Well, finally made it back to the property after some heavy winter weather that made our roads impassible. Sheralee and I headed up on Saturday the 16th to drop off some railroad ties/materials for our new container to be dropped off and located. After stopping in Kingman to get the materials, we headed up to the ranch. Well, what we found was an impossible road to pass, that had lingering snow and deep mud.
You can see, just barely, that just off the main road we were in deep mud. Truly no way to get to where we wanted to go. So, after debating if we could get there, Jeep was out of the questions, we thought maybe on foot….carrying the railroad ties one at a time. Well, for those of you that don’t know…railroad ties are frickin’ heavy. There was no way we were going to get it 1/2 mile down that road of mud. hahahaha So, we were lucky to get ahold of our container guy and asked if we could drop the ties/materials at his business location for him to use when he delivered. Deal, and done. We dropped it all off and headed home. A very product 6 hour drive! ha.
On to this weekend. Sheralee had business responsibilities this weekend, so I thought I would try and make it up there to see how everything is holding up. There has been about two weeks of good dry weather, and just recently up to 60 degrees. Why not give it a try. If nothing else, it would be a good drive and I could hike in to the property to check things out. Fortunately, the road to our property was just fine. Didn’t kick up any mud until I was on our property/drive way. There were just a few spots where the sun could never melt the snow and those spots were muddy. No problem over all.
Everything seems to be in tip-top shape. Well….almost everything. I did a quick scan, all good. I wanted to check out if the water tank was trying to over flow, as we had a good amount of snow melt. When I popped the lid….our water was gone. Yup, GONE! 1550 gallons of rain water collected over the year…all gone. I was floored, saddened, upset….you name it. I couldn’t figure it out.
I looked all around for any type of tire tracks or a hole in the tank…anything. Anything to understand what might have happened. On our 3/4″ PVC ball valved, I noticed the turn handled was half broke off. I thought that was odd so I investigated further. I noticed the whole ball valve turned easily, as completely loose…hence the water drained out from there. I was floored….I figured if 1500 gallons of water were to be released, it would make a river flowing downhill, but that isn’t the case at all. No trace of water running off. I thought maybe a cow/elk came through and accidentally kicked it….but not tracks whatsoever. Upon further inspection, I found the problem. Our PVC ball valved cracked the entire length.
You can see the crack here, and missing handle. One theory is the cold caused it to crack. Well, both theories revolve around the crack. The other theory is that after I put the spigot in there to draw water off, I left it in there. I think that the cold at night, and sun heating it during the day, caused that spigot to expand and crack the PVC ball valve.
Either way, all that water be gone, gone, gone! So, back the drawing board on that. I have ideas already, but sad to see the water go without using it. Our first real disappointment.
So, we will re-work that idea to include more pex pipe and fittings, along with some sort of valve box (like with meters and irrigation) to line with foam insulation to keep it a little warmer.
On to the next little thing. Found that the batteries were fully charged, but no longer being charged….turns out the 14 gauge wire running from the solar charge controller to the battery was pretty much melted. yikes.
Not sure what happened to the cable though…hmmmm. Another mystery.
That was about it for my stay. Emptied our house compost bucket, using the mobile water pump…works like a champ, and it was time to head home. I really didn’t want to leave, it was a gorgeous day, close to 60 degrees out and sunny, but it is supposed to rain today and start snowing after 5p tonight. Didn’t want to get stuck up there. Hopefully Sheralee and I can make it up again next weekend. Good times!