Thursday, July 9, 2015

A week at the cabin and July 4th.


Wednesday 7/1:

I arrived at the cabin around 10:00. The temp 90°.

Wood stack down:

The first thing that I noticed was that the firewood that Johnathen had stacked when he was visiting had fallen over. I guess it was too tall.


It was too warm to mess with firewood today so I left it where it was.

Work on the refrigerator:

I got moved in to the cabin and then started working on the fridge.
The refrigerator’s freezer is working ok but the refrigerator part isn’t getting cold enough.
I pulled the back off the fridge and inspected the burner. I noticed a nice pile of rust on and around the burner so I fired up the generator, plugged in the vacuum and sucked all the rust and crud up. The burner for the fridge sits below a tube that is like a chimney. The heat goes up the chimney and causes chemicals to move through the system and the reaction between the chemicals causes cooling. If you want to know more; Google “How do propane refrigerators work?
I cleaned out the chimney and made sure all the rust was out of the burner and chimney then I hooked the fridge up and turned it on. It takes a while for the fridge to get cold and by the time I had finished working on the fridge the outside air temp was already 100°.

Off to the creek:

I had lunch and went to the creek for the rest of the day. I came back to the cabin around 6:00 It was still hot. I cooked a pork steak for dinner. I also fried up a bunch of pork fat to use for crawdad bate. I plan to set the trap tomorrow.
At 8:00 the OAT is still 88°.

Thursday: 7/2

Had an early morning rain shower large drops for about 5 minutes. It didn’t even settle the dust.

After breakfast I replaced the back on the refrigerator. The refrigerator’s freezer is working but the lower section is still not as cold as it should be. After giving the problem some thought I decided that one of the problems may be that when I built the enclosure I didn’t allow enough ventilation so on hot days the fridge can’t get rid of the heat. At the top of the fridge I had a 6” wide board, closing up the space between the fridge and the roof of the enclosure. I removed the board and replaced it with some 1/4’' hardware cloth. A lot more heat is now able to escape. That seems to have fixed the problem. Time will tell.
Later I moved all the cold food from the cooler in the van to the fridge.

Harvey is bringing up three of his friends for the weekend.
For some unknown reason I volunteered to feed them. That was dumb! 
After I was done with the fridge I went to the dining hall and set up the barbeque and cooker so I can cook dinners for Harvey and his buddies.


At 10:30am the temp was 80° a little cooler than yesterday at this time.

Off to the creek again:

By noon the temp was 90°. I ate lunch and went to the creek for the rest of the day. I took the crawdad trap and the fried pork fat with me.

I set the crawdad trap in a hole down stream from the swimming hole.


Headed back to the cabin around 5:30. It was still 90° at the cabin. We had another rain shower late at night. It didn’t last long.

Friday 7/3:

Joanne and Dave at 10:30 were the first to arrive.
Darleen arrived around 11:15 and Patti and Dina showed up at 12:00.

Temp at 12:00 - 90°

Harvey and his friends didn’t show up until around 4:00.
They were in Harvey’s friend Mason’s car; a Honda sedan of some sort.
We all headed down to the creek to set up the boy’s camp.
On the way down to the creek Mason was driving very slow. Apparently the car was dragging its bottom on the road. When we got to the creek it was obvious that the car wasn’t going to make it across the creek so we loaded all the boy’s gear in the van and left the car parked on the other side of the creek.
We got the tent set up for the guys and then went down to the water and sat in the creek or the rest of the day.

Our friend Lynn and her friend Michael and his niece and nephew were camping in the grove when we got there.


At around 6:00 we went back to the cabin. Mason drove his car up the hill and the rest of the posse road up with me in the van. It looks like I will have to shuttle these guys back and forth to the creek every day they are here.

For dinner I cooked three tri-tips, some baked potatoes and corn on the cob.
We ate almost all the food except for some of the corn and a couple slices of tri-tip.

I was standing outside around 10:00pm and suddenly heard a hissing noise behind me. It turned out that a connection at the water spigot by the redwood tree blew out. Fortunately there is a valve for this spigot so I shut it off right away. Unfortunately the valve shuts off the whole lower end of the camp and the bathroom. 
I’ll have to get up early in the morning to fix it.

