Construction Journal Entry Week of 8/21/22

8/22-26/22 I went up to Camp Serendipity for five days: Monday through Friday.

It was hot when I arrived at noon. I brought my gear up in two trips. Looking at the mountains it looked to me like the fire had stalled. It had made no progress since I saw it last, and it looked like it was smoldering. I hoisted the flag and then had my lunch and a short nap.

When I got up, I practiced the piano and then the fire crew showed up. They tested the pump. When they were done, I strung a garden hose from my water discharge spigot over to the tank so I could help re-fill the tank if necessary. Then I went into the woods and checked the salt block, Paul, and Runty.

On Tuesday morning Robert called first thing. Then I practiced the piano and listened to the radio. I made a depth gauge for the big tank and tested my hose running into it. It raised the level 2 inches per hour. Next, I did some work on my mirror project.

I took the Sawzall down over the cliff below the front windows and started cutting tall brush. It worked very well, and I drained both batteries. Then I came back in and had my lunch and a nap.

When I got up, the fire crew showed up and did another pump test. In the process the sprayer at the back porch came apart and was spraying wildly getting the inside of the kitchen window all wet. I went out and turned the valve off to that sprayer to stop it. The crew had gone, and they had left the pump running intending to empty the tank. The pump sucked the tank dry down to one of the high corners and then quit. The crew came back about 5 minutes later and fixed the sprayer that had broken apart. Then they moved the pump to the low side of the tank so that they could pump out all the water in the tank. They had mistakenly placed the pump intake at the shallow end of the tank.

I cleaned up the water that had leaked into the cabin and then I spent the rest of the afternoon reading. The water truck came back and refilled the tank.

On Wednesday morning I made shutters for the two windows that were leaking during the tests. I used the heavy gauge plastic that I had put on the floor of the crawl space. Then I practiced the piano and went out and cut some more bushes with the Sawzall. While I was having my lunch, I looked out the window and saw a bear on the road. It walked down the road behind some trees, and I lost sight of it. But then a coyote came walking down the road and it came right onto our property. I got a video of it walking up to the tank and then into the woods.

Next, I heard a commotion in the living room and when I looked, I saw a bear looking in the window at me. He was sitting on the front porch workbench looking in. I grabbed my camera and by the time I got it ready, the bear moved off the workbench and got down on the porch deck. It walked toward the front door, so I went to the door and tried to shoo it away. It gave me a look, and then left stage right. I got a video of it.

After my nap, the crew came back and did another test. They had a lot of trouble getting the pump started plus there was a leak in one of the hoses which they fixed. My shutters got a good test, and I was happy that they worked well.

After the test the crew of workers visited the cabin and were interested in a lot of it. We went up to the loft and they looked at the model of the cabin and the model of Mount Rainier National Park and they asked a lot of questions. They asked me to play the piano, so I played two pieces for them. They also showed a lot of interest in the forestry books that Earl had given me.

On Thursday I had accidentally closed the Kardia mobile app on my phone so first thing in the morning I drove down to Ron Sideritz' place to reload the app. The air was not too smoky.

After practicing the piano, I went into the woods and checked the salt, Paul, and Runty, and I brought 5 gallons of water to Andrew. When I got back the crew was back to test the pump and again it was hard to start. Once they got it going, they pumped for a while but not for long. My shutters held up nicely. The crew refilled the tank from their own fire truck since they had only pumped out a small amount.

After lunch and a nap, I cut the last of the tall brush below the window and then I cut the tall brush by the old flagpole site and by the privy. Then using a rope, I dragged the brush I had cut up to the burn pile past the privy and stacked it there to be burned in the winter.

On Friday morning I practiced the piano and then packaged up the books that I intend to give to one of the fire crew members. Then I raised the shutters again because the crew came back to do a short spray test. I left the shutters in place in case they do a test while I'm gone. I carried the tools and the books down to the truck and loaded them. Even though the fire seems stalled, there were a lot of helicopters in the air. I left for home at 12:30 feeling a little less concerned about the fire.

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