Construction Journal Entry Week of 1/10/16

1/9-10/16 Boy Scout Troop 100 held their 2016 snow camping trip at Camp Serendipity over the weekend.

Twenty boys attended the campout along with the scoutmaster, Bill Dunnell, and four adult leaders. I arrived ahead of them at 11:00, cleared the snow from the concrete staircase, warmed up the cabin with a fire in the wood stove, and had lunch. The troop arrived at noon on the troop bus, along with three cars.

The scouts' objectives for the camp were to have fun in the snow, to have as many boys as possible sleep in snow caves that they built, and to learn techniques for dealing with avalanche hazards. They had a lot of fun playing in the snow, throwing snowballs, sliding down the hills, and digging their snow caves. The boys cooked and ate their meals down in their camp in the parking area. The adults and scout leaders cooked and ate their meals on the front porch.

Eight of the twenty boys slept in snow caves, all of them for the first time. Five of the younger boys slept on the front porch, and the rest of the boys and adults slept in tents pitched out on the snow. I slept alone in the warm cabin.

On Sunday morning, after breakfast, the boys put on their snowshoes and followed the scout leaders Bill Dunnell and Chip McElearney into the woods for some training on avalanche hazards and survival techniques. Chip had buried an avalanche beacon in the snow ahead of time and the boys used a second beacon device and probes to locate the buried one. Then they returned to the camp area, packed up their gear, and headed for home at about noon. I stayed behind, had some lunch, and closed up the cabin. I left at 1:00.

1/12-14/16 I went up to Camp Serendipity for 3 days: Tuesday through Thursday.

On the way I stopped and got beat by Uncle Charles in a checker game. I arrived at Camp Serendipity at 1:10. There was only about 3 inches of new snow on the ground so I had no trouble parking. I shoveled the snow off the concrete staircase, raised the flag, carried my gear up, started a fire in the wood stove, and had my lunch. Then I went outside and began moving the firewood rounds that I had bucked up last week.

On Wednesday, I awoke at 3 AM and couldn’t go back to sleep by 5 AM so I got up. I built a fire in the stove, had my breakfast and then I was ready for a nap. I slept pretty well for an hour or so.

When I got up, I went back to work hauling firewood rounds down to the cabin. I moved the last four of the five rounds down and then dug out more of the log further up the hill. By then it was lunch time so I went in for lunch and another nap.

When I got up, I got the chainsaw out and bucked twelve rounds out of the newly uncovered log and hauled them all down to the cabin. I used a rope to drag the rounds down and it worked very well. Gravity was on my side and the trail got packed pretty hard so the wood slid over it easily.

On Thursday morning I slept in. Then I split four of the biggest rounds and stacked the firewood. It had snowed about eight inches overnight so I shoveled the concrete staircase again.

The scouts had changed the water valve down at the creek so that it was open a little too much so I went down there and turned it back down. The pressure in the cabin then returned to normal.

Then I did some measurements for the front stoop, which I have decided will be my next construction project. I left for home at 12:45.

1/16-17 Ellen, Marilyn, and I spent the weekend in Leavenworth and Camp Serendipity.

We started by driving through the extra slow traffic on the way to pick up Marilyn. Marilyn and George had suggested taking the road to Duval and then the Ben Howard Road. That was good advice and we were glad we took it, but the traffic was still slow in places on Highway 2.

After picking up Marilyn, we joined the slow traffic going over the pass, and from there drove straight to Leavenworth. We had a nice lunch and then parked the truck on the far edge of town.

It was the annual Ice Festival in Leavenworth so there were large crowds of visitors in town. We took a beautiful hike along the river to get into downtown and then we looked at the ice sculptures and the dog sled teams before we took another beautiful walk to King Ludwig’s where we had dinner.

It was dark when we left for Camp Serendipity and dark when we arrived. Fortunately, we had all brought headlamps, so we made our way with our gear up the snow-covered concrete staircase to the cabin using the headlamps.

I made a fire in the wood stove and Marilyn made up her bed on a cot in the living room. After having showers and getting situated we watched a movie and then went to bed.

On Sunday morning, we had breakfast and then snowshoed the loop around the back of the property, retracing the track the scouts had made up around the spring. It was snowing pretty hard and even though I had a raincoat on, I didn’t have rain pants on so my denim jeans got pretty well soaked. I dried them off at the stove while we fixed and ate our lunch.

After lunch, we closed the place up, loaded our gear into the truck, and drove over to the north entrance of Lake Wenatchee State Park. There we snowshoed a loop trail to the lake. It was absolutely gorgeous. It had pretty much stopped snowing and there were hardly any other people there in spite of being MLK Jr. Day weekend. It was delightful but tiring.

We wanted to get home before dark so we left Lake Wenatchee around 2:00. The traffic was pretty good to Marilyn’s and also as far as Startup. But there the traffic got a little thick again. But we made it home before 6:00 where we were greeted by our anxious cats. It was a great weekend.

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