There were a few slabs just outside the yurts from the construction of the floor and support beams, so they were the first on my list - they had been drying out for the past couple of months in direct sun, and had been cut thinly enough that I was confident they were no longer green.
I also included a number of small cubes and off-cuts of lumber, as I felt they too would be in the same state. I bunched up some old papers, lit the match, and voila! Time for a second match... And then a third, but that was the magic number :). We had fire, we had heat!
As Donna perked her coffee, and I sat at the table basking in my warmth and reading up on cooking on a wood stove, I started to detect an off odour. Just as I stood up to investigate, Donna opened the door, revealing the inside of the yurts to be churning with smoke. Sigh. We opened up everything, and I was at a loss to understand - the stove pipes were drawing well, and no smoke could be seen coming from any part of the stove. After a few minutes of puzzling, I decided it must be the stove pipe itself that was smoking from the first application of heat. Some research on the Google revealed that this is so common as to be trivial. Second examination also showed that the stove pipe closest to the stove was no longer a shiny blue/black, and had instead faded to a dull grey/black. It still looked good, and it was nice to have the mystery solved in a way that required only patience and ventilation.
Grandpa dropped by to complete his wood shed. He really can take credit for the entire thing - I can't express enough my gratitude at his efforts! Kenny and I wanted to christen it right away, so we took the tractor out and loaded up almost two wagon loads of wood that Grandpa had declared burn-worthy this coming winter. He feels that if we fill the shed, that should be enough to get us through the winter. That's our ambition. I will also have to make some sort of crib and cut up my large (to me) slab pile at the sawmill.
After Grandpa left, I unloaded the equipment to pump water to the yurts. After some discussion at Maier Hardware, I opted to switch from a sand point attached to 1.25" pipe, with a large jet pump at the yurts, to a sump pump, attached to a 1" pump. Due to concerns about freezing, I would have had to install the jet pump inside the yurts, or at least carried it outside every time we wished to pump. Instead, with the sump pump, as long as the well doesn't freeze, we should be okay. Once it finishes pumping, I will try to have the line on a continuous slope so that the water simply drains back into the well. This solution also allowed me to use a smaller, less expensive pipe and pump, at the cost of having to run electricity down to the well. At first I thought that would be a dealbreaker but as it turns out, it wasn't.
I attached the fittings to the pipe and with Kenny's help created a 200' long extension cord from a nearly full reel of 12/2 outdoor grade wiring.
Grandpa returned and together we attached 100' of 1" poly pipe to the pump. I lowered the pump into the well, inside of a small rubbermaid tub. That was Grandpa's idea and it was awesome! I drilled holes all around the tub and that allowed us to isolate the pump from the rest of well, which still had some sand and mud in the bottom.We plugged in to my power station which reported a 500 watt load as I guesstimated it should, and then, with a dramatic pause and lots of gurgling, water started gushing out at the 100' mark, not quite halfway to the yurts both horizontally or vertically.
We reinserted the wiring and the hose which I attached with a 90 degree adapter, and then I grudgingly returned to town to purchase some patching cement and another length of pipe to actually get water into the yurts. I plan on installing a faucet directly through the coupler so I don't have to come up through the more challenging floor. It also has the advantage of being able to directly support the faucet, and the hose can be mounted on more of an angle as it enters the coupling, rather than low if it comes up under the floor.
As I monitored the water level, we pumped out the well again and Donna filled our pails with the effluent. Once the pails were full she rinsed the rocks over and over again. At last the well was empty and I sent Kenny running up the trail to tell Mama to unplug the pump.