June 20, 2015
Spring and summer are busy times at the Ponderosa. It’s prime time for visitors and this year we had a record number. Since mid May we have hosted a number of dinners and had several overnight guests. Add to the mix the outside work that is now starting – gardens, flower beds, mowing, making paths through the bush, hauling in firewood for next winter, etc, and there is not much time for house building. After completing the sunroom, I fully expected to polish off the next room – the main floor bathroom – in short order. However, it is now the end of June and the bathroom is nowhere near finished.
With the warmer weather; however, out need to have a completed bathroom has also diminished. When it’s warm out, it’s no hardship to take a jaunt to outhouse, and the bath house can be used.
The bath house was built about 15 years ago, and has been in use every summer since. Rainwater is collected from the sloped roof into a 100 gallon tank that seated on a tall rock tower. A small 12 volt pump provides the water pressure. The water is pumped to a 8 gallon hot water tank above the ceiling of the bath house. To get hot water, the water from the hot water tank is circulated, with a small circulating pump, through a black hose that is snaked on the south side lean-to of the bathhouse. (When we first set up the bath house we tried to a use a thermosyphen system to move the water through the hose and back to the tank; however, we never could get it to work well, hence the small circulating pump)
When the sun is shining, even when it is not hot out, we can collect enough hot water for showers and washing up. We also have a small voltage element in the hot water tank so if we have plenty of solar power we can heat the water with the electric element. However, we seldom use this system, as if the sun is shining the hose method works just as well and probably faster.
The lean-to on the south side of the bath house serves double duty. It is the battery room for our original solar panel system and storage for gardening tools. These two solar panels used to provide the electricity for the cabin. However; since the addition of the larger solar panel system, they now only power a 12 volt fridge in the cabin and the bath house pumps.
The bath house does not have a toilet; however, it has a sink.
And a deep, delicious claw foot tub with a shower.
The best part about a hot, rain water shower in the bath house is the view.
It also has a wood fired sauna. The sauna is not large but plenty comfy for a sauna for two.
We are still working at getting the main bathroom in the house done; and hopefully it won’t take too much longer.