I had decided to return for the summer in June, but my good friend and neighbor, Eleanor Foster, called and warned me that I maybe should wait until things really warmed up. It had only been hitting 117 or so in late June and early July and August might be more enjoyable. I returned to the desert in late July to get my fair share of abuse. I consolidated all of my solar panels and batteries to try and power a small air conditioner to attempt to mitigate the temperatures inside the adobe. That effort proved futile and I finally went to Alpine and bought an evaporative cooler which worked fine.
The work on the rock house consisted of covering up the framed up walls with boards I had acquired from wrecking out a building in Winona and boards that were given to me by Mike Hamilton from a gazebo. I also was able to connect the 3 water storage tanks with a manifold to ensure that all 3 filled simultaneously.
The owls that are living in the house now continue to be perturbed by my presence. I see them flying out of the windows as I approach in my truck. One day, after I walked in and sat down to contemplate my next move, I heard a rustling behind me. I turned around to see a rather large great horned owl sitting on top of wall staring at me. We began a stare-down and I thought that the owl would be intimidated and fly away immediately. After 15 seconds, I realized that the owl might have something else in mind. After half a minute had elapsed, I started thinking, "Do owls attack people?" I began to get concerned and not wanting owl talons to be gripping my jugular or any other vulnerable area, I thought about shooing him away. That was all that was necessary because he turned and flew away right then.
I read in another Terlingua blog that there are no posers out here, only survivors. I didn't know what to think of that statement at the time, but now I know precisely what they were talking about. Returning to East Texas and the air conditioning, I felt a tinge of guilt leaving my friends behind. But I will return soon and continue with my plan to have the rock house in the dry by the end of the year. (Not that it isn't dry enough already!)