Sam’s Post 1: New Friends, Old Floors

Getting to the bottom of things.

– by Sam Breen, October 2, 2010

Twenty five hours of work and the ceiling/walls have been cleared of leftover fiberglass insulation. The job was pretty mindless but I don’t mind that kind of work, especially after a long day of class. The only trouble was protecting myself from the fiberglass: coveralls, respirator, goggles, gloves etc. It’s not too pleasant when it’s hot outside, so I ended up doing a lot of work at night.

Once I removed all the insulation, I used a shop vac to clean out the inside.  Finally got rid of a lot of the rat droppings, dust etc. (It smells a lot better in there all of a sudden!)


After some trial and error with different portable saws, I found that the circular saw worked best to cut out the plywood while avoiding the steel frame beneath it. I cut small pieces at a time and popped them out with two crowbars.

In the process, I found a Ninja Turtles pencil case…

and some old newspaper clippings stuck to the linoleum.

1985 newspaper clipping from Redding, CA.

The clippings were from Redding, in Northern California.  Such an odd coincidence.  I recently bought a little trailer near Redding, a tiny 1960 Corsa, now parked next to the Spartan, which I use as my hang out.

My home away from home away from home...this 1960 Corsa came from Big Bend, CA, a small town near Redding.

It came from Big Bend, CA, a small town near Readding that is located within view of Mt. Shasta.The previous owners are Bern Haggard and Eviane Cotton,  a couple I now consider to be my friends.

Eviane Cotton and Bern Haggard live on a farm with their daughter in Big Bend, CA.

In addition to their responsibilities on their 80-acre homestead, they are restoring the town’s old campground complete with old hot springs!

The campground at Big Bend (not yet open) will feature soaking pools built into a cliff that overlooks the Pit River. The pools are fed by thermal hot springs.

The Pit River as seen from the thermal pool.

Eventually, Bern and Eviane, with others,  hope to transform the town’s trailer park into an eco village (current residents will stay if they wish)

Back to my own trailer project…

The shower/bathroom unit needs to come out. It’s unsalvageable, unfortunately. We debated whether to clean it up and re-use but the thing is gross and falling apart.

Yes, we actually considered trying to save the metal bathroom unit.

The bathroom unit is all one piece. It will not fit out through the doorway so it will have to be sawed out.. a job for later.  I did manage to rip out the linoleum flooring inside the bathroom, just to see what was underneath. Bad news is the aluminum floor under the linoleum is in bad shape. It’s going to have to go, too.

One of the previous owners caped off the shower head and installed new flooring.  (It seems they only used the toilet and sink.)

As I rip away the flooring throughout the trailer I’ve found more nasty insulation, rat droppings and all sorts of presents left behind by pack rats.

Speaking of which, I have a new roommate in the trailer. When I lifted up a piece of floorboard, a little mouse scurried away. I don’t mind the company.

Oh, and today, we had our first rain! No apparent leaks, except of course from the missing windows and skylight, but I didn’t look too closely. I’m not ready to deal with that yet. Small steps.

I want to get the old floor out as soon as possible. I can’t wait to get rid of all the insulation. I won’t feel it’s a clean slate until that happens…

Don't mess with Mother Earth (Thermal Hot Springs at Big Bend, CA.)

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