Construction Journal Entry Week of 4/2/17

4/4-6/17 I went up to Camp Serendipity for 3 days: Tuesday through Thursday.

I made no stops on this trip and arrived at Camp Serendipity at 11:30. As I passed, I noticed that the ice had all gone from Lake Wenatchee. It was still covered when I left last week. The weather was mild and overcast and the driveway was very muddy. The temperature was 45. The snow had melted way back so there were a lot of bare patches of ground.

After hoisting the flag and starting a fire in the stove, I found a mouse in the trap at the foot of the loft stairs. I threw it out and reset the trap. Then I had my lunch and my usual nap.

When I got up I went to work on my next project. I decided to install the porch railing along the Grid 3 edge and the Grid F.5 edge. I decided to use a skinny pole for the rail and anchor the balusters in the porch deck just like I had done on the stair treads. That will be the simplest approach and it should be easy.

I had a skinny pole in mind but it was partly buried in the snowbank off the back porch. The pole was the trunk of a tree that got pushed over by the tree that crashed through the roof. The butt of it was up against the high rock behind the cabin and the top of it was buried under the snow straight in front of the back door.

I dug the pole out of the snow and then used a loop of rope to skid the pole down over the snowbank and onto the upper roadway. I propped it up between a sawhorse and my chopping block and used a spud to scrape off all the bark. It is a nice looking 23-foot pole. It will work great for part of the porch railings.

Before I quit for the day, I walked back into the woods toward the Sequoia grove just to see what the snow conditions were like. I got almost to Dan but the snow was too deep and soft to go much further without snowshoes. I could barely see the top of Dan's sign, so the snow there was still over 2 feet deep. I'll wait a couple more weeks before I try again.

On Wednesday, Dave called and we had a nice conversation. Then Robert called and I told him that Marty Mauney of DNR wanted me to call him to answer some questions. Robert said he would come over on Thursday morning and we could call Marty back together.

After breakfast, I measured the porch for railings and figured that the 23-foot pole would just barely work for the porch railings I wanted to work on next. But before I could install the rails, I needed a newel post where they meet at Grid F.5,3. And, I decided to make the newel post from part of the same log that I had cut for the scab log that anchors the railing I just finished.

I took a shovel and a spud down to the lower roadway and dug six feet of the log out from under about 2 feet of snow. I spudded the bark off the top of the log and determined that it was sound.

Then I got the chainsaw and got it started. I took the saw down to the lower roadway and cut six feet off the log. Then I used the porch crane, a long log chain, and a short chain choker to pull the log up the cliff and up onto the porch where I set it on sawhorses. Then I went in for lunch and a nap.

When I got up, I used a drawknife to scrape the log down to sound white wood. There are some soft spots, but they are not too deep and they are no worse than those on most other logs in the building. The log will fit right in and will make a nice newel post. I just have to figure out how to join it to the porch deck.

Before I quit for the night, I went down to the crawlspace and removed the Styrofoam blocks that I had placed in the vent openings to keep the temperature down there from freezing during the winter.

On Thursday morning, Robert came over and we called Marty at DNR. His questions were about exactly where we intended to operate in the next phase of logging. After some discussion, he said he needed for me to send him an email with additional information that needed to go on our application. I said I would do that.

Robert left at about 11:00. I had my lunch, closed things up and left for home at 12:45.

4/7/17 (Friday) Composed and sent the email to Marty at DNR. He called a little later and said he got the information and based on that, we needed to schedule a meeting with DNR at Camp Serendipity. We set the meeting for Tuesday, April 18 at 10:30 AM. I called Robert and left a message inviting him to the meeting.

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