Here are some comments and photos of interesting thing that occured in 2007.
It's been a lot of work, and I had a lot of fun, especially when friends visited. Kid's really love fishing on this lake because of all the rainbow trout. Most are too small to keep, but the steady 'action' keeps them happy.
I moved onto the property during the summer of 2007. There was a lot of cleaning up to do since the cabin had been vacant while I was away in Japan for three years. It took a long time to find and cover all the holes the mice were using and remove all the cob-webs.
One of the first orders of business was removing the large spruce tree that had fallen across my gate and completely blocked the driveway. I also spent many hours cleaning up the yard, falling dead pine trees and cleaning up the branches. I cut and split countless rounds for the fire. Because there is always a burning ban in summer I had to drive all the the branches to a nearby burn pile. During the winter this was safely set ablaze by the forestry crew.
Since my plan is to remove the existing cabin and build a new house here I've done virtually no improvements to the building itself. My brother and I did however, install a beautiful large window in the bedroom that we had found at a local building supply center. Apparently, it was ordered by someone but never picked up. I got it for a great price. The view out onto the lake is spectacular.
I wired the cabin for electricity and installed CFL lighting. For a while I used a small Briggs and Stratton generator, four Trojan T105 batteries, a cheap AC inverter, and a couple of small cheap solar panels to give some electricity in the evenings. This was an experiment to see just how much power I would use. After a few weeks the generator started 'screaming' and 'smoking' so I took it to the authorized service depot in Vernon. The owner looked at me with a critcal eye and asked "why did you buy a piece of junk like this?" (except he didn't use the word 'junk') That left me with no confidence in this product what-so-ever. After several weeks of "I don't know when we'll get to it", I decided to buy something better. My next generator purchase was a brand new chinese-made diesel. I was thinking that a remote start, reliable, smooth running, biofuel powered generator would be a terrific idea. But after I couldn't get it to start and after finding a number of screws rattling around in the bottom I returned it for a complete refund. I then picked up a Honda inverter series generator and have been happy ever since. I hope to convert this to propane in the near future. It seems the old adage of buying the best you can afford held true in this case. Around the same time I bought two small four-channel dataloggers to measure things like battery voltage, solar current in, generator current in, and current into the inverter. I also installed two thermometers, one reading the outside temperature and the other the battery pack temperature. I've posted results on the Temperature page. Later I did a substantial upgrade to the solar system - this is described on the 2008 page, with details and results on the Solar page.
The cabin came with a very old propane wall-mounted furnace that apparently no previous owner could get to run. Being up for the challenge I spent quite a bit of time fiddling with it and measuring things. I eventually got it to light and give heat but couldn't get it to stay running in the 'pilot' position. After more that one fireball and talking it over with my propane guy, Will at Alpine Comforts in Kamloops, I decided to retire the old girl and replace her with a new Empire direct vent furnace. This was set to a very low temperature and would fill in early in the morning when the wood stove had died down. I also purchased a propane stove from Will. My only regret is that it has five always on pilots which wastes propane and pollutes the indoor air. If I buy another one it will be the non-pilot type.
Once the snows started to fall all outside and yard activities pretty much stopped. The first serious snow fall arrived on September 22, but it didn't really stay around until a while later.
I did have an interesting challenge when the snow started falling. The public access road is plowed, but since the property has always been vacant during the winters, the plow operators had fallen into the habit of plowing excess snow onto my driveway. I had to do some serious shovelling and talking to the drivers before I could get out of my driveway after each new snowfall.
My neighbour Gord at Lac le Jeune was a great help when he brought his plow equipped quad over to plow my driveway. Thanks Gord!
One further interesting experience was the winter wind storms. There were several nights where the winds where so strong I wasn't at all sure the cabin would survive. Several times the cabin shook with such force that things on shelves were knocked to the ground. An number of trees were also up-rooted, luckily none of the trees that came down were close to the cabin.