Friday, August 28, 2015

Lumbering Around at the Desert View Tower

Okay. I admit it. It's been kind of a long time since I've posted anything. Like, way back in March? In between, I worked on Orcas Island in the San Juan Islands in Washington for a month, then came back here to the Desert View Tower. This has been the first summer I've stayed here - and it's too damned HOT!!! Hopefully this heat and humidity will end soon. In the meantime, I love the air conditioning in the RV and have been getting a lot of reading done.

 In order to do anything outside, I've found that heading out about 6 am and working for a couple of hours before it gets too sweltering works pretty well. So, we've had a project for the last month. Those of you who know me pretty well might remember that I enjoy starting what might seem like impossible projects and actually finishing them. This has been one of them. And I swear I've gotten some pretty decent muscles in my arms in the process.

In October, the owner of the Tower will be welcoming his brother and family here from Bali, which will be quite a change for them. They'll most likely be living in the little green house, very close to where my RV is  parked. In order to give them some much needed privacy, I decided to move my rig down the hill. Not a bad spot at all. But, the beautiful view has been spoiled by a huge (humongous?) pile of several years' worth of old lumber, immense stickery tree branches, scrap metal, and other kinds of junk and trash. In addition, the owner had dug a long trench to repair the lines for the sewer leach field. He made an offhand remark one day that he has wanted to clear out the area for a long time. Impossible? Well, yeah. But, what else did I have to do? LOL!

My RV and site

Wish I'd thought to take some "before" pictures, but alas, you'll have to use your imagination to visualize what the area looked like, using the "almost completed" pictures I took this afternoon.

We started by tackling the huge stack of assorted "stuff," which rose to the lower branches of the three trees and covered all the area between them, out to the driveway. Layers and layers and layers of every size of both useful and no-way-in hell-to use-this wood and metal and ??? you can think of. Sandwiched in between the layers were beer cans and bottles, pieces of wire, cardboard boxes, and anything else you can imagine. It took a couple of weeks to get rid of that pile, piece by piece, layer by layer. We made several secondary stacks of stuff in order to just be able to walk around: good wood in one stack, possible firewood in another, branches and tree limbs, and complete worthless junk in yet another. We threw all the possible firewood into the back of the pickup and unloaded it up the hill, where we'll cut it as needed. So, one huge stack turned into another somewhat smaller stack in another place. Hmm. Did that make any kind of difference? Not sure. You decide.

Stack for firewood

 Gradually we uncovered the trees by getting rid of all that stuff and doing a lot of raking to get rid of several years' worth of dried thatch. That stack of thatch alone took many, many trips with the wheelbarrow to get rid of it down the hill, out of sight. Note: since the construction-type wheelbarrow has also been used for foundation work, the inside is coated with a nice layer of hardened cement, making it quite a bit heavier than I'm used to. (Are you picturing the development of muscles yet?)

This is what the area looks like today. More to come. But the area under the trees is now clear.

On to the maybe-useful wood. I rounded up lots of old plastic buckets and filled them with kindling-size pieces, ready to grab for winter fires. As for all the old branches and tree limbs, I dragged them all down the hill - again, many trips - minding all the thorns (Band-Aids help). We stacked all the possibly-building-usable wood nearby. Lots of 2 x 2s, 2 x 4s, and 4 x 4s. Couple of huge black plastic trash bags took care of the plastic, bottles, cans, weird metal, and other stuff. I filled six other trash bags with dried cardboard and paper, again, to use as kindling.

In the meantime, the owner finished the sewer leach field project and filled in the trench. One less thing to jump over. Yaay! We've still got a bunch of old fencing, hoses, and other possibly usable stuff, as well as a big stack of tree stumps. Perhaps we'll even level the ground a little.

See the little building in the pictures? A former tenant built that several years ago but didn't get to finish it. Ben is going to complete it, covering a couple of walls to go with the sliding glass doors and the windows, all of which provide a beautiful view of the canyon, mountains, and desert below. We'll cover the roof and finish the floor a little better and...voila, something special.  I'm visualizing a possible getaway when the weather is dismal and the RV gets too crowded with one person. And my friend Cindy Crawford has offered a picnic table and bench for under the tree. Thank you, Cindy.

 It's still a work in progress, made slower by the 100+ degree weather and humidity. But, the end is in sight. Probably time to pick another project, you think? Hah!

P.S. A big thanks to Ben's sister, Mary, who just sent me this picture of the area in 2013. She wrote that they moved a lot of the stuff in order to get to the leach field. So, we didn't have to worry about the chain link fence, the wooden wire core, and some of the other larger things. However, other than the leach field ditch (and the piled up dirt), the area got filled up with more stuff.

The area in 2013


Karen said...

Now I am tired and miserable, just thinking about all that work in that heat. But, it ia well worth the effort to clean up a mess any time.

spiritualastronomer said...

Thanks, Karen. Yes, the heat is beating the heck out of me and I can't wait until it gets cooler. But, it sure is nice to see this project working out and the spot looking 100% better.

Yarntangler said...

If it ever rains again and you have nothing to do, browse some of the Pinterest sites for making scrap garden art out of some of that wood or metal. Then you guys would have something else to do for decoration or even for sale in the gift shop. Or not. LOL

spiritualastronomer said...

Great idea, Marcie. But first I need to tackle all of the fabric patiently waiting it turn. LOL!

spiritualastronomer said...

Marcie, the entire second floor now is a boutique of sorts, with handmade things of all kinds, made by members of the Jacumba Womens' group. You'd love it.