Wednesday, February 13, 2008


Cool, showery (high 30s)

Heh. I forgot to stock my little woodshed, so now, in my desire to have a lovely fire every night I’m here, I’m slowly burning kindling. Why didn’t I, upon realizing my mistake, simply scoot down in the truck to get some wood? Because I had just been listening to a radio program about predatory cats, and then the program switched to a discussion of the criminally insane, and really, at that point, no way was I going out there. So I’m watching cedar shakes burn, knowing I’m going to have to add more wood quite soon.

Today provided plenty of opportunity for adventure: We started turning the water system back on. You would think that with all that work we did to winterize the system, it would be pretty easy to just turn the valve and let ‘er rip, but ohhh no, there have to be broken bits here and there. We started out fixing little stuff—a valve here, a leaky end there—and then realized there was nowhere near enough water pressure at Raker. So we set out looking for a leak, and it turned out it was, oh, right in front of the dining hall, a fifteen-foot fountain, spewing attractively in three directions. The source of the fountain was a section of pipe that had been forced up and broken by a Bigleaf Maple root. Tractor, pipe cutting, and pipe threading tools later, the pipe was back in business. Now there’s just the rest of camp to turn on… It’s already been a process. I got facefuls of water a few times today. And I broke a toilet tank. Hooray.

I just added more shingles, and a Doug-fir branch. The latter is burning bright, but I’m guessing it’ll only last a few more seconds. When I was searching for things to burn a few minutes ago, I thought of the people in the world who actually need campfires, and how they burn anything, like dung, or tires, or whatever, just to survive. It made me feel more than a little spoiled. I thought I was working exceptionally hard earlier tonight, because I had to peel six apples without a peeler. This thought of having to burn dung to keep warm, or to cook some rotting piece of meat, puts things into a little bit of perspective.

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