Something we haven’t seen much of this winter.

It snowed!

snow at Ginty Creek

It started late one afternoon and finished the following morning.  We had three wet inches.

In the afternoon, it cleared a little. (Most of the ground in the following picture had been bare.)

clearing snow at Ginty Creek

I walked to the bottom of the North Bluff.

north bluff at Ginty Creek.

Badger posed beautifully with Finger peak in the back ground.

badger and Finger Peak

The mix of mild hazy sun and gloom that we have had now for most of a month continues….

highway 20 cariboo flats

The day before it snowed, Bill the plumber finally installed the reverse osmosis filter. (We have left the tubes long for now in case there is a problem.)

reverse osmosis filter

When I bought the filter last November, I told the seller I had excess manganese, iron and sodium chloride in the water.  He said a reverse osmosis filter was the only thing that would get rid of the salt.  It cost $450 (and the plumbing is another$175)  So not cheap.  This filter takes care of the salt (and it would take out arsenic, cadmium and other heavy metals if I had them.)  Upon reading the small print, I see it doesn’t like excess iron and doesn’t like excess hard water: the manganese makes a lot of scale.  So I don’t know how long the filter will last.  The system provides four processed 4 litres a day, using 16 litres of well water.  Fine for me alone, but it would not be great for more than two people so when I have volunteers, I may still have to haul drinking water from the post office.  I use the untreated well water for cooking (the sulphur smell and salt do not taint the food) but it is so wonderful to have water in a pot that looks clear and does not immediately build a scale.  There is no sulphur odour either.  The post office water is also very hard.  I can scrub a wide pot free of scale with steel wool every few days, but many kettles and thermoses have been ruined: once the scale builds up enough, any water put into it develops an unpleasant taste.  Using the filtered water for all food would not be wise as it is so pure it is lacking in minerals.

It is so wonderful to have any water, though.  A sink and a drain is pure luxury.  No more spitting toothpaste into the slop bucket and having to carry the dishwater into the outhouse.  I can do laundry without having to save it all up and drag it to friends when I visit.

You will notice a pipe with nothing connected to it at the left of the sink drain.  This will be for the hot water when I can figure out how I am going to get that.

You can just see the colours of the American flag stuck onto part of the filter.  On it are the words: “Proudly Assembled in the USA.”  Talk about propaganda.  Any idiot could put it together: the actual parts were made in China.

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5 thoughts on “Something we haven’t seen much of this winter.”

  1. Regarding the scale problem from the water on your coffee pot, kettle and thermoses. Are you aware that vinegar will clean it up quite nicely. Have you tried it?
    Cathy

  2. Great pic of Badger with the finger peak. Am currently reading Ginty’s Ghost and really enjoying it. So nice to hear the stories of how Harry and Badger came to live with you. Love the pics of the Hill in winter. Glad I drove it in the summer!
    Faye

  3. How wonderful for you to have water. A long time coming so hope the cost etc. makes it worthwhile.
    Here, a huge snow year by Sask. standards. People already worried about flooding. I moved some snow yesterday-very grainy so don’t think there is so much moisture in it.
    I think you mentioned you were having knee surgery in March-yes?
    Love looking at your photos. Chow L

  4. How thrilled I am to find you have a blog! As a wilderness lover, I started reading your books years ago. Your books, as well as the good fortune I had to spend a great deal of time in the Northern Alberta wilderness as a child gave me the inspiration to escape the city as soon as I got out of school.. Oh, and I thought of your books often when building my little cabin last year: http://theforestgarden.wordpress.com/

    I live near Quesnel and have similar water troubles. Our reverse osmosis clogs up within months due to the iron in our water, which is pond water, not well water. Apparently we are likely to get no water at all if we drill a well here and the quality may not be much better than what we’ve got. It smells awful, looks, awful, and stains everything – including my toenails! But, like you say, having water at all is pretty fantastic. We find it is much cheaper to buy 5 gallon bottles of water in town than to replace expensive RO filters once or twice a year, so we ended up disconnecting our system. Hopefully you have a lot less iron than us and will get more life out of your filters.

    Love your blog!

  5. Would you look at that !!…I found a a tag hanging off of me saying, “Made in China”. OK so I’m kidding. I know there’s groups and blogs of people banning Chinese products all together. We don’t really know what they put into anything. By the way I have some great Chinese friends and they too are banning. It’s too bad really because it helps there nation out but to take advantage of us and put lead an other dangerous chemicals into there products is going too far.
    Anyway… it rarely snows in Calgary anymore although we did get 2 inches last night. Things sure are changing in this world especially the weather. I remember 20 years ago it would get so crazy cold here every winter but now it’s so mild. Back then it was so exciting to get a chinook but it’s a chinook all the time now. No kidding !
    You know I’m thinking about the luxury of a sink and running water and I’m so thankful for it and I also thought about what things I’d be thankful for if I was out there living in the country and one thing comes to mind and that is you don’t have to put up with rude people every day. I get puzzled at the rudeness of people, no seriously I do. My mom use to say that animals were better brought up than some humans…and she’s right ! In other word some humans think the world is their litter box.
    Chris I’m ever so thankful for your blog and photos. I love your life ! Lots of hugs dear soul ! 🙂

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