Construction Journal Entry Week of 10/20/13

10/22-24/13 I went up to Camp Serendipity for 3 days: Tuesday through Thursday.

On the way I visited with Uncle Charles and went for a short walk outside with him while I was there. I proceeded on from there over the mountains and enjoyed the spectacular scenery on the way. I arrived at Camp Serendipity at 1:00 and was promptly greeted by Ernie. We went up to the cabin where he got biscuits and gravy. He was a happy dog.

After having my lunch and a nap, I heard Earl drive up on his motorcycle. He came in and we had a nice long visit. We talked about dealing with mice, hydraulic cement, plumbing, and his DIY solar heating project. They are leaving for the south in a couple weeks.

Earl left at about 5:20 so I didn't get much work done that day. I built a fire in the wood stove and took a shower. I was disappointed to find the water pressure down to 50% of normal.

On Wednesday I decided to go up and check the spring first thing to see if there was an obvious problem causing the low water pressure. On the way I went through the giant sequoia grove just to check on them to see if they are ready to be covered with snow. They all looked ready.

The spring looked normal with water running out the overflow pipe, so I figured there must just be air in the pipes causing the low pressure and that it would probably work its way out sooner or later. I didn't want to spend any more time on it so I went back to the cabin and started working on the ceilings.

I decided to start on the Grid E side so I moved some stuff away from the wall in the loft so I could work on the ceiling. Then I began cutting and nailing ceiling boards. The first course went a little slow because I had to do some chiseling of the cap log in order to get the boards to seat all the way. I got a couple boards nailed up on the first course by 11:30.

Then I left and drove to the 59'er Diner where I met Bob and Pat Burton for lunch. It was a delightful lunch. Afterwards we all went back to Camp Serendipity where they took a look at the progress I had made since their last visit. We had a great visit and I took a few pictures.

When they left at 2:30, I took my usual nap. After I got up I nailed one more ceiling board in the loft. Then I decided to set up a ladder scaffold in the living room. I wasn't sure the ladders would work out but it was easy to try. The question was whether the one long ladder I have, that is not an extension ladder, would be too long or too short to do the job. I brought it in and found that it was just right.

I set it up, and also the 20-foot extension ladder, against the Grid E wall in the living room and then hung a steel scaffold bracket under each one. Then I placed a couple planks on the brackets and I had a platform that would allow me to reach 2 or 3 courses of ceiling boards up there.

For the rest of the high ceilings I will have to set up steel scaffold towers. I may not be able to move the towers once they are set up, but instead have to dismantle them down to the first tier and then reassemble them in order to move them from one position to another. By using the ladder scaffold I can delay that hard job for at least a few courses.

By the time I quit for the day I had completed the first course of boards all the way across the building. I took a picture of the new boards and the ladder scaffold.

During the work I got to thinking about the excellent weather we were having. It was a shame that I wasn't working outside taking advantage of it. I decided that I should be digging the waterline trench for the remaining 80 feet of pipe that needs to be buried. And then I thought about my decision to start contracting out more work instead of doing it myself, so I decided to see if I could get Mike Dickinson to dig the trench. I called him and arranged for him to come over in the morning so he could size up the job. It would be great if he could dig the trench for the pipe.

I felt good about that plan and I felt even better when I went in for my shower. The water pressure was up to about 95% of normal. Good thing I didn't waste any energy or time trying to fix it.

On Thursday morning I went out and walked the woods where Mike would have to dig the trench. I was worried that the temporary hose would be in the way of the digging, but fortunately it is out of the way. There is plenty of room for him to clear a trail and dig the ditch without running into the hose.

I went back inside and nailed up a few more ceiling boards, all the time expecting Mike to show up. I installed the second course and half of the third course of boards before lunch time and still no Mike. He must really be busy. I left for home at 1:00 feeling pretty good about things.

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