Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Manifold Repair Continued.

Trying to Make a plug.

I have been trying to figure out what to do for a plug for the manifold. What I came up with was to use a chassis punch to make a plug out of a piece of sheet aluminum.
I thought I had some aluminum around here somewhere but I haven’t found it yet. Either way I will have to make a plug out of something.

Here is what I am thinking.

I found a chassis punch that will make a 7/8” round piece of metal. Just the right size for the hole in the manifold. The only problem is that punch leaves a hole in the center of the metal piece.

Here you can see the chassis punch with the metal circle between the both halves of the punch.


My “C” frame press has a 3/8” hole in the center of the ram that is threaded for coarse threads.
The punch part of the chassis punch (on left) has a 3/8” hole that is threaded for a fine thread.
What I am going to try, is to mount the punch on the ram of the press. The die part of the chassis punch will be mounted to another piece of metal that will be set into a slot on the base of the press. I am not really sure how I will mount the die but I have a couple of ideas.

Below is the press.


I will remove the plate that sits on the base of the press and replace it with a fixture of some kind that will hold the die centered in place.

The Connection.

I found a piece of a 3/8” bolt that the had threads cut off. I removed the bolt head which left a 3/8” pin.


The pin diameter is bigger than 3/8” so I will have to turn it down a little before I try to thread it. Then I’ll thread the bolt with 3/8” fine thread on one end and coarse thread on the other end.

Here is a picture of the parts. You can see the chassis punch taken apart and the metal ring that it makes and also the pin that I will use to attach the punch to the press once I get the pin threaded.


That is as far as I got on this project today. I will continue tomorrow.

Monday, July 30, 2018

Working on the Van Again.

Exhaust Manifold

If you remember, I had to abort the Nevada trip because the van was running real bad.
I thought that the exhaust Manifold gasket had blown out after one particularly loud backfire.

Taking Off the Manifold.

I got back from the cabin last Wednesday and have been avoiding working on the van since.

Yesterday I decided that I couldn’t put it off any longer and moved the vehicles around so the van was on the driveway in front the shop.
I took off the air filter and unplugged all the connectors on the TBI.

Spraying Coolant on Everything.

To get to one of the manifold bolts I had to remove the temperature sender from the head. There was a little pressure in the radiator so when the sender was loosened coolant sprayed out all over the engine and on the intake manifold.

A possible Vacuum Leak.

The next thing I did was to remove the TBI from the Manifold.
When I took the TBI off I noticed some oily stuff on the gasket and on the bottom of the TBI.

Here you can see the oil on the bottom of the TBI.


Here you can see the residue on the manifold gasket.


You can see the impression of the TBI on the gasket. There is some places where there is no impression on the gasket. It looks like oil has leaked past the gasket at these places. I think the oil is residue from the major oil leak that occurred when the oil filler tube fell off several weeks ago.

Pulling the Manifold.

It was time to pull off the manifold. Some of the bolts were hard to get to but eventually once I remove the exhaust pipe the manifold came out.
Once I got the manifold’s out I turned it over and found this big hole in the intake Manifold.


On the other end of the intake is another plugged hole.
You can see the red silicone holding the plug in. I don’t know what the plugs are for unless they are there to keep a big back fire from breaking the manifold. Exhaust gasses go into this area of the intake manifold probably to warm the manifold up.


I can’t tell if the plug is metal or plastic. It looks like a plastic plug.
Now, I have to figure out where to get a new plug.

Manifold Gasket Leaks.

While I had the manifold off I checked out the gasket. It looks like all the exhaust ports were leaking. The input ports looked good but it is harder to see any evidence of leakage there.
The manifold bolts are hard to get to so it is hard to tighten them up. I will have to be very aware of this when I put the manifold back on.

Okay that is where I stopped for the day. I’ll have to get new gaskets and figure out the plug thing.

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Seven Days at the Cabin.

Wednesday, 7/18/18

Road Work.

As I was driving up Peachland Road I came to some road work signs and a flagman.
They are working on the slide that happened two winters ago. I didn’t get any pictures on the way in. They have cut the inside bank down about 8 feet and are driving some very large “I” beams into the ground on the down hill side.


