Construction Journal Entry Week of 1/8/12

1/10-12/12 I went up to Camp Serendipity for 3 days: Tuesday through Thursday.

On the way I stopped in and visited with Claude McVey in Woodinville. I told him about my crash and the resulting new truck I have. He reminisced about some of his childhood experiences in the snow in Weed, Calif.

I arrived at Camp Serendipity at 12:50. It was cold and clear and there had been no new snow since last week. It had either rained or thawed in the meantime because my entire driveway and parking area was covered with clear solid ice about 2 or 3 inches thick. All the snow was shrunken down and frozen solid.

The inside of the cabin was warm with the sun shining in the windows so I didn't start a fire right away. I had my lunch and a short nap and then went to work laying down more flooring. Toward the end of the afternoon I did start a fire in the stove so it was nice and warm for my shower.

On Wednesday I spent the morning laying more flooring. I fit the panels around the Grid C2 RPSL and laid the flooring north of a zig-zag line running from the hall closet to the location of the future cabinet peninsula between the kitchen and dining room. I was very pleased with how the floor looks.

After lunch and a nap, I decided to take advantage of the weather conditions and harvest some firewood. The sun was out and the snow was frozen hard so there would be no better time to cut and haul wood. I started out by shoveling snow and ice off the butt of the big Doug fir that Robert Ferrel had falled for me for the loft stair stringer.

I got the chainsaw started after warming it up inside for a while and then I bucked seven rounds from the top end of the log which is about two feet in diameter. Bert and Ernie evidently heard the chainsaw and they came to visit me for hugs and biscuits early on in the work.

The log is down over the bank in deep snow so it took some work to get the log rounds up over the top of the bank so I could move them to the cabin. I used a sled to move some of them, one at a time, but it was awkward because the rounds kept falling off. I moved some others simply by rolling them all the way to the cabin. I was plenty sore and tired by the time I got all the rounds stacked under the eaves. It doesn't look like much wood, so I realize that I should put more energy into stockpiling wood in the fall in the future so that I will have enough to last through the winter.

I stopped work early. Before I showered, I soaked in a very hot tub of water for quite a while which felt great on my sore muscles and bones.

On Thursday morning I slept in. The temperature outside was 11 degrees when I got up. When I did get going, I went back to work on the flooring.

I had bought a Bosch Multi-X oscillating tool, which Dave had recommended, and I tried it out on the Grid D2 PSL to cut the notch for the floor panels. It worked much better than a handsaw to cut the kerfs. I used the same piece of Masonite as a gauge to cut the upper kerf and I used a combination of a hand saw and a 1/4 inch chisel to remove the chips from between the kerfs.

With the notch cut in the column, I cut the floor panels to fit around it and laid enough panels to surround the post. I had my lunch, packed up, and left for home at 1:20. When I went to open the valve to let the hose run into the creek, I discovered that the hose had frozen solid. The trickle I had left running had not been enough to keep it from freezing. This gave me a slight feeling of panic. I wondered whether my entire water line had frozen.

Fortunately I was saved by a leak that Dave had discovered when he visited last. He had heard a hissing sound that with my bad ears I was unable to hear. He found that the hissing was from a water leak where the copper return pipe connects with the hose that discharges into the creek. It was this discharge hose, with its valve for controlling pressure at the cabin, that had frozen. The water coming out of the leak had evidently been enough of a flow to keep the 75 feet of hose, that still needs to be replaced by copper pipe, from freezing. That would have stopped all water flow to the cabin. And, to fix that, I would have to string a different, empty, hose to replace it. As it was, all I did was disconnect the frozen discharge hose and let the water discharge into the creek directly from the copper pipe. I'll substitute a different hose next week if it is still frozen, or, if the weather is thawing by then, I'll hook the old one back up. No problem. I was on the road home by 1:35.

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