In the last couple of weeks, We have been working on restoring water pressure, and preparing a living space so that we can move back onto the land full-time, a couple of weeks from now. We will make much faster progress when we have moved back in, rather than staying 22 miles away.
I bought the property with an inheritance in 1987. We moved onto the land in 1994 in a travel trailer, and built the pottery workshop with the help of Steve Askin, a sculptor and carpenter I met in college in the early 1980's. By 2015, the trailer was worn out. We brought in an old motor home (now destroyed in the fire), and have lived in it since then.
Our 2500 gallon water tank was also destroyed in the fire. We had installed it on the hillside above the workshop and trailer, with approximately 45 feet of vertical drop to provide water pressure. A couple of weeks ago I located some used 275 gallon water totes on Craigslist for $40.00 each. With Steve's help, we hoisted 3 of them up onto the 8 foot diameter, round tank pad with a rope and pully, and the winch on his jeep. Next, I will repair all of the above ground plumbing. We will then have full water pressure and 825 gallons reserve water supply.
Last week we also removed the burned up motor home, to make room for our next motor home, which we will hook up a week or so from now. The slide shows below illustrate the processes by which we moved everything around in preparation for resuming life on our land. We will pick up the pace of hauling away the rest of the debris, in preparation for constructing the new workshop.
This video shows the clearing we have have created just below our home over the years. The fire, and the firefight cleared it out further. This short video indicates how lovely our land will be in the Spring.
I stood on the east corner, and panned from east to west. Then I moved to where that shot ended, and panned from east to west again. I did this four times for a look at the entire clearing, after the wildfire.
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We hired Extreme Towing to haul the old motor home away. Affixing the cables and loading the wreck onto the flatbed were the first steps. I volunteered to do the tarping, which is necessary to prevent debris from scattering on the freeway during the trip to Sacramento.
Tarping is the process of climbing into the wreck, lifting each of three tarps overhead, and tying them down from the inside at dozens of points. It was a unique experience, the claustrophobic jungle-jim from hell. I crawled through the hulk from end to end a few times to ensure that the debris would remain contained.
On the right is a photo of the motor home we will bring in next week, which my mother-in-law Louisa has generously provided for us. Once we are settled in, we will pick up the pace of hauling debris.
Below is a photo of a piece of sculpture I made in the 80's, which survived the fire and the workshop collapse.