Got to the cabin around 3:00
When I arrived, I could tell that someone had been here since the last time we were here. There was a pile of blackened paper on the ground near the cabin.


I couldn’t tell whether it was a wad of paper towels or a used diaper. Later on, I decided that it was a torn up feminine napkin.
I used a couple of sticks to pick it up and carry it to the fire pit.

There were chairs on the porch and a Weber sitting between the dining hall and the fire pit. I left the Weber where it was.

Moving in.

It was very hot by the time I got to the cabin. I think it got over 100 degrees today.
In this heat, moving in was a slow process. I didn’t even get my bed made until after dark and it was still about 90 degrees.

Forgot my Med’s.

At some point I realized that I had forgotten to bring my medication.
That means I will have to drive back to Santa Rosa tomorrow morning.

Thursday, 7/19/18

After breakfast I headed down the hill.
When I got to the road work on Peachland Rd. there were 2 other vehicles stopped there. I asked the flagger, how long the wait was and she told me about 45 minutes to an hour. I turned off the engine, kicked the seat back and settled in for a nap. I wish I had brought a book to read.
After about a half hour they let us pass.
I took a couple pictures as we drove through the work area.



I got home around10:45.
I made sure that I put the meds in the jeep right off, so I wouldn’t forget them again.

A Surprise Visit

About an hour after I got home Patti returned from her doctors appointment. We talked for a while, then we decided to go out for lunch. As we were leaving the house our friend Doug pulled up. We hadn’t seen Doug for a while so we went back inside and visited with him.
Doug left around 12:00 and we went to Hanks Creekside Café for lunch.

I knew that it was going to be another hot day at the cabin so I waited until about 3:00 to leave for Boonville.

Road Work is Clear.

I got to the work area on Peachland Road around 4:30. All the workers had gone home for the day so there was no delay.

Here is a view of the road work coming up the road.


Still Hot.

I got to the cabin by 5:00 and it was still hot, about 95 degrees.
It didn’t cool down until about 9:00.

Friday, 7/20/18

Water Filter.

I spent the morning installing a water filter on the main water line.

Here is the main line without the filter.


By noon, it was already too hot to work. I finished the installation around 1:30.


I spent the rest of the day trying to stay cool without much success. It finally started cooling off around 6:00.

Saturday, 7/21/18.

Worked on Toilet.

After breakfast I tried to fix the leaking toilet tank. I thought that the leak was caused by a worn out flapper valve so I changed the flapper and it leaked worse. I replaced the old valve and decided that the tank needs a rebuild. I’ll have to pick up some more parts.

“Y” Strainer.

I put some parts and tools in the jeep and drove up to the spring tanks.

IMGP3230Here, I Installed the “Y” strainer on the input to the tanks. Hopefully this will keep the worms and bugs out of the water system.


Trail Work.

After installing the “Y” strainer I drove the jeep up to the start of the Cabin Loop Trail.

I grabbed the Polauski and walked out the trail.
I didn’t need to work on the first part of the trail but the section above the cabin needed some work so I started chopping a trail out of the hill side there.
Unfortunately I didn’t think to take any pictures.
It was getting too hot to work so around 12:30 I left the tools where they were and headed down the hill to the cabin.

After lunch, I just hung out around the cabin trying in vane to stay cool.

Sunday 7/22/18

More Trail Work.

This morning I walked up the trail from the cabin. When I got to where I left the tools yesterday, I started hacking the trail out with the Polauski and cleaning it up with a rake.
I can only do short  stretches at a time with long breaks in between but eventually I was able to get a pretty long stretch of trail done.


After finishing this stretch of the trail I headed out the trail to where the jeep was parked.
Along the way I came to another place where the trail needs to be chopped out. By now it was too hot and I was too tired to do any more trail chopping so I left the tools there and continued to the jeep.


If I have the time tomorrow I will do some more work on the trail.

Monday 7/23/18

More Trail Work.

