Sunday, December 23, 2012

Shovel Shovel, Toil And Trouble.

It cooled off here a week ago, and began to feel like December, except for right around the hot spring. 

Of major concern to me in winter is the intake screens for the pelton wheel that generates electricity around here. If you have read my blog long enough you will recall that my intake screens come up certain times of the year. The intake pond/screen is located up that mountain behind the cabin, right where that big tree in the center intersects the frost line, that's 450 feet or so higher up there and considerably cooler than down here in the valley bottom. I always make one last trip up there to check things before the winter snows set in and make access difficult.

The intake pond, the 8" line feeds the penstock that goes down the mountainside and runs a water driven generator located back down behind the cabin. Submerged in the pond is a screen, which filters out larger material from entering the line, which is flowing about 280 gal/minute, and an essential component to maintaining my relatively comfortable existence back at the lodge.
The creek is at its lowest level this time of year, and may barely cover the intake, causing cavitation, or a whirl pooling of air into the waterline. I placed several rocks along the top of the dam to raise the level of the water. It just takes a little, an inch or so to do the trick until some snow falls.
Everything  looked in order and wasn't much else I could do but hike over to the lookout.
 Looking back down to the homestead and airstrip.

Within a couple days we had some more snow, it is always a novelty that wears off pretty quick.

It started to snow with a real purpose, and kept it up for several days without stop.

 I had a fireman friend come out for a few days. Reg spent most of his time shoveling snow and keeping a trail open from the guest cabin to the refrigerator in the lodge.
I'm sure next time he comes he will be checking the weather forecast first.

I got dumped on again last night and spent about 4-5 hours today shoveling the walkways and plowing the drive.

I got to play with some toys, but mostly I got to play with a snow shovel.

The cats enjoyed getting out after the storm and are always interested in what I'm doing.

ChYk is always photogenic and seeks out the camera lens.
On the other hand, ChUk is a little camera shy.

*I have to wonder what state my intake pond up there is in, it must be chock full of snow and ready to choke off the intake screen, and I'm surprised I'm still in operation. If it turns cold there will be other issues, and none of them good. If (when) a problem develops some poor bugger and I know who is going to have to fight his way up the mountain to attend to the screens.

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