The test and trial period of our water system began in September 2006. Considerable planning had gone into the initial aspect of the water system. As things turned out, just prior to Christmas of 2006 a heavy snow storm brought huge amounts of snow and tested various component of our system. As luck would have it, above our intake, the snow load on a mature Douglas fir and the strong winds overwhelmed the strength of its roots, and it crashed down taking two other mature trees with it. The aftermath was a tremendous amount of branches strewn all over the place directly over our little intake hut and the hut itself narrowly escaped being wiped by one of the trees.
The harsh mountain weather provides us with the finest natural spring water in the world, but it became clear that a better solution for the water intake was needed. It also became apparent that the water flowed for a distance underground prior to emerging to the surface.
It seemed that the trees were trying to tell me something by crashing down the way they did and over the next few months as I visited our spring periodically to check things out, this went through my head. The coincidence was just too obvious to be ignored. So, until spring, I couldn’t do much to clean up the mess, but once the snow had melted I was still puzzled and searched for a solution of what ‘It’ or this ‘Event’ was trying to tell me. Several trials of following the water further up failed and finally after a long pondering at the site my intuition started to fruit.
The large fir tree, a good three feet in diameter at the butt, broke in half as it crashed into the other two fir trees of smaller size, and slid about 150 feet down the mountain side until its came to a stop, having rammed into a cedar tree with its torn root stump. It strongly resembles a unicorn horn because of its upturned curved trunk (see picture below, as I sit on it). One of the knocked down firs came to a stop right above were we had built hut over the spring where it emerged under the cedar tree from the ground.
After analyzing the situation for numerous times I finally realized that that tree was showing me the place to dig by following from the crown that just about wiped out our hut to it roots. There I dug and found two huge boulders and the origin of our spring about 10 feet underground.
Once I had dug to it and it became clear I had stuck the ‘mother load vein’, the next question was, “How to build a shelter to protect it?” With so much debris, and mess to clean up, it quickly dawned on me to salvage whatever was possible and to utilize what I had. Why not salvage the wood of these beautiful trees to build a log structure? After a bit of juggling around in my head, I had a vision of how it could work.
With the help of a hired hand (Michael) loyal already from the previous year, the logs were peeled, cut and put into place as you can see on the picture. The rest of the lumber had to be carried up the hill to complete the structure. Further digging was needed to accommodate and enlarge the entrance and collecting station to facilitate the water intake, and more underground pipe was installed to connect up to our existing water line.
By doing this, any and all surface contamination was eliminated; a secure shelter over top of it was built, secured by anchored cables. Everything was done to complete and secure this pristine ‘Natural Spring Water’ source.
As my helper Michael said, the structure built reminded him of a Viking ruin, or Odin’s (Chief of the Norse gods) cabin. By the beginning of June the project was completed and it left a most satisfying feeling within me. Whenever I visit the site tranquility overcomes me and I seem to forget all my troubles and become rejuvenated for the next challenges life hurls at me.