I had time in the morning so after breakfast, I walked up the Bear Spring Road to the trail head.
I walked out the trail to where I had left the tools yesterday and worked on the trail for a couple hours.


I took the tools with me as I headed for the cabin but came across another spot that needed work.  I left the tools here for now.

Going to Town.

I need to go to Boonville today to get some parts. I had to wait until today (Monday). Hopefully the hardware  store will be open.
I need a new flush valve for the toilet and some pipe joint compound.
I am going to leave here around 11:30. Hopefully the road crew will be eating lunch and there won’t be a long delay.
I’ll take a book just incase I have to wait.


When I got to the road work the flagger was there stopping traffic.
Of course, I was the only traffic.


The girl told me that the road crew didn’t take a lunch break and  the wait would be about an hour.
I was prepared for that and pulled into the shade.
I spent the time reading the book I brought with me.

Out to Lunch.

When I finally got to the hardware store they were closed for lunch.
It was 12:15 so I went to the local burger joint at the gas station and got a burger.

The Hardware Store.

After lunch I went back to the hardware store and they were open so I bought a new flush valve for the toilet and some related hardware.

One More Stop.

Once I had the parts, I went to the general store across the street and got a 12 pack of Mountain Dew. They didn’t have any Root Beer and I was low on drinks.

Another Hour Wait.

At the road work on Peachland Road, I had to wait another hour. I’m sure glad I brought a book. To bad there isn’t any shade on this side.

Back at the Cabin.

By the time I got back to the cabin the temperature had risen to about 100°. I spent the rest of the day shade hopping and napping.

Tuesday 7/24/18

Pick up Tools

I walked up the switchbacks on the trail to retrieve the tools I had left there. I mostly came up here to collect the tools but they were at a spot that needed some work so I did a little trail chopping.
I didn’t want to spend too much time at this so after completing that short stretch, I picked up the tools and took them back to the cabin.

Toilet Flush Valve.

It was time to tackle the toilet flush valve.

I neglected to take pictures of this so I’ll try to give you an explanation of what I did.
It turned out to be pretty simple to replace the entire valve assembly.
First, I turned off the water inlet valve, next I flushed the toilet. Once the tank was drained to the bottom I removed the input pipe from the toilet tank. Then undid the nuts holding the tank to the bowl and removed the tank and took it outside to work on it.

This valve and seat assembly is made of plastic with a large nut holding it all together on the tank. It is a simple thing to take the assembly off. You just remove the nut and push the whole thing from the bottom and it falls right into the tank.
Clean up the area around the hole in the bottom of the tank and push the threaded end of the valve through the hole.
Be sure the soft rubber washer on the assembly is inside the tank.
Tighten down the big plastic nut and replace the tank on the bowl. Tighten the mounting nuts and hook the water back up and that’s it.
Oh Yeah, don’t forget to hook the flapper valve chain to the flush lever.

I also replaced the mounting bolts and the big washer between the tank and the bowl.

Going to the Creek.

It was getting hot fast today and I had decided that I wasn’t going to spend another hot day suffocating up here on the hill. I am going to spend the rest of the day at the creek siting on a chair in the creek, with my feet in the water and reading a book.

Okay so, I packed up the jeep with a chair, towel, drinks, Book snacks and water shoes. I grab the key to the bar gate on the road that goes to the creek an off i go to the creek.

At the Creek.

I was lucky the bar gate was not closed this time. I hope that is a permanent thing as this gate is a pain to get open.
It was noticeably cooler down here in the bottom of the canyon with the creek running through.
Still it was plenty warm.
I parked at the path that goes to the water and carried my junk to the edge of the creek.
I found the only spot that was in the creek and in the shade at the same time.


The water there is just deep enough to sit on a partially submerged chair seat. There are a couple of rocks for setting things on. All in all it is a pleasant spot to sit and stay cool.

The only down side is getting there. Those rocks are murder on my sore old feet.
It was worth the pain getting there though.

Here is the swimming hole just down from my spot. I did manage to make it down there for a dip.



