Construction Journal Entry Week of 2/23/14

2/25-27/14 I went up to Camp Serendipity for 3 days: Tuesday through Thursday.

I had a dentist appointment the first thing in the morning, but I hit the road for Camp Serendipity right afterward. On the way I stopped and visited with Uncle Charles. I arrived at Camp Serendipity at 1:30. The roads were clear all the way and my driveway had been plowed so I drove right in and parked. There had been about a foot of new snow since last week so I had to use the snowshoes to make the trails to the water valve, the cabin, the flagpole, and the mixer. I also made a trail to the privy because there was such a big load of snow on it that I could see that it needed to be shoveled off.

While I was up at the privy, I tested to see whether or not I would need a ladder to clear the roof. My ladders are all tied up in scaffolding so it wouldn't be easy to get one. Fortunately I discovered that the snowbank behind the privy was high enough for me to reach up and shovel snow off. And, by building up the snowbank from the snow I could reach, I could then climb from the snowbank up onto the roof to finish the job.

After building a fire in the stove, filling the bird feeder, having my lunch and a nap, I went back out and cleared off the privy roof. Then I cut some firewood and by the time I finished it was dinner time.

After dinner, I installed in the pantry door the new lockset that I had gotten at Lowe's in exchange for the one that wouldn't open with the key.

At some point in the evening I discovered that the mousetrap that used to be in the front entry room was missing. I vaguely remember freshening up the bait on that trap, but I can't remember whether I put it back or whether I put it in some new special place that I have since forgotten. Now I don't know whether I have rodents loose in the cabin or whether I am experiencing the onset of Alzheimer's. There is no evidence of mice in the cabin anywhere else, so I don't know if that is good news or bad news.

On Wednesday morning the temperature outside was 28 and the weather was clear, still, and beautiful. I started out by making two wood braces to stretch between the Grid 1 cabin wall and the feet of the ladder on the cliff. Dave had mentioned to me that some friends had been worried that the ladder could slip off the cliff. I was worried that the snowbank might push the ladder over the cliff as it began to melt and sag later on. So I put the braces in to hold the ladder feet tightly in place.

Up on the scaffold I was pleased to see that the tarp cover had kept the scaffold deck completely snow free. I pushed the load of snow off the tarp by pushing up from underneath. Then I unfastened the lower corner of the tarp and furled the tarp up out of the way and over the other side of the ridge. That got it out of my way for working and it would be easy to pull back in place for the night.

I started the demolition work by pulling nails and removing remnants of rafters and blocking from the ridgepole. I used a hammer, a crowbar, and a short flat bar. By the end of the day I had the ridgepole cleared and I had started working on the other side of the hole cutting loose a big piece of OSB that was drooping down over the scaffold deck hinged by its broken edge. I tried using the Bosch reciprocating saw to see whether it would work. I determined it would work pretty well just before I quit for the day.

During the work, I took short video shots so that I could make another video showing the repair progress.

At one point during the day, I noticed the bird feeder swaying just like it does when a jay is feeding. But I didn't see any tailfeathers hanging below the feeder. Upon a closer look I saw that a pine squirrel (actually I think they are Douglas squirrels) was sitting on the ledge of the feeder busily stuffing his cheeks and tossing bird seed down to his buddy on the ground below. The squirrel had evidently jumped from the porch to the feeder.

Right then I decided to quit feeding the animals. At least not so much. I had switched from safflower seeds to a tastier birdseed because the Steller's Jays were eating the safflower seeds anyway. But then I discovered that Steller's Jays from miles around were flocking the the feeder and emptying it in no time. And now, the squirrels have gotten into the act. From now on, I am going to load up the feeder with a small and diminishing amount each week until my supply is gone, and then I am going to stop. That's probably better for the wildlife anyway.

On Thursday morning I got a call from Marty at DNR telling me that he and a couple others would be up at about 11:00 to tour my woods and talk about my logging plans. I called Robert Ferrel to invite him, but unfortunately he planned to attend the funeral of a friend and couldn't make it.

Up on the scaffold, I went to work cutting loose the big piece of hanging OSB and after a short while I got it loose. Then I attached a rope to the piece and lowered it down so I could carry it away.

At 10:30, the DNR team arrived in two pickup trucks. I went down to greet them and met Marty from DNR, whom I had met before, Jim Matthews from the Yakima Nation, and Amanda Bard from the Fish and Game department. They got their snowshoes and we all went up to the cabin. I took a few pictures of them while we talked about the logging project.

We went outside, put on our snowshoes, and pretty much retraced the route that Marty, Robert, and I had taken earlier. The big concern was the identification of the 50-foot perimeter around the streams. We were supposed to have that perimeter flagged prior to this visit, but we had misunderstood that requirement. We still need to do that before the permit will be issued.

They left about noon. I had my lunch and left for home at about 12:50.

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