Construction Journal Entry Week of 4/1/18

4/3-5/18 I went up to Camp Serendipity for 3 days: Tuesday through Thursday.

The drive over the mountains was sunny and beautiful. I arrived at 12:10 and saw that the loggers were not there. I noticed that a huge rock had been pushed up on a snow berm by Mike or Josh when they had scooped out the driveway. The rock was perched above some big flexible pipe that might be useful to Robert to take the engine exhaust from his jammer far away. I didn't want the rock to crush the pipe when the snow melted, and I couldn't budge the rock, so I worked the pipe out from under the snow far enough so that the rock would miss it when it finally comes down.

Then I brought my gear up to the cabin, hoisted the flag, started a fire in the stove, had my lunch, and took my usual nap. I was planning on burning brush this week, but it was so windy that I decided not to until the wind died down.

Instead, I decided to take care of some incidental lower priority items. First, I turned on the irrigation hose and begin watering Paul, the giant sequoia. The hose had a lot of leaks in it that I had previously duct-taped, and I was prepared to tape up any remaining holes with a new really sticky tape we saw advertised on TV. It sort of worked, but the hose had so many holes, and a lot of new ones, that I decided to replace it with another hose. It looks like the rodents really like to chew on hoses.

I got some more hoses out from the crawl space and hooked one of them up. I strung it up to the privy and connected it to the one that ran over to Paul. I taped up enough leaks so that Paul was getting water and I let it run for the rest of the afternoon.

With the water running, I went into the woods to check on the other sequoias. They are all still buried under the snow except for Brian. I was happy to see that Brian was reaching up into the sun, but it is still very scraggly. I think that with the trees that have been cut so far, Brian will be getting a lot more sun. I hope that gets him going and growing.

Next, I got the wheelbarrow out and hauled down to the cabin all the pieces of wood that Tim had cut from the rotten beam that we had used to move the privy. That wood splits so nicely, and it burns so well, that I want to use it in the wood stove. Some of the pieces Tim had cut were too long, though, so I will have to cut some of them again. I split up the pieces that weren't too long.

Then I used the porch crane to drag up two big firewood rounds that had fallen over the cliff and were down below. One was on a lower cliff ledge but the other one had rolled almost to the lower parking area. With the crane cable paid all the way out and my second-longest chain hooked to the end of it, I was able to reach both firewood rounds. It was fun to winch the rounds up one at a time and finesse them up over the lip of the cliff without dislodging any rocks. I left them lying on the upper roadway and then wound the winch back up properly and put the crane away.

On Wednesday the weather was calm with just a little drizzle—perfect for burning brush. I lit a fire in the burn pile near the privy and burned all the brush around that area. Then, after lunch and a nap, I went back out and started a fire in the next burn pile which is up by the sequoia tree Paul. I also irrigated Paul during the process. By the end of the day, I had that area cleaned up too.

On Thursday morning Dave called and we had another delightful conversation. Since I planned to leave at noon, I didn't want to start another burn pile. Instead I wanted to cut up the long beam firewood. When Robert was here last, I had noticed how meticulously clean he keeps his chainsaws and I realized I would be embarrassed if he saw mine. I decided I was going to take better care of it and now was the time to start.

I needed to take up another couple turns of the starter rope, so when I had the saw apart to do that, I took the opportunity to really clean up all the parts, inside and out, that I could reach. Then I replaced the starter rope assembly and then removed the air filter so that I could clean it and everything else I could reach with that part removed.

With the saw all cleaned up, I started it up and cut up those pieces of beam wood. Then, before I put the saw away, I cleaned it up again and vowed to make that a habit.

Then I split that wood plus three more big rounds that were stored under the eaves and were nicely dried out. That made room for the two rounds that I had dragged up the cliff. They were wet and heavy, so I put them under the eaves to dry out and to get them out of the way.

I went in a little early and had my lunch and packed up to go home. When I was just about ready to leave, the back doorbell rang, and it was Byron. He was out driving around just to charge his battery and he had decided to stop in for a visit. We had a nice chat about the logging project among other things. I explained the reasons why we were logging. First was to remove danger trees so they wouldn't fall on the cabin again. Second is that the forest is infested with laminated root rot, which is systematically killing all the trees anyway. Third is that the fire marshal had recommended clearing a fire break all around the cabin (but I forgot to mention that one to Byron). And fourth, the log market is up right now so the value of the logs will pay for the project.

After Byron left, I finished packing and left for home at 1:00. It was another fun but not too productive week.

Go to Next Journal Entry
Previous Journal Entry

Index to all Journal Entries
Go To Home Page

©2018 Paul R. Martin, All rights reserved.