I was sitting in my chair enjoying the cool water and reading my book between bouts of nodding off when I heard the sound of a fire retardant bomber flying over. I looked up into the thin line of clear blue sky that is visible from the bottom of the canyon but I couldn’t see the plane to see for sure that it is a bomber and not something else.
I went back to reading and dozing when another plane flew low over the forest. I still couldn’t see it but is was close.
Next, I heard the sound of a helicopter fly over.

There have been a lot of fires this summer and some have been close.

If you have been following my blog you will remember that the last time we were here, there was a fire near the end of Peachland Road. That is how we come in and out of here.
After much dithering I decided that I should go up to the cabin and listen to the local radio station to see if there is any information on fires in the area. 
I carted all my gear back to the jeep and drove up to the cabin.
I turned on the radio and there was nothing but music on the local station.
When the news came on, there was no mention of any fires in the vicinity.
I left the nice cool creek to come up here to stifling heat and find out that there are no fires when I could have been still sitting in the creek.
I realized that the worse thing about it was that I could have just turned on the radio in the jeep and found out about the ‘no’ fires and not left the creek.
I think I’ll take a nap.Embarrassed smile

Wednesday, 7/25/18

Going Home Day.

This is always the worst day of any trip up here. I decided to just plunge right in and while the water for my breakfast was heating I stripped the bunk and put the bedding in its bag.
After breakfast I continued gathering up the stuff that was going home with me and began loading the jeep.
It always seems like there should be less stuff going home than coming up but it never works out that way.
After all the supplies were loaded in the jeep it was time to clean the cabin for the next person.
I cleaned all the surfaces around the sink and cleaned the stove. All the dishes and pans were clean and put away.
Next I tackled the hardest part, sweeping the place out.
Once that was done I made sure the propane tank were turned off.
After one last check to be sure that everything was in order I closed the door and left for home.

Road Work.

They were still working on Peachland Road and there was about a 45 minute wait.
While I was waiting I asked the flag girl how long they figured it would be before the job was finished. She told me, about 2 weeks.

A Nice Week. 

It was a very relaxing 7 days, if a bit on the hot side.
It’ll be a few weeks before I will have a chance to get beck there,

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Nevada Trip Day,1.


Bob got to my place about 10:00 We BS’ed for a while. Eventually we got in the vans and headed out of Santa Rosa.

We drove north out of town on Calistoga Road which goes over a couple steep grades and ends up in Calistoga. The van ran pretty good going over the steep hills with just a little miss when I had to push it hard.
From Calistoga we went over ST Helena Grade, the van was running a little rough but still climbed the grade. By the time we got to Lower Lake the van was starting to act up.
We continued along and by the time we were leaving Lake County and entering the west side of the Sacramento Valley the van was missing and stumbling constantly and the check engine light was going on and off.
We planned to take Walnut Drive south off Highway 20. When we got there we made the turn and I pulled over to the side.

We got out and discussed the vans running problem.
I decided that it would not be smart to continue this trip with the van running like this so I decided to abort the trip. I said good bye to Bob and wished him a safe journey. Then I headed back to Santa Rosa.

Getting Home.

When I left Bob, the van seemed like it wanted to run good for a couple of miles; I was almost thinking of turning around but it was too late for that so I continued toward home.
When I began climbing the hills the van started acting up again. Missing, stumbling and backfiring.

As I was climbing the grade to Walker Ridge, the van seemed to run a little better when it was in 3rd gear (lower RPM) but eventually I had to shift down to 2nd and that is when the back firing and missing was the worst (higher RPM).
Near the top of the grade the van backfired a couple good ones and the exhaust gasket blew out. Now the van not only is running bad it is also sounding bad.
I managed to make it home ok.

Going to the Cabin.

I have decided to go to the cabin to get away from the van problem for a while.
There are a couple of projects I want to work on up there.

Okay that was my aborted trip to Nevada.
I’ll talk to you when I get back from the cabin.

Sunday, July 15, 2018

Final Prep for the Nevada Trip.

Packing Up.

The last couple of days I have been shopping and loading the van.
I think I have most of the groceries put away. Today I will do the last minute shopping, then I will be ready to go tomorrow.

