Construction Journal Entry Week of 8/23/15

8/25-27/15 I went up to Camp Serendipity for 3 days: Tuesday through Thursday.

Before I left home I called Robert Ferrel to let him know about my schedule for the week. He said that he probably would not be over to Camp Serendipity this week which was just as well. I told him I would be busy with my water line.

On the way I stopped at Priscilla's and then proceeded on to play a game of checkers with Uncle Charles. I barely beat him. Then I had a nice lunch with Marilyn and finally arrived at Camp Serendipity at 12:30.

Before I turned into the driveway, I stopped and chatted with Barb Williams who was going the other way on her way to the store. She told me that there were some road closures due to the fires and she said that Byron could use some help right now erecting the log columns for his porch deck. So instead of pulling into my driveway, I continued on and visited with Byron. He didn't need any help at the moment but he showed me what he was doing and I told him to call me if he did need my help.

I left Byron and arrived back at Camp Serendipity at 1:20. After moving my gear in, I watered Brian, the giant sequoia tree, and then went into the woods to check on the trees and the spring. On the way back I scouted and did some clearing of the short trail to the spring. Since I planned to hike to the spring a lot this week, I wanted to have that trail accessible. I made it passable.

Earl called and we had a nice conversation about fires, work, health, and he wanted to know whether Robert still intended to harvest my remaining trees. I told him that he did.

On Wednesday, I worked on the installation of the final section of water pipe. I had prepared a 40-step plan for the work and I also planned to make a video of the work. This is a very significant project because it will finally complete the longest running project at Camp Serendipity. Installation of the water system has been intermittent but fairly steady over the past twenty-two years. From now on, the system will require maintenance, but no more original construction.

The work proceeded according to the plan and by lunch time, the plumbing was all done and the siphon was sort of established. As expected, full head pressure was not restored immediately and some more work was required to get the air out of the system and bring the pressure up to 100%.

After lunch, I used the combination of the discharge hose and the hose that had previously substituted for the newly installed pipe section, to siphon water out of the line and draw the air out. My plan was to attach this siphon hose to the newly installed nipple at the bottom of the inverted siphon. But for some reason I attached it to the discharge pipe instead. I'm not sure why. Looking back on it, I think it might have worked better had I stuck to the original 40-step plan.

At any rate, by extending the hose through the woods and down to the ditch by the road, the siphon worked. I sat and watched it for about two hours, and during that time, the stream went from a weak flow to the full pressure discharge that I was hoping for, with a lot of gurgling and sputtering all the while as the air bubbled out.

I quit work at 2:30 pretty well exhausted, wet, and dirty. But I was pleased to have that job behind me. In the cabin I discovered that the pressure was still not 100% but was about 80% instead. I can tell when I shower by how many holes water is coming out of on the big shower head. That didn't bother me, though, because from past experience, the bubbles finally work themselves out and the water returns to full pressure.

With the pipe completely installed, the trench can now be backfilled. I called Mike Dickinson and put my request in to Kari to have Mike do the job some upcoming Wednesday.

On Thursday morning, I was happy to discover that the pressure was back to 100%. After breakfast I went to work and coiled up the hose I had replaced. I had left it draining and drying overnight. I put the hose away and then went down to the creek bed. I did some rock work to make a retaining wall right above the nipple at the low point of the plumbing and another retaining wall to separate the water line trench from the main creek, which has a confluence with the trench just above the pipe nipple. I want Mike to fill the water line trench but not the creek bed, so the rock work I did should keep them separate. I took a picture of the rock work above the nipple and another one of the wall between the trench and the creek bed.

Before I left for home, I had some time to work on Dave's 3,000 piece jigsaw puzzle, and in that time, I finally completed the puzzle. I took a picture of that too. I left for home at 12:30 extremely pleased with the week's work.

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