This is "The Nelson", our lawn tractor sprinkler. It runs almost every day during the summer from June to September. We have front and back lawns plus the gardens and flower beds. It all needs water to thrive. Retired Mountain Man is in charge of the watering schedule, deciding which locations need water and he does a great job of keeping everything green and lush.
Back in the days before 1991 our water came from a well, which did not have enough flow to keep a garden. I would try to grow a vegetable garden, but we always ended up hauling water from a neighbor to keep the plants alive. There was never enough water.
Things changed in 1991. We joined with our neighbor, Glen Ford, and installed a water line from Cougar Creek. It was no small endeavor since the water intake was 4500 feet up the mountainside. The water line had to be dug underneath the county road and also underneath our driveway in two locations. There was also the issue of the water pressure in a gravity-flow line (130 lbs.) so pressure reduction valves needed to be installed in multiple locations. Retired Mountain Man and our two sons, Jamie and David, worked long hours digging and laying the pipe for 6 weeks in what was often really rocky soil. Both of our sons were working at other jobs and spent their days off and evenings helping. Retired Mountain Man's father, who was in his 70's at the time, came from Missoula to help us.
Every day Retired Mountain Man would record how many feet of pipe had been installed. On August 26, 1991, he cracked opened the valve at the water intake up on the mountainside and soon there was a trickle of water coming out of the hose in my garden. The soil in the garden at the time was just a lot of dry dust. I remember being out in my corn rows in my bare feet, holding the hose and watering my sweet corn. Needless to say I was a very happy muddy mess! I did not care. We had water! Lots of water. An endless supply of water!
I kept the calendar. (Sorry, I didn't keep the copy of July)
|Some of you might recognize this "band calendar" from Clark Fork High School.|
This is happy Sweet Candy Corn.
Yes, it is wonderful to have our own water system and what seems like an endless supply of water and no monthly water bills, but there are some drawbacks. The entire system needs to be monitored and maintained, especially throughout the summer months. Some of the pipe is laying in the creek and we've had a moose step on the line twice and break it, plus several other leaks and pressure valve failures over the years. All in all, it works really well and every time I see the Nelson at work I think of that August day.
This year the gardens are thriving.
Squash Row, protected from the deer. Do they eat squash? Probably. I don't know, but I don't trust them.
I almost forgot. The new door is finished. I think I should have a sign on it somewhere that says, "Band Entrance", or maybe "Cougar Creek Band Entrance"?
As my daughter-in-law, Julie, pointed out, there have been a thousand loads of firewood go through this door and so many Cougar Creek Band rehearsals over the years, and last but not least, a wedding party.
What a lovely day that was. I hope you are enjoying this one.