Construction Journal Entry Week of 9/7/14

9/9-11/14 I went up to Camp Serendipity for 3 days: Tuesday through Thursday.

The cold I had last week was pretty much gone. I arrived at Camp Serendipity at 12:15 and found the loggers already hard at work. The place looked a lot more open. Robert was just leaving with a dump truck full of brush, but before he left he showed me that he had pulled out a 14-foot log he had made from the old tree that had been hung up on the cliff above the driveway for many years. I had already harvested the top of that log and used it for something else, and I thought the rest of it might be useful. Instead of sending it to the firewood pile, I said I had wanted a 14-footer so that I can make two 7-footers which I can rip in half to get four 7-foot half-logs that I can use for a front stoop deck.

Robert also showed me a big rock that had dislodged from the cliff and fallen down to the base of it. Robert needs some big rocks for a retaining wall so I told him to take the rock, along with some others, if he could use them.

He also told me that he had found a chain around a tree stump that was probably mine. After a little confusion, I realized that it was the chain that I had used to anchor my winch during those years that my crane was in operation. The chain was buried in the duff and covered with brush so it was fairly hard to pull out. But Robert and I, pulling together, got it loose. It is actually two separate fairly big chains, each weighing forty pounds or so.

Robert also told me that they had bucked up a lot more firewood rounds for me up by the privy.

When I moved into the cabin, I was happy to find no mice in any of the traps.

I took some pictures of the loggers falling a big pine tree and limbing it after it was on the ground.

After the loggers left, at about 2:00, I put away the big chains and then used the truck to skid the 14-foot log up the lower roadway. Then I used the porch crane to yard the log up over the cliff to the upper roadway. That took a lot of doing because I had to continually climb up and down the cliff, or the roadway to clear hangups and re-rig in order to get the log up the hill. It was a lot of fun because it was reminiscent of the same thing I had to do to get all the house logs up to the building site when I built the cabin.

Once the log was on the upper roadway, I rigged up a sling for the Log Wizard, wrapped a chain around the log and hooked it to the crane hook, as I have done many times, and I gwizzed the log. Again it was reminiscent of times past and a lot of fun.

On Wednesday morning, the temperature was 35 outside and 60 inside the cabin. I really like this cooler weather. I started out by raking up all the Log Wizard chips and filling five 5-gallon buckets with them. Then I went up by the privy, where the loggers had bucked up a lot of firewood for me, and I rolled all the rounds down to the cabin. Finally I stacked all the rounds up against the foundation so they will be protected from rain and snow. There is enough there now to last me all winter.

The loggers arrived at mid-morning. They falled a big fir tree just inside the hairpin turn. The tree had a huge stump which Dee wanted to use for a mailbox. Robert cut the tree above that stump. I took videos of the work.

A little later, a log buyer that Robert had found came by with his log trailer. He is a contractor working on a project at Stevens Pass to build some sort of bike facility. He selected some of the logs we had stockpiled and Robert loaded them onto his trailer with his loader. This was somewhat less than half of what he needed, but all he could haul in one load, so he will be back for more later. That transaction was the first log sale of this project.

After the buyer left, the loggers falled another big pine tree. Then they limbed it and bucked it to make logs. The loggers left at about 2:00.

Before quitting for the day, I went into the woods and spread the five buckets of chips on the trails from the Giant Sequoia grove to the spring.

On Thursday morning the loggers were back early. Robert cut the base of the stump of the big fir to make the mailbox stand for Dee. The three of them tried to push the mailbox off the stump but they could only move it a foot or so. They left it for later. I took more pictures and videos.

They left about noon and I left for home shortly after.

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