Caretaker Report – Week 26 "Meltdown"
March 11, 2011 | 1355 Views
We had a major meltdown this week. Not a Jack Torrance (The Shining ) type of meltdown but a meltdown which has turned our winter wonderland to slush. This is a good thing. The days have been a succession of blue skies and puffy clouds…..crap!
I want the heavens to open up and sent us a torrent of rain. Pleeease.
There’s a simple explanation for this unusual request, our water line is frozen.
Our supply of water comes from a stream which flows into a small tank down at the crew shack, which we than pump up to 2 holding tanks. From there a pipe leads into the lodge. This 80 ft section runs underground in places and above ground in others and is gravity fed. Somewhere (we’ve narrowed it down to the underground areas) is frozen solid. That is why I want rain.
We live in a rain forest on the edge of the ocean and not a drop of water…. in the pipes. Twelve days now and counting. Mike and I are not strangers to the opportunity to be resourceful, self-reliant or thinking outside the box.
Two years ago while at another lodge we went 6 weeks without running water. Actually we did have running water but it was located outside, as in mountain stream. Who needs to go the the gym when everyday I got a workout hauling up buckets of water to the cabin. I didn’t even have to pay the $3.50 for a bottle of crystal clear, mountain fed, pure rejuvenating H2O. To think I used it to flush toilets!
Back to the OP. Not knowing what to expect but always thinking “what if” Mike filled 15, 20L containers full of rainwater, which took all of 2 days. Had a lot of rain in the fall.“That should get us through a freeze” or so we thought. Unbelievable how much water you use in the course of a day. In the blink of an eye it was gone and although there is a supply of bottled drinking water in 20L containers, I just couldn’t literally pour it down the drain. I have some idea just how expensive these jugs of water are, having to ship them in by barge. Just when it looked like I’d be hitting the gym again, lugging seawater, a solution fell from the sky. Snow and lots of it.
I had a good little system going and within 2 hours each day I had enough water for dishes, flushings and bucket showers. Just the necessities. At least once a day I’d find myself turning on a tap, old habits die hard.
Late yesterday afternoon the water started to flow. Utilizing the wet vac we took turns sucking water through the line, trying to create more than just a trickle. Whether it was this maneuver or the rain (be careful what you wish for) water flowed forth. With exuberance I tackled a pile of dishes.The sound of the washing machine making the weird noises that it sometimes makes, music to my ears. Now it was my turn! All this fuss over having water once again – hey if you’ve never been without then you’ve never experienced the feeling of luxury that a 30 minute shower can give after 13 days of bathing from a stockpot.
Till next week,
Heather & Mike