Okay, there isn’t really much more to add so I’ll talk to you later.  

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Getting Ready for the Nevada Trip.

The New Distributor.

As you may remember I ordered a new distributor for the van.
When it arrived the distributor cap was broken.
I contacted the company and after sending them some pictures they informed me that they would be shipping me a new distributor and I would not have to return the old one.
The guys at KMJ Performance were great to work with and were very helpful.

In order to get a jump on things, I am going to install the base for the distributer that was damaged so when the new one gets here I can just install the cap. If the new one doesn’t arrive in time I can use the cap and wires that I already have. If there is a problem
with the distributer, it will be in the base as everything else has been swapped out.

Getting Ready for the Nevada Trip.

The last couple of days I have been reconfiguring the van for single occupancy.  That means I removed one of the bunks.
That makes a lot more room in the van.

Excuse the mess, it is a work in progress.


The Windshield Wiper.

When we were on the Continental Divide trip the windshield wipers didn’t work. I had to hold the switch on with one hand while I drove with the hand.
Yesterday, I started checking it out. The switch is in a hard spot to get to.
I reached under the dash and found the plug on the switch. I tried to remove it but it was very tight. I wiggled the plug and pulled on it but it wouldn’t come off.
I decided to see if the switch would work so I turned on the ignition and tried it. The wipers swept across the windshield and back. I tried both speeds and it seems to be working now.
It must have been a bad connection between the plug and the switch and moving the plug fixed it.

The Right Tail Light.

When I was at Bob’s we noticed that the right tail/brake light was not working.
Upon closer inspection we determined that the lead contacts on the bulb were warn out.

Yesterday I pulled the lens off the light and removed the bulb.
I added a little solder to the contacts on the base of the bulb and replaced it.
The light now works just fine.

Engine Temperature Sender.

I also replaced the engine temperature sender as part of looking for the high speed miss problem.
I am down to shot gunning the problem as I don’t know what else to do at this point.

Okay, I guess that’s all for now.

Wednesday 7/11

Installing the Distributor.

The installation of the distributer went as well as usual.

I pulled the number one spark plug and removed the distributor cap. I turned the engine over with the key. Bumping it until the piston came up to top dead center on the compression stroke.

I checked the timing mark and saw that it was just slightly off so I manually turned the engine about 1/2 inch to line the mark up with the zero.

Now I was ready to pull out the old distributor.


Now I just have to remember this picture when I put the new one in.

It took a couple of tries to get the new distributor to line up with the oil pump and #1 plug wire at the same time.
I had to turn the oil pump gear about 1/4 inch to the right before everything lined up and the distributer dropped into place.
I snugged it down, replaced the spark plug, put the cap on the distributor, hooked the plug wire to the plug and tried starting the engine .
It turned over a few times and started. I could tell it was way advanced by the way it was running so I turned the distributor in the retard direction about 1/4 turn before it ran smooth.
I turned the engine off and hooked up the timing light. I started the engine again and let it warm up for a while. Once it was warmed up, I checked the timing with the timing light. I had to turn the distributer back and forth a few times before I could get the timing marks to line up. Finally I got the timing set at the speck for the 292 engine  6° advanced.

A Test Ride.

I wanted to go to Harbor Freight for a couple items so I figured that would be a good test drive as it is across town.
The van ran good all the way over there but it was all on the surface streets so on the way home I got on the freeway for a few exits. It ran pretty good on the way home. I had a couple of chances to accelerate and it seemed to be okay.
I have been here before so I will wait until I am on the highway trying to pass someone to say whether it is fixed or not.

The Fan.

The van doesn’t have AC. What it dose have, is two fans mounted on the dash. One blows on the passenger and one blows on the driver. It ain’t much but it is better than nothing.

The passenger fan lost a blade the other day and I haven’t been able to use the drivers fan as they are both on the same switch.
Today I removed the passenger fan; now I can use the drivers fan.
I’ll replace the passenger fan at a later date.


The XM radio.

