Friday, November 16, 2007

A blustery November day up at Diamond Mountain. I'm sitting in the trailer, putting off going outside to do some more digging. When the trailer was delivered, the road that Scott dug for us was pretty close to level, but not close enough for a fusspot like me. The downhill wheels of the trailer are up on boards, which I really don't like. So I've been jacking the trailer up and digging out underneath to level it off.



This has been a longer process than I might have hoped - I found a very large rock the day before yesterday. It was about 2" below the wheel shown here, which is about 4" too high, and it was a major labor to remove it. I finally managed it yesterday by excavating enough of the rocks surrounding it to slightly weaken the earth's hold on it, and then levering it out with a caliche bar, which is a 1" diameter 8' long steel bar, which deflected about ten degrees from the force I put on it before the rock finally moved.

But why dwell on that - the rock did finally move, and now all I have to do is dig out the other wheel, take out the wood on the other side, and try to get the thing level again. Should be a work of moments.

To give you an idea of what's going on here, I'll give you a brief photo log. The picture you see here on the right was shot from the trailer site at sunset sometime in October - I could probably get the exact date out of the camera if I weren't a lazy person. Right now things are a bit different - the weather shifted toward the end of October, and so it's a cloudy day with a lot of fog in the air. The mountains you see in the distance in the sunset view are about 30 or 40 miles away; today the camera can barely see them at all (they're a little more visible to my eye).

Here's the trailer:

Breakfast at my workstation:

Our lovely kitchen, with a bunch of clean dishes (yay!):

Our driveway. The part that's grey is the Stumpf's driveway - they're our neighbors up the hill, who built their house out here at DM several years ago. David is our local expert on everything, and spends a huge amount of effort trying to make sure that people have what they need.

In fact, it was he who set up our power hookup, which is why I'm able to be online right now in the trailer:

He even warned us about the packrats:

The white spots on the cable are where pack rats have stripped the insulation off of it to use as nesting material. One of my tasks today is to patch the insulation where it was stripped and then tape up the whole cable with duct tape so that the pack rats hopefully won't be able to strip it any further. I've got more pictures, but I think this is enough for now, and I actually ought to get some work done before the light goes.

5 Comments:

Blogger Will Shetterly said...

Congratulations! There are plastic levelers that you can get if you plan to move the trailer around, but since I gather it has found its home for the foreseeable future, no need to mess with 'em.

Friday, November 16, 2007 8:15:00 AM  
Blogger Ted Lemon said...

Thanks! Leveling is complicated by the fact that we didn't buy a tow vehicle. So we can't do the clever trick of pulling it forward, adjusting the pitch of the parking spot, and then backing it up again.

So I had to level it using the stabilizer jacks and a bottle jack. What made this all the more exciting is that when it was originally delivered, they leveled it with boards, which were under the downhill wheel. Which meant that I couldn't use the bottle jack on the downhill end, because it was too far up.

So I wound up extending the stabilizer jacks as far as they would go, crossing my fingers, and gingerly bashing the boards out from under the tires that were resting on them with the caliche bar. I was a bit worried that the jacks would fail and it would drop, but thankfully that didn't happen. I was really careful about lowering it so that there wouldn't ever be much non-vertical pressure on the jacks, and they survived.

Needless to say, this is now how I would advise people to level their trailers, but it makes a good story, and isn't that what really matters?

Friday, November 16, 2007 8:40:00 AM  
Blogger Will Shetterly said...

So long as you get to tell the stories rather than having the stories told about you!

Friday, November 16, 2007 9:30:00 AM  
Blogger Ted Lemon said...

Too true. That's why I poked gingerly with a caliche bar from a ways back, rather than crawling under it and removing its underpinnings.

Although once it had failed to collapse, or even make ominous creaking noises, I did reach under to get the wood out of the way. Quickly. And then I looked around to make sure nobody saw. (Well, not really...)

Friday, November 16, 2007 10:06:00 AM  
Anonymous kimba said...

I have a housesit where, among all the animals that I take care of, are two bunnies. The bunnies are allowed to wander in part of the house. Did you know bunnies chew on everything?

The have the cables in the house double and triple layered with those plastic cable tubey things. At least when they get through the first layer, it's noticeable before they actually get to the cable.

The other thing to maybe do is run the cable through a very long length of PVC pipe.

And/Or bury the cable.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007 12:52:00 AM  

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