A Winter Adventure
by Rusty Austin, Los Angeles
Jun 24, 2013 | 1241 views | 0 0 comments | 80 80 recommendations | email to a friend | print

Editor:

I worked at the St. Paul in the very beginning. I was happy to see the water system mentioned [in the Winter 2012 edition of Watch Publications’ Adventure magazine], as I was the guy who actually dug the main line from the reservoir to the lodge out of the side of the mountain, maybe 300 yards. I had only a pickax and a shovel (there was no way to get any kind of gasoline powered equipment up there at the time). I spent most of August and September digging, and boy was it great to finally have running water. Unfortunately for us, a lack of snow followed by minus 30 degree weather in November caused the freshly laid pipe to freeze solid even though it was as far underground as I could get it. The rest of the winter I had to haul our water in a 55 gallon drum on a homemade sledge to fill the cistern that supplied the lodge. I made the run about every other day… The generator never started the whole time I was there, so I used a car battery to run my cassette player (for you kids out there, a cassette player was something you would use if you wanted to listen to music). I recall we had a coal stove in the dining room, that heated the entire lodge. We took turns lighting it in the morning as it was often well below zero when the time came to rise and shine….

 

– Rusty Austin, Los Angeles

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