When we were on the Continental Divide trip I took the XM radio but we had trouble with it.
I hooked it all up today with one change; instead of running the antenna out the front of the van, I ran the wire out the passenger side door and put the magnetic antenna on the roof.
I plugged the XM into power and turned on the radio.  They came on but no sound came out. 
While I was working on the XM I found that the auxiliary battery was not holding a charge and the voltage was very low. Fortunately I have a couple of deep cycle batteries that we use for the fridge at the cabin. I had to buy a new one last year so I put that one in the van. 
Once I had the battery replaced I turned on the XM and the radio and it all worked just fine.
Cool, now I can listen to old time radio shows at night.


Packing for the Trip.

I started packing the cloths for the trip. I think I will have enough that I won’t have to do any laundry along the way.

I have been going through my lists to make sure I take everything I need.

I’ll start loading the van tomorrow after I lube the drive shaft. Hopefully that will be the last mechanicing I will have to do beside putting the belly pan on. That’s always the last thing I do.

Okay, I think that’s enough for today.

Monday, July 9, 2018

Van Work and Planning a Trip.

Van Work.

The last time I drove the van, was after swapping the chip in the ECM.  It ran worse than it did with the original chip. I didn’t want to work on it any more and I needed a break so I went to the cabin for a while.

On Saturday I decided to get back to work on the van.
I replaced the chip with the original one and I fixed the right brake light.

Bob’s Place.

I needed to test drive the van so on Sunday I took a ride over to Bob’s. I also wanted to discuss a trip we are planning to take to NE Nevada. The van ran better.

We spent some time checking out what he has done with his chicken yard.
The peeps are growing nicely and all look healthy and active.

Nevada Trip

We discussed our up coming trip to Nevada and decided to leave next Monday 7/16.
The van still has its original problem but it made the whole Continental Divide trip like this so I guess it will make this trip too.

I will be spending the week getting things ready to go.

Okay,  TTFN.

Friday, July 6, 2018

4th of July Week at the Cabin.

Wednesday, 6/27.


I got to the cabin around 11:30.
The first thing I did was to hook up the battery for the fridge.
The battery‘s are connected to a power panel that I made several years ago.


The fridge was plugged into this panel but the connection was shaky and wasn’t working.
I ended up eliminating the plug and splicing into the power wires that go to the panel. The panel still is in the system to monitor the battery’s and the outlets can still be used.
Now I shouldn’t have anymore problems of that sort.

Moving In.

Once the fridge was up and running I began unloading the jeep.
It didn’t take long to get moved in.
Once I was moved in it was time for lunch.

Goofing Off.

I spent the rest of the day; reading, relaxing and just enjoying the passage of time.

No Gas For the Stove.

Around 5:30, I was getting a bit hungry so I started making some thing for dinner. Some diced Spam and Eggs would be nice and easy.
I diced up the spam and whipped up the eggs; when I went to light the stove there was no gas.
Oh, of course. I forgot to turn the gas on.
Went to check the gas and it was on. Okay I need another gas cylinder.
There is one on the shower and one on the fridge and I don’t want to use ether one of them.

I remember that there were a couple of 5 gallon gas bottles over at the Dining Hall.
I brought one of the bottles over to the cabin and hooked it up. When I turned the valve on there was a hissing sound and the smell of Propane. There was a leak somewhere. I shut the valve immediately.
I needed a bubble tester to see where the leak was so I drilled a small hole in the lid of an old drink bottle, put a little dish soap and some water in it and voila a leak tester is made.
I returned to the tank and turned on the valve. I squirted around all the connections and didn’t find any leaks. Then I started wetting down the hose from the tank to the stove and found that some Rodent had bitten a couple holes in the hose.
This means I will have to take a ride to town to get a new hose.
I decided to let it wait until tomorrow morning and use the barbeque to cook dinner.
I just put the skillet on the grill. It took a bit longer than normal to get the skillet hot but once it was hot it cooked just fine.

Here, I’m heating water for breakfast.


Thursday. 6/28

Removing the Hose.

After breakfast, it didn’t take long to pull out the stove and remove the hose from that end.


