Journal: August 3, 2010

I’m sitting by a fire, sipping ice cold diet root beer, under a sky full of stars, and life is good. I wish I could stay up here for ever, but I know I can’t. Soon I’ll run out of money, and it’ll get too cold anyway. The new hut might help with the cold, but as for money, well, that’s one thing I can’t seem to make up here (actually, I could technically sell my trees for lumber or firewood, but I don’t think that’d be enough to cover the bills). But for now, life is good, and I am happy.

My irrigation system is basically done. I changed things so that instead of soaker hoses coming off a single garden hose, I got a bunch of Y-splitters and 3/4″ hose to 1/4″ reducers. I have four soaker lines, each with separate valves so I can turn off water to each of the lines separately. The only issue I’m having is that the different lines have vastly different flow rates. For some reason, the section I laid down the first day has a very low flow rate, with mostly completely dry patches, while the section I laid down on the 3rd day is dripping quite profusely. When I was pumping water into the tower today, I momentarily shut off the valve going into the water container, and opened the valve going to the irrigation system (I have a 3-way valve to do that), which in turn had all the valves shut except for the two lines that have low flow rates (again, I can do that since I have valves on each of the four lines), to see if the higher pressure from the pump will help improve the flow rate. It didn’t seem to make a huge difference, but I’ll have a better idea in the morning.

Lately, I’ve been going to town pretty frequently, to get water and supplies for my irrigation system, and the rough surface of the dirt road leading to the county road has been getting to me. I have to drive really slowly to avoid damage to my tires or suspension, and it’s annoying that it takes close to 10 minutes to go just half a mile. So, today, I decided to do something about it. When I headed off to town, I took my shovel with me, and on the way back in, I spent an hour or so filling in the worst parts with dirt and gravel I dug up from the sides of the road. It was another one of those moments where I felt happy and empowered to be able to solve my own problem, instead of having to wait for other people to do it for me.

Now that my garden can water itself, I’m free to leave my property, just in time to attend a wedding party down in San Francisco, and move out of my apartment. I’ve held onto that apartment for way too long, considering how I spent a total of 5 days there during the month of July. The truth is, I wasn’t sure how happy and comfortable I’d be up here, and wanted a place I could go back to if things didn’t work out. I finally decided to pull the plug in mid-July, but of course, I had to give 30 days’ notice, so I’ve been up here all this time while technically paying rent in San Francisco. If my neighbors hadn’t left after the fire and they were still around to water my garden for me, I might’ve gone down there at least once more during the month of July, but, oh well. Ironically, I’ll probably be heading back to the city in another month or two to find a job, but, at least I’ll have saved a couple of months’ rent, and I should be getting my deposit back too.

4 thoughts on “Journal: August 3, 2010

  1. I’ve been doing much the same as yourself on 20 acres in Montana. I’m about four miles and 1500′ higher than ‘town’ up a fair rough dirt road. After I had a ‘dozer do some touch up work on my road, the downhill neighbor suggested that I make a ‘drag’ out of some logs (6-8 feet long) chained together laterally to pull behind the truck every time I went up or down the hill.

    The principle being that the long surface of the logs would ‘ride over’ the low points of the road (ruts, etc.) and ‘scrub’ the high points dragging the fill into the low points and eventually smooth every thing out.

    Made with some forethought, it would be a matter of simply dropping a loop over your tow-ball (you DO have a tow ball, yes?), dragging on your way out, and then slipping it back off when you hit the main road/end of your property, reversing the procedure when you return.

    Something to consider.

  2. Watch for the Perseids meteor shower this Thurs. nite-Fri morn while you are sipping your rootbeer.
    Hey, I might be able to come up for your hutbuilding… I’ll let you know.


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