We have running water!

Base Camp in Bradford, Maine on June, 20 2024.

Boat update: Our floating home is scheduled to close TODAY. In preparation for our next grand adventure we have started looking at motor homes. Danny got his passport last month and Chip got vaccination certificate so we are prepared to cross the Canadian boarder to live in Alaska for the summer. I’m bummed about our trip to Hawaii not working out. I can’t leave just as summer vacation is starting for Danny, and the salmon are running in Alaska. The slow process of boat repairs following our wild ride really bogged down the plans we’d made.

Kevin engineered a ram pump system that utilizes the power of the stream 100-feet to the south-west of the camp to pump water 650-feet up a gradual 32-foot rise in the land to the north-east.

In the beta testing phase, a crayfish found it’s way into the pump—twice. The second time Kevin tossed it downstream and added a filter for version 2.0. We have since noticed dozens of them wandering along the still areas in the stream, in the deeper pond, and in the inlet ditch that feeds it. I always thought they lived in large lakes.

The camp had a shower stall when we moved in. It barely fits my broad-shouldered husband. But it was pretty useless without a water pump. We warmed water from the icy stream on the wood stove all winter to fill a solar shower bag. There was an electric hot water tank here that we were able to stick up in the storage loft and plumb in. I found a washer on Facebook Marketplace for $200 ten-miles away a few months ago. We dragged it across the field, the woods, the muck and slush—then into the cabin awaiting a way to use it. We have hot showers and clean clothes with much less effort. It’s the little things.

We were able to find used solar panels that now cover the entire roof on one side. We now produce enough power to run the washer, hot water tank, ice maker, our computers, and lights all at the same time without concern. Hopefully we can add a fridge soon. My dream is a dishwasher—but we need a proper septic design for that.

We still lack a fridge, as the gas one here is broken. We were given another gas fridge—and that one doesn’t work either. In the meantime, I have improvised by using a little ice maker to fill our cooler we bought for a strange week-long road trip a few years back to buy chicken eggs from several farms up the east coast following a Caribbean cruise. We get around.

I’m not much for swimming, being in the water in general—but an open bar on a snorkeling excursion in Aruba really helped. That was our first time on a catamaran—and it led to some pondering.

The ‘road’ is still trashed here. It’s currently the worst it’s been due to the strange weather we’ve been having. Cutting trees that shade the road has been helpful, and made a huge difference until the recent downpours. We have more firewood stacked now than we did at any point this past winter just from clearing the road. It’s all softwood, so by the time I’m done stacking it my hands are a brown, tacky mess.

After being scammed to think I was interviewing with a prestigious company I felt pretty useless, defeated, and angry. I’ve been struggling to find remote work. Most of the jobs I’ve applied for have hundreds of applicants. With AI on the rise, my graphic design and writing career is not feasible in the long-term. I’ve started taking courses in data analytics and should have a professional certification wrapped up in a month. Adding that to my marketing expertise should make me a valuable asset to employers.

I created the first woven tree structure here. I pulled down long branches from a large beech tree and bent down birches to weave into the branches to create a dome about 25-feet round and six-feet high in the center. It will grow upward over time. It’s pretty well filled in and I will continue to work on it and plant trees from other areas we are clearing around the base to grow up into it. The nearby pond muck forms a clay-like surface which I look forward to working with for building a proper outdoor fireplace, among other imaginings.

I planted a little cottage garden just behind the camp with milkweed, wildflower mix, and flower bulbs by the little frog pond. There’s some herbs and a tomato plant in there for good measure. I’m setting up an area uphill with more sun and better soil for a proper garden. We planted rhubarb from the old farm last week. Kevin had to go alone to dig it up (with the new owner’s permission of course) because the last visit bothered me so much. I can’t go there again.

There is a crazy amount of purple trillium here. We ate fresh trillium greens daily for a couple of weeks. I’d send Danny out to forage while I started dinner.

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