple of times to rest on the way.
When we got to the tank we could see there was no water coming from the overflow.
Dave knocked on the side of the tank and said that it was almost full.
These springs usually pick up in the fall so I expected some over flow. The last time I checked the tanks there was a little water coming out. It was strange but there wasn’t anything we could do about it at this time.
We walked across the hill to the Cabin spring and noted that it was flowing about the same as it always does.
That was good news.

A while later we found out why there was no water coming from the overflow on the camp spring.
Joanne went to use the toilette and called us down to see the water flowing out the door.


As it turned out I had forgotten to turn the water of to the “on demand” water heater for the shower. It had apparently frozen and burst the pipes in the heater. water was spraying in all directions. I turned of the water and Dave removed the heater to take it home and see if it can be fixed. I suspect it is toast but you never know.
That solved the mystery of why there was no water coming out of the tank overflow. As near as I can figure the water heater had been frozen until around the time we arrived and then had defrosted to where the water was spraying from the broken heat exchanger when Joanne went to use the toilette. Other wise the spring tank would have been empty. Joanne swept the water out of the wash house as best she could.


It will probably remain wet in there until the warm weather comes in the spring.
Now I have a project for the summer. A new hot water system for the wash house. I am thinking of maybe a 10 gallon propane tank water heater.

We walked around a little but spent a lot of the day just sitting around in the cabin enjoying the heat from the wood stove, visiting and eating our lunch.


By the time we left, at around 3:30, the reading on the thermometer had risen to 38 degrees.
A warming trend?

All in all It was a wonderful day in the woods I felt better up there than I have in a couple of weeks. The outing was just what I needed to improve my moral.
I’m a little achy today but it is worth it. 

I am looking forward to when I can go up there for a couple of days at a time.
Since we won’t be going down to Quartzsite until around the middle of February. I will need to go to the cabin often between now and then just to stay sane.

Friday, December 6, 2013


Here is another update.

Well, I went to the doctors this morning for a post op. exam.
He said that everything looks good from the outside. The incisions are healing up nicely and there seems to be no inflammation.
The down side is that I will have to have a CT scan and another consultation the middle of February.
That means that we will be stuck here for a while longer.
We haven’t decided what to do about Quartzsite. Right now we are thinking of waiting until after the scan to go down there.
The other alternative is to have Patti follow me down in the TrailBlazer and then drive the car back to SRO for the scan and then drive back to Q. I really don’t like that idea. It means a lot of extra fuel and a lot of driving just to spend a couple of days here and then go back. 
Of course we will see how I feel about things next month. If I’m going nuts we might just do that. The doctor wants me to be very careful for a while. I know that I am not ready to start loading the RV for the trip at this time.

Our grandson, Harvey came by yesterday. He had an essay to right for a history class. The idea was to interview a grandparent or some one over the age of 65 about their life and experiences.


It was fun telling him some of my stories. Lord knows I have had some experiences.

I told Patti that at least if we don’t go to Arizona until February we will miss the cold weather down there. Speaking of cold weather, it has been in the 20’s here at night and the low 50’s during the day with frost on the roof tops every morning.


It is supposed to snow on the local hills tonight.
I know that this is balmy weather compared to what the poor folks that live in the north and mid west are having but it’s cold for here.

We are planning to go to the cabin for the day tomorrow. If it snows up there tonight it should be very picturesque. Of course when it snows up there it usually brings a lot of trees down on the road so we may not get all the way into the cabin. That in itself could make for some interesting pictures.

Okay that’s about it for now.

Sunday, December 1, 2013


It has been seven days since my surgery and I’m going nuts sitting around the house.

Yesterday, I told Patti that I wanted to at least take a ride. 
Around 1:30 we got in the car and headed for the coast. One of the good things about where we live; we are only about 45 minutes from the Pacific Ocean.

No mater which direction we go from Santa Rosa the country side is very picturesque.

We drove north for a little bit and turned west on River Road heading for the coast.


We went through Guerneville, where my friend Bob lives.


Since it was late in the afternoon, we figured that Bob would be some where kayaking on the Russian River so we continued toward the coast.

The next community we came to is Monte Rio.


There is a boat ramp at Monte Rio, where we some times put our kayaks in. We checked the parking lot to see if perhaps Bob had put in here but no, he wasn’t there. We continued down River Road,


through the tiny town of Duncan Mills.


As we approached the intersection of River Road and US 1 we could see the fog coming up the river.


Once we were on the coast road, the weather was very foggy and cold.
We stopped at the visitor center at Jenner, Bobs car wasn’t there either, so we figured that he was doing some thing else today.

I took a couple of pictures of Penny Island in the fog.


I was getting tired so we headed for home.

When we were almost to Guerneville we saw Bob driving toward the coast. We decided to turn around and see if we could catch him before he launched his boat.
We caught him as he was getting ready to launch his kayak. 
We shot the breeze with Bob for a little while


but it was very cold and foggy out there so we left him to his kayaking


and headed for home.

It was really nice to get out of the house for a few hours even if it was just to ride in the car.
I slept for about 3 hours after we got home.

A good Day.