Thursday, November 15, 2012

Powerline Windfall

  After the large pelton wheel generator was installed in 2000, we strung a 240 volt power line from the lodge here tree to tree almost a kilometer down to the hot spring area. This power line services the small caretakers cabin there and once in awhile gets a tree fall on it.
   This stressed out looking cedar developed root rot and blew over in a windstorm last summer, landing on the power line and sagging it down with its weight. You can see the power line where it comes in from the upper right, it is anchored to that major tree there so you can see the fallen tree is putting quite a bit a strain on the wire. It will hold the weight dry, but with a load of wet snow this winter it will break the wire, or pull the anchor out of the 'pole' tree, either of which require putting on the spurs and climbing belt and going up there to remedy the problem. At this stage of my life out of self preservation, putting on the spurs is a last resort, so getting this behemoth off the power line before winter was the best idea.
   I wasn't keen on climbing up the sloping tree with a chainsaw and bucking it off, I didn't know for sure what the tree was going to do once freed from the heavy top extending beyond the power line. It was still attached to its root ball in the ground and I didn't know if it would stand up and find myself hanging on with my fingernails, or if it would just drop and I would ride it down into the bush cowboy style.
Lifting it back the way it came off the wire with a block and pulley was my first choice but was going to take a lot of rigging up, still involved climbing spurs and I wasn't a hundred percent it was going to work as planned. I was expecting some old friends from Kelowna out for a weekend a few weeks back so I decided to wait until then so there would be someone present whom in the event of a mishap would make some attempt to revive me at least.
   We decided the best plan of attack was for me to pack the Husky chainsaw up there with the aid of not one, but two ladders tied together, Lorne would hold the ladder(s), and Ron would use my camera to document the operation for the possible ensuing coroner's investigation.
Rule number one. Turn the power off.

Oh ya well that inspires a lot of confidence, a couple of already too long aluminium ladders tied together, reaching up and resting next to where the tree contacts the power line cable.
People need only go back and read my February post about building the shop to fully appreciate my apprehension with projects involving ladders, the experience still fresh in my mind 7 years after the fact..
Lorne kept a firm hold on the ladder, the grim possibility of having to perform mouth to mouth resuscitation on me probably made him all that more diligent.
 I packed up a short chain to tie the tree and the top of the ladder together, just in case it stood up after I cut the top, I would just have to drop the saw and hang on to the swinging ladder.
We hadn't really figured out a scenario if the tree fell.
Well the tree didn't move hardly any when the top was removed, much to the relief of all involved, especially him up the ladder. A job well done, and all in a days work out here at the hot spring.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Today November 5 2012

This time change has thrown me for a loop, and I find myself getting up at 4:30 am.
The early dark in the afternoon takes some getting use to as well.
However, with the longer dark hours I will probably get back to posting more regular, it has been a month again but boy have I been busy with getting ready for winter. I've been having some issues with posting pictures that are not sorted out yet so I hope this works.

My days begin early, at the computer reading the news and surfing for a few hours.

Once it begins to get light I like to retire to the hot tub and plan my day, or not.

 The rains the past week have brought up the channel out front a little, surprised I'm not seeing some fish coming in to spawn.

 The Fall colors are just about ready to fall all over the lawn and make a big mess.


I strolled down to the hot spring and had the place to myself.
I very seldom actually go in, it has always been a different deal for me down there. I've always looked at it as something to keep up or maintain authority over so it has always been a work type thing for me.

I checked the forecast and looked like this might be the only nice day for a bit so I decided to make one last trip for firewood. We are a long ways from getting snow here but when it does that is it for going out for wood. I store it ahead for the campers in need, as much as I hate to deal with it.
I have enough for myself, I use very little ,only lighting the wood stove when my power goes out.
Thats looking south towards Billygoat Canyon.

ChYk cat nappin.