Here goes ...
As I explained in my last post, our pop up camper was situated across the field from our semi trailer, refrigerator, "compost toilet" -- and electricity. That meant a lot of activities centered around the electrical outlet. I was used to taking a shower every morning while living in the city. Well, the only real way we could clean up now was to make a 4 mile trip to Metigoshe State Park to use their facilities. We sure made good use of our state park pass that year. Approximately every 3 days we would hop into our station wagon to take showers. That was one time I was glad I had boys instead of girls, since Jim had the job of making sure the youngest to the oldest got cleaned up. There was one time when I had to take David and Andrew in to get them cleaned up in the ladies side, so I had to make sure it was just us. This park has very rustic facilities, with no source of heat other than the water from the shower. We had to stand on wooden grates to keep out of the drain, and try hard to keep towels from landing in the not so quickly drained floor to dry off and get dressed. I was thankful that it was after Labor Day, so the park was very sparsely populated and we pretty much had the facilities to ourselves. I did end up with a nasty case of something like Athlete's foot, and was thankful to discover friends in Texas that had developed a salve that took it completely away.
The boys just told me about times when someone would come into the shower room -- only to discover the place was full. There were only 2 shower stalls and 2 toilet stalls, so Jim and the boys made for a full house. I wonder how popular we were in the park.
The state park also was our source for drinking water, so we filled up our 7 gallon water carriers any time we made a visit over there.
Doesn't this look like a good way to wake up? Dump water on my head and make an attempt to style my hair! I am standing in between the power pole and the refrigerator.
Nine days after we moved onto our land we had a visit from Jim's folks. They pulled their camper all the way from Gilmanton Iron Works, New Hampshire to northern North Dakota. In fact, they pulled through the border station at the International Peace Gardens just after the memorial service for 9-11 (in 2004). We sure were glad to see familiar faces. It was a bit chilly, as you can see by the winter jacket Grammy is wearing. Even Jonathan had to keep a hood on to keep warm! The boys had picked her a bouquet of local wild flowers.
Grandpa received a bouquet of Canadian thistle! Of course he played right along with the boys' joke.
Here we are: middle of September, and we are all wearing warm jackets! I used my 18 quart roaster to make everything, from bread to stew to whatever. I did discover that it took much longer to cook something out here, because it was cooking in cooler weather. The same went for my crockpot. I plugged everything into an extension cord that ran from the semi trailer (where I set up my "kitchen" on the workbench in there) to the power pole.
Grandpa B brought an old pump with him to see if we could use it in some way. They decided to submerge it in the lake to draw water up to the top of the hill for using in any way other than cooking or drinking. The boat Jim is in is a little 12 foot sailboat that he and the boys built in the office of our house in Fargo. I think when we moved there was still epoxy glue on the carpet ...
I will have to ask my experts (the boys), but I think this photo shows Grandpa B setting up the piping that would run from the pump to the top of the hill. They purchased a small Culligan filter like the ones used under a sink to filter the water. However, every time they would siphon the water up the hill the filter would become clogged since the water was so dirty.
It's a bit hard to tell in this photo, but by the time Grandpa came into their camper from working with the pump he was soaking wet! It had begun raining.
Grandpa B felt sorry for me, as all we had was the "compost toilet" in the woods (check out my Part III blog entry), and decided his next contribution to the farmstead was a good old fashioned outhouse. This is how it looked as they brought it over to its present location. Thanks, Grandpa!