Pacific Ocean Kicks Ass
We’ve been without power for over 36 hours now and I’m doing a little bit of office work running a Honda Generator which is pretty quiet, economical on fuel usage — am I sounding guilty here?
We live on a short peninsula, surrounded on 3 sides by water (Pacific Ocean 2 sides and a sea water lagoon)—— kind of like an island. Big storms come in from the south, and this one was a doozy. Maybe every ten years or so we get hit like this. I woke up around 3 AM, worried about roofs, fences, drips, flooding. Yesterday (Fri) I stumbled from one emergency to another. Battening down a flapping tin roof with a drill gun as wind howled and rain pounded. Quick breakfast, then a couple of hours unplugging a drain so water wouldn’t back up into our (mail order) book storage room, also digging a narrow drainage trench in the rock-hard gravel road with a pick. Hey aren’t I too old for this? Then guess what? A medium sized acacia has fallen across the road, blocking traffic. Local dude Isan cuts it in half, hauls the other half off so road is open. I grab chain saw and got maybe a third of a cord of firewood. Trees down everywhere, waves 30 ft every 14 seconds (surfers will know what this means). Logs washing in. Every once in a while us coastal people get reminded of who’s boss. Mother Nature to earthlings: “Let’s see what the California lifestyle is like without electricity for a few days, assholes.” Cheery last night tho, no power, just candles and wood fire.
Update Monday, Jan 7, ’08: It’s now been almost 3-1/2 days without power.
Music du jour
First I listened to Solomon Burke singing his song “Down in the Valley,” done with tubas and gorgeous vocal scales and trills in 1962. Hearing that I grabbed an Otis CD and put on the same song, done in ’65. It just doesn’t get any better than these two guys. Throw in Sam Cooke and you have a trio of Angels.
Cheyenne’s office. It cost about $1000* in materials in 2001 and was built by Ian Wall. Framed with logs from the woods — free. Sheathed with OSB particle board — quick, strong. Exterior walls “first-cut” cedar from nearby mills — free. Asphalt shingles for roofing. Front deck for sitting in the morning sun. Couldn’t be much simpler — or cheaper. In many parts of the country you don’t need a permit for a 100 sq. ft. structure. This is a brilliant little building.
*I figure $1500 today.
Cheyenne is one of the owners of Strongwater Camping,(cabins and campsites) in Egmont, British Columbia. She can’t believe I’m putting this in the book. I told her, it’s perfect, it’s a practical, cheap and aesthetic way to get a roof over your head.
When I first got to the campgrounds, this little dude (Cheyenne’s) came in and took my measure. Just stood there and looked at me for a long time, stone sober. Talk about presence.
A lot of people stay at Strongwater because it’s near Skoo-kumchuck Tidal Wave, a whitewater phenomenon on the “Sunshine Coast” of BC that produces a long wave ridden by kayaks and, as of recently, surfers.