Construction Journal Entry Week of 2/17/13

2/19-21/13 I went up to Camp Serendipity for 3 days: Tuesday through Thursday.

I stopped in Monroe and had a nice visit with Uncle Charles on my way up. I arrived at about 1:00 and was promptly greeted by Bert. I gave him his usual hugs, biscuits and a tray of gravy. Then after lunch and a nap, I went to work on the ceiling boards.

Using the skinny strip I had made last week, I used it and one full-size board to finish up the section of the ceiling between Grid B and Grid C. Those last two boards are tricky and they are almost out of reach so I was glad to get them done.

On Wednesday the weather was beautiful, still, and sunny. I decided it would be a good time to work on the fallen trees that were in the way of my driveway and trails. The snow had shrunk back far enough to expose the trees nicely and yet it was frozen and firm enough to walk and work on. Since I had to clean up that mess sooner or later, I figured it might as well be now, even though I hate to interrupt the progress on the ceilings.

I got the chainsaw out and started on the log that used to be the surviving half of the double tree that used to be in front of the crawl space door. This tree was the one that Robert Ferrel had climbed in order to pull the log from the other half of the double tree out away from the cabin. Now there is no part of that double tree standing, and this log had fallen across the trail to the privy, the trail to the concrete stairs, and the concrete staircase itself. Several weeks ago I had bucked the middle section of it so that I could walk on the stairs. But this morning I bucked the butt section that was crossing the two trails.

Next I went down to the driveway and enlarged a cut I had made in the big ponderosa log that was lying across the driveway. I cut a section out of the top of the log to make a walkway through it. The snow is up to the bottom of my cut, which is at about the middle of the log. When the snow melts away, I will enlarge the cut and take the entire section out. I'll also buck the log into smaller pieces so that I can get it out of the driveway. For now, this gives me a reasonable trail from the staircase to the parking place.

Then I tackled the trees that had fallen on the middle of the driveway. There were three fairly big trees with a lot of branches. I limbed them first, cutting the branches into small pieces, and then I took a break for lunch and a nap.

When I went back out, I took some pictures, and then finished bucking up the logs so that I could walk on my driveway for the first time since December.

That was as much chainsawing as I wanted to do for the time being—I had gone through four tanks of gas—so I put the saw away and went back to work on the ceilings.

I got about half of the boards nailed up in the span between Grid C and Grid D. Toward the end of the work, Karen Arnold stopped on her bicycle and we had a nice conversation by shouting, with her down on the road and me high up on the scaffold. I told her about my packrats and she told me about her martens. I would trade her if I could. I was very tired and sore when I went in for the night.

On Thursday morning it was snowing. I was glad I had done the brush cutting in such nice weather. I went back to work up on the high scaffolds and nearly finished nailing up the section between Grid C and Grid D. Two boards, one full size and one skinny one, remain. I made the measurements for making the skinny board and quit for the week. Bert and Ernie both came around for hugs and biscuits shortly after I went in for lunch. I left for home at 1:00 and drove through a blizzard all the way to Gold Bar. I felt pretty good about the week's progress.

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