Saturday 7/4:

Got up around 6:00am and headed out to the outside crapper on the road to the Bear Spring.
As soon as I got back I removed the redwood bark from around the water spigot and found that this connection didn’t have a clamp on it. I’m surprised that the connection stayed together this long. I found a clamp in my spare parts box and fixed the leak.

By 11:30 it was 86°
After lunch we went to the creek for the rest of the day.
We sat around visiting in the shade for a while.

That’s Harvey and the troops in front row. L to R - Mason, Harvey, Isaiah and Justin.


Eventually it got so hot that we moved our chairs into the creek.

Peter and Gene showed up a little later and stayed until Sunday. I asked him if he had ever seen crawdads in the creek. He told me that he had never seen any but had heard stories of people trying to plant them. He has been coming here since he was a toddler and has never seen crawdads in the creek before.

While we were checking the creek crossing on Friday when Mason was trying to drive his car across, I saw a second crawdad walking up stream.

We checked the crawdad trap but nothing was in it so we put the trap back in the water.

Around 5:30 we headed back to the cabin for dinner. I fixed up a big batch of Nopalito’s and we ate almost all of it.

Darlene had set up a night bowling game using glow-sticks to line the alley and put some glow sticks in water bottles for the pins. Unfortunately It doesn’t get dark right now until almost ten o’clock. You can just see the glow sticks on the ground and the water bottles.


They played with this for a while. At about 8:00 I took the boys back to the creek. 

Sunday 7/5:

The boys were leaving today so we hung around the cabin until around 1:00 and then I went to the creek to get them and their gear.
I fixed up a bunch of hamburgers and hot dogs for lunch.
Around 3:00 we loaded all the guy’s gear in the Honda. Three of the them got in the van and we followed Mason up the hill to the gate where I sent them on there way.
Darlene left around 3:30 and Joann and Dave went home around 4:30.

Just Patti, Dina and I are left.

Monday: 7/6

At 10:00am the temp was 65° much cooler than what we have been experiencing.

The cabin spring is drying up; it has just a very thin stream of water running from the overflow pipe. I took a walk up to the main spring tanks to see how the flow was. There is plenty of water coming from that springs overflow.

Patti and Dina left around 12:30.

I went to the creek around 1:00. While I was there I checked the crawdad trap. It was empty so I dumped the old bate and replaced it with new stuff (left over bones from the Nopalito’s) and put the trap in a different spot.

Around 6:00 I fixed myself a couple of quesadilla’s for dinner.
After dinner I started re-stacking the firewood that had fallen over. I got a little les than half the wood stacked when I decided that I would finish in the morning.

Tuesday: 7/7

After breakfast I finished stacking the firewood.
I fired up the generator and put Battery #2 on to charge.
I checked the temp around 11:30, it was just 73° much cooler than on the weekend. It’s still rising though it was 78° by 12:30.

Finish faucet repair:

I noticed that the spigot by the redwood tree was still leaking a little so I tightened the clamp some more. I let things dry out for an hour or so then checked the connection again. It looks good so I put the red wood bark around the pipe again.


Cabin spring down to a drip:

I noticed that the cabin spring is down to a fast drip. I switched the cabin from the cabin spring to the main spring.
I guess that proves that last winter’s rains weren’t enough to bring up the water table.

Wednesday 7/8:

The morning is cool with a thick marine layer that is just beginning to break up at 10:30. The temp is 64°. Another beautiful day in the offing.

I decided to head for home today.

I had to move some more pieces of firewood; the ones that were too big for John to split.
Using the wheelbarrow it only took a few trips to move it all.


I piled them on the end of the stack by the cabin to be split later.


It looks like I’ll need to cut up some more down stuff for this fall.
By moving this wood I now have room to stack the wood that I cut this spring.

An observation:

Yesterday afternoon I noticed that the cabin spring overflow was just a drip about every half second. When I got up this morning I saw that the spring flow was more like a very thin stream.


I got to wondering what was at play here and decided that during the heat of the day the trees take more water out of the ground than they do at night so the spring has a chance to recover a little over night.  I noticed that the flow had diminished some by the time I left to go home.

Around 11:00 I walked up to the main spring storage tanks to see what the overflow was like. It looks pretty good.


I have to make some changes to the vent and overflow system on these tanks but there is plenty of water flowing down the pipe from the two springs.

I left for home around 1:30.

Had a great week, even if it was a little hot at the beginning. 

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