Construction Journal Entry Week of 11/3/13

11/5-7/13 I went up to Camp Serendipity for 3 days: Tuesday through Thursday.

On the way I stopped and visited with Uncle Charles. There was snow in the pass but the road had been plowed and was mostly bare and wet with a little slush. There was about an inch of snow on the ground at Camp Serendipity when I arrived at 12:30.

I started a fire in the wood stove and then had my lunch and my usual nap. I spent the rest of the afternoon nailing up ceiling boards. In the evening, I called Mike Dickinson and asked him if he could come over and dig my trench the next day. He said he would be over to dig the next morning.

On Wednesday morning, two of Mike's guys showed up with a track hoe at about 8:30. I showed them where to dig and I pointed out that they needed to avoid breaking my water hose which was lying on the ground near the trench site.

They asked me to get my chainsaw so we could cut away the vine maples and logs that were in the way. I spent quite a bit of effort trying to get my saw started, but I couldn't start it. I think it was too cold and damp and my saw probably needs service.

The two guys left to get their own saw and while they were gone I tried unsuccessfully to get my saw started. When they got back, I helped them clear the brush away as they cut the vine maples down.

When the path was cleared, they ran the track hoe up to the far end of where the trench needed to be dug and then they started digging. It went pretty fast and the hose was lying safely to one side. When they were nearly done, I went and got my camera so I could take some pictures.

About then, the bucket on the track hoe snagged the hose and tore it completely loose from the copper pipe coming out of the ground at the bottom. That was a bummer.

The hose was still intact but the fitting was broken in two that connected the hose to the copper pipe. As I watched the spring water gush into the trench from the end of the hose and the water from the pipe going to the cabin drain out, I formulated plans to buy and install a new fitting and then start all over again on getting all the air out of the water line.

As soon as the trench was dug and the guys had left with their track hoe, at about 9:30, I drove to Plain Hardware to buy a new fitting. They didn't have the fitting I needed so I had to buy three separate parts to do the job. I needed a 3/4 inch garden hose adapter and they only had a 1/2 inch one. So I bought that, a 1/2 inch galvanized nipple, and a galvanized 3/4 to 1/2 reducer. I didn't like the idea of constricting the flow to 1/2 inch, but I didn't have much choice. Anyway, the plumbing will only be temporary and now that the ditch is dug, I should be able to replace the hose with the final pipe either next spring or next fall. The system has been working with hoses for the past 20 years. It can wait another year to get finished.

After replacing the fittings, the water pressure was down as I expected. I did some fiddling around opening and closing valves trying to bleed out the air and the pressure came up to about half capacity. I didn't spend any more time on it and went in for lunch and a nap.

I spent the afternoon nailing up more ceiling boards. The temperature outside ranged from 30 to 36 during the day and I kept a fire going in the wood stove all day. When I quit working on ceiling boards, I spent some time organizing the file cabinet and filing a few papers. When I took my shower, the pressure was still at about 50%. Deja vu all over again.

Just about the time I started fixing my dinner, Byron Williams rang the back doorbell. I invited him in and we had a nice visit. We got caught up on the current status of each of our respective projects. He saw the work in progress on my ceiling but he hadn't seen the granite countertops or the interior doors. He especially liked my wooden faucet in the kitchen and he took a couple pictures of it to show Barb.

On Thursday morning it started to snow so I decided to move a woodpile. The rounds I had bucked up from the fallen double tree had been infested with carpenter ants so I had stacked them at the edge of the cliff to keep the ants away from the rest of my firewood and from the cabin. I had kept it covered with a tarp and during the summer it had pretty much dried out. My plan was to burn that wood up first this season and I was happy to find that not only was the wood nice and dry, but all traces of ants were gone except for the intricate lacy channels and chambers they had made in the wood. I think birds and lizards had eaten all the ants.

Since the wood no longer presented an infestation problem, I decided to restack it under the eaves where it wouldn't get buried in the snow like it would if I left it where it was. So I moved the entire stack. All the firewood I will need for the winter is now stacked under the eaves where it will stay nice and dry. I'm all set.

Before I left, I nailed up a couple more ceiling boards and took a couple pictures of the progress. It was snowing pretty hard when I left at about 12:30.

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