Next I removed the hose from the regulator.
I took the hose with me and headed for Boonville in the hope that the hardware store might have something that would work. If not then, I will have to go clear to Ukiah about another 45 minute drive.

I walked into the Hardware store and asked if they had anything like the hose I had.
The guy behind the counter looked at a display on the wall and said “Yep, we have a five footer right here. We spent some time discussing the fittings as I wasn’t sure if the ones on their hose would fit or not.
I ended up buying a bushing that it turned out wasn’t necessary.

Hooking up the Stove

When I got back to the cabin it took about 20 minutes to get everything hooked up, leak tested and the stove moved back in place.

Once the stove was back in place, I fine tuned the burners a little.

Take a Hike.

After around 2:00, I decided to hike the trail. I walked up the hill from the cabin where the trail starts.

Bob and I had planted a group of Plumb and Prune trees in a clump on the hillside here.

As I walked past the trees I noticed that one of the Prune trees had Prunes growing on it.

There are three Prune’s on the tree; one on each side of the picture and one, slightly deformed Prune, at the top of the picture.


These are the first of the Prune trees to have fruit on them. The Plumbs still haven’t fruited.

Tree on the Trail.

After inspecting the fruit trees, I continued up the trail.
I had a rake with me so I did a trail little clean up as I went along.

This spot was a bit more than I can clean with a rake.


This job will take a chain saw to clear completely.
I ended up breaking off enough branches to get through for now.


It took about an hour to walk the whole trail, stopping now and then to rake a short section.

When I got back to the cabin I was a bit pooped. I sat in my chair and dosed for a while.

Friday, 6/30


Around 12:00, Patti and Dina arrived.
We got Patti moved in and Dina set up her tent.
We had lunch and were sitting outside in the shade when Matt and
Mike drove up.
We sat around and visited for a while, when Josie showed up.
Josie set up her camp.
The rest of the afternoon we shade hopped and visited until supper time, when we all went to our camps to get something to eat.

After supper we sat round the cabin visiting until bed time.

That was our Friday.

Saturday. 6/30

Start Dining Hall Repair.

Some of the perimeter logs on the dining hall were rotting out. The problem was that I used a couple of fir trees for the top logs and they don’t don’t do well on the ground.

This is one of the rotted logs.


I had Matt and Mike cut down a small redwood and cut it into 20+ foot lengths and drag them to the dining hall. They laid the redwood logs near where they will be installed.


Escape to the Creek.

By noon, the outside air temp was reaching 100 degrees so the ladies headed for the creek.
Once Matt and Mike got the the logs in place, we also went to the creek.

By the time we got down there Dina and Josie had made a nice dam which makes the swimming hole a bit larger.


Here we are hanging out at the creek.


Water Pictures.

Patti enjoys taking pictures through the water.



We got back to the cabin around 5:00. The temperature was still in the high 90’s so we sat outside in the shade until the mosquitoes drove us indoors.

Sunday, 7/1

Day at the Creek.

Around 10:00 Matt and Mike headed for home.

I did a little work on the dining hall.

After lunch Patti, Dina, Josie and I went to the creek. We forgot to take a camera with us so no pictures. We stayed at the creek until around 5:00 when it seemed cool enough to go up to the cabin.
We hung out outside until the mosquitoes got to aggressive. Then we took refuge in the cabin.

Monday, 7/2

Hanging Out.

We spent the day just hanging out around the cabin.
Josie went home around 1:00.

I did a little work on the dining hall but it got to hot to work on it.

Toilet Problem.

Dina used the toilet and said that it didn’t sound like the tank was filling. Patti used the toilet and said that it would not flush.

I checked it out and found that the inlet valve was clogged with what looked like earth worm parts.
I cleaned it out and it now works fine, except that the flapper valve is not sealing properly.
I have a new valve but I forgot to bring it up.
I also have a filter for the water system but it is at home also. It will have to wait until the next trip.
I want to also put a “Y” strainer on the water system at the input to the tanks as I think that is where the worms are getting into the system.

Okay tat’s it for today.

Tuesday 7/3.

The Dining Hall.

