Construction Journal Entry Week of 6/14/20

6/15-19/20 I went up to Camp Serendipity for 5 days: Monday through Friday.

I arrived at 11:45. The weather was cool, and the ground was wet. I carried my gear up to the cabin, hoisted the flag, lit a fire in the stove, had my lunch, and then took a long nap.

When I got up, I split and stacked a bunch of firewood.

On Tuesday, I started out by hauling a few rounds of seasoned fir from the woodshed down to the cabin and then splitting and stacking the wood. I am nearly out of seasoned wood in the stacks at the cabin and I thought I was done burning fires in the stove for the season, but it has been chilly enough this spring to call for a small fire each morning. I don't like smokey fires so I only want to burn well-seasoned wood. I am searching for a small supply that I can use for these small fires. Next winter I plan to burn the maple that is stacked there, but I want it to season for one more summer before I do. These fir rounds that I split this morning will be a test to see if they would be a good source.

After lunch and a nap, I took the string trimmer down and whacked weeds around the jammer and the skidder. That will make it easier for Robert to do the work he plans to do on those machines. When I had exhausted the batteries on the trimmer, I used Cindy to cut down a bunch of vine maples that had gotten a good start down in that area.

On Wednesday, with the batteries revived, I took the trimmer back down and whacked the weeds around the driveway entrance. I paused several times to pull thistles out by the roots instead of just whacking them off. After lunch and a nap, I returned to the same area and whacked weeds and pulled thistles.

When the batteries were run down, I went to work preparing for the floor insulation job. I decided that I need to record the location of the wires, plumbing, and ducts in the floor joists so that after the insulation is in place, I can find those things if I need to get at them for maintenance or modification. My plan for recording the locations was to take a series of pictures of the entire floor from underneath. I figured that I wanted two measuring tapes in each picture so that I could precisely locate the pipes etc. in the picture.

So, I spent a considerable amount of time and struggle stringing a 25' tape and a 100' tape up against the floor joists, one going each way, so that the numbers would be readable in the pictures. Then I decided to use a tripod and make a test picture starting at one corner.

That didn't work out at all. First, the camera couldn't capture a very large area of the floor from the tripod no matter how low I set it. Even from right down at the crawlspace floor, the pictures were too small.

I decided to use my cellphone camera and found that that worked better, but even at that, the field of view was too small and the numbers on the tapes couldn't be read. I finally decided to give up on the photograph approach altogether and simply make a drawing on paper to record the locations. The pictures had sounded like a good idea, but it turned out to be a dumb idea. I put the tapes and the rest of the stuff away and quit for the day.

On Thursday, I took the freshly charged batteries down with the trimmer and finished whacking the weeds at the driveway entrance. Then I decided to fire up the chainsaw and harvest the rest of the grand fir that had fallen up at the bluff.

I had previously harvested firewood from the middle of that trunk so that I could get the wheelbarrow through there, and as a result, I had discovered that the wood was well-seasoned and burned nicely without much smoke. Since the fire season was drawing near and I probably wouldn't be able to use a chainsaw in the woods much longer, I decided that now was the time to buck up that entire log and use that wood for my small fires this spring and summer.

I spent a lot of time getting that saw to work. First, I had to re-string the starter rope, which continually slips. Then I cleaned the air filter, filed the chain, and then gassed and oiled it up.

Starting it was the usual struggle, but once I got it going, it started and ran fine. I did have to disassemble and re-wind the starter rope one more time, but then I took the saw and the wheelbarrow up onto the bluff and bucked up the entire log, both the top end and the butt end. I brought one wheelbarrow load of wood back to the cabin with the saw when I stopped for lunch and a nap.

When I got up, one of the batteries for the trimmer was charged up, so I took it down and whacked most of the weeds in the parking area. Then I went into the woods and irrigated Andrew with 5 gallons of water the new way. It is much easier and quicker than the old way.

Then I hauled a few more loads of firewood down from the log I had bucked. There is still more wood up there, but the pressure is off now that the bucking is all done.

On Friday, I didn't feel like doing any hard work, so I spent the morning vacuuming and cleaning up the first floor of the cabin. I left for home at 1:00 a little disappointed that I still hadn't heard anything from the building department.

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