I worked on the dining hall a little this morning. The back side is ready to put the log in place.


I started removing the rotten log on the far side of the hall.


There is a 12” spike that I am having trouble getting out of the log on the side of the dining hall.


Joanne and Dave Arrive.

Around 2:45 Joanne and Dave showed up. We visited for a while, then they moved into their lodge.
By the time they were settled, the day had warmed up a lot so we shade hopped for the rest of the day.

In the evening we played cards; Joanne won.

Wednesday, 7/4.

Happy Birthday America!

Dining Hall Repair.

Dave and I worked on getting the log’s in place around the back and left side of the dining hall.

Removing the Spike.

The first thing I had to was get that big spike out.
I decided to use my Farm Jack and a chain to pull the spike out of the log.

Unfortunately this is the only picture  and it was taken after the spike was removed.


What I did.

The chain has a hook on one end. The space in the hook was just right to fit the spike so I slid the hook around the spike right at the top.


Then I wrapped the chain over the lip on the Farm Jack, put a different spike through the links of the chain to hold it in place and jacked the spike out of the log.
It was hard to get out.

Installing the New Logs.

Once again there are only a few pictures of this operation and those are of the finished project.

We decided to put the back log in first.


Then we cleaned out all the debris from the removal of the left side log.
We cut a notch in the end of the log for the left side and set the log in place.
There was a large gap under the front of the log so we needed to find a small tree to fill the gap.

I knew of a small redwood that was growing out of a group up by the main water barrels.
It was a runt and would never amount to anything so we cut it off and drug it back to camp with the jeep.

A Nat. Geo. Moment.

When we returned with the tree the ladies were very excited.

After we left to get the tree, they were sitting in the shade talking when a Gray squirrel ran down the hill and jumped onto a fir tree and scurried up it.
Right behind the Squirrel was a Red Fox who also jumped onto the tree.
About that time one of the women made an exclamatory noise. The fox stopped in its tracks, looked over at the ladies, jumped off the tree and ran back up the hill. Of course it all happened so fast that no pictures were taken.

Continuing the Log Replacement. 

Dave and I cut the new tree to length and worked it under the top log.
After we were finished with the logs, we dug a drainage ditch under the eaves to try and keep water from running toward the dining hall.


Okay, that job is done.

We spent the rest of the day visiting.

In the evening after supper we played cards. Patti won.

Thursday, 7/5.

Packing up to Go Home.

Once we got up and had breakfast, Patti and Dina slowly began gathering their stuff. Once it was all stacked around Patti’s car I loaded it all in the back of the car.

They left around noon. Joanne, Dave and I are staying one more night.

Lots of Air Traffic.

While Joanne, Dave and I were shade hopping in the afternoon we heard several aircraft flying over head. There were helicopters as well as fixed wing aircraft. We eventually got a view of one and it turned out to be a fire retardant bomber. We speculated as to what it might mean; was it just a lot of tourist flights or was it DEA choppers looking for illegal pot farms or is it some kind of rescue operation.


Around 5:00 I went into the cabin and turned on the radio to listen to the local station and see if I could get some information.

As it turned out there was a wild fire along highway 128 between Peachland Road (the road we are on) and Boonville. The radio said it was being hit hard with air craft and ground crews and they expected to have it under control by dark. No problem,

We spent the rest of the evening visiting until around 10:00.

Friday, 7/6

Going Home.

We all spent the morning packing to go home and were ready to by noon.

Driving by the Fire.

As I drove down the hill I kept an eye out for signs of the fire.
About 2/3 of the way to the highway I saw the first signs. A
red stain of fire retardant on the trees and the hill side across the canyon.


A little farther down the hill there was more evidence.


I got a fuzzy picture of a fire fighter working on the steep hillside.


Fire engines staged by these barns near the highway.

IMGP3183 Here is the hill that burned.


Parts Arrive.

I got home around 1:30.
I was happy to see that the distributer I had ordered had arrived.
I opened the box to check it out and found that the distributer cap had been broken in shipment.


Now I will have to send this one back and wait for a replacement.

Okay that pretty well wraps up the last nine days.