Construction Journal Entry Week of 5/13/18

5/15-17/18 I went up to Camp Serendipity for 3 days: Tuesday through Thursday.

On the way up, I stopped at Lowe's and bought some topsoil and paint for home and hose fittings and ant bait for Camp Serendipity. I arrived at 12:30 and drove right up the upper roadway quite a way. I had an overstuffed chair in the truck that I needed to bring into the cabin. I planned to use the porch crane so before I could drive the truck all the way up into position I needed to tie back Rosie the rosebush.

I got out, went into the cabin and found that I had a message from Nancy Bartholomew. I called her back and learned that she was organizing a visitation schedule for Earl and Dana. I volunteered to visit them every Tuesday from now on on my way to Camp Serendipity. I told her that I would call Earl right away and see if he wanted me to come over today. When I called him, he said he would like me to come over.

When we hung up, I hoisted the flag, tied up Rosie, drove the truck into position, unloaded my gear, and then used the porch crane to lift the big chair out of the truck and set it on the porch deck. Then I wrestled the chair up onto the front stoop, in through the front doors, and set it in the living room. It is a nice-looking chair and is very comfortable to sit in. We got it free from a neighbor who gave it away.

While I was on the front porch, I noticed that the mason bees were busy in the new block. They had five of the holes completely filled and plugged. Then I went in, had my lunch, backed the truck down the hill, and drove to Earl's. We had a really nice visit until 4:00 when I went back to Camp Serendipity.

I unpacked my gear, changed the ventilation fan to summer mode, and then went up and checked on the cedar trees. The irrigation system was working very well. The ground around each of the trees was damp, just like it is supposed to be. A couple trees needed a little more flow, so I made the adjustments.

On Wednesday morning I was out burning brush by 7:00. I strung a short hose from the wye connection in the irrigation system to the burn pile on the bluff. Even though attended burning is open, things are getting dry enough that I want to make sure my burning is safe. I wanted to have a charged hose and some standing buckets of water near the fire just in case.

I wasn't happy with the flow I was getting out of the hose, so I decided to fix it by plugging the worst leaks in the hose until the flow was acceptable. The worst leak was right at the first joint in the hose down by Rosie. The leak was around the female connector which had layers of duct tape around it and a layer of special super-duper tape we had bought in a vain attempt to stop the leak. I fixed the leak by cutting a couple feet off the end of the hose and installing a new female fitting on the end. That worked, and it increased the flow up at the burn pile enough to satisfy me.

Burning brush is hard, hot work and about every hour I took a water and rest break. Each time I went down to the cabin, I wheeled a wheelbarrow full of firewood down and stacked it under the eaves. There were a lot of firewood rounds scattered in and around the brush pile that I was taking apart and burning, but little by little, most of it got hauled to the cabin.

I stopped for lunch at 11:30, had a nap, and was back out by 1:00 burning brush and hauling firewood. I quit at 4:30 and went in for my shower happy with the dent I had made in the brush pile and the firewood stack.

On Thursday morning, I had just gotten my work clothes on at about 8:30 when Robert and Tim showed up. They had some work they wanted to do on the skidder and they wanted to see my cedar plantings. Robert approved of my irrigation system and the shades that I had set up. He said the trees looked really good.

Robert was scheduled to do something with Mike later on, so he called him to confirm the plans. It turned out that the plans were cancelled so Robert said he had some time to help me get some work done.

I told him I didn't want to burn brush because I was leaving at noon. So, while Robert and Tim worked on the skidder, I checked the irrigation system again and carried a bucket of water each to Andrew and Brian. I was pleased that there were no new brown leaves on Andrew and it looks like it is thriving. I hope so.

Next, the three of us started cutting a trail through the vine maple thickets off the sequoia trail heading for the big pine log that Robert wants to get out of the woods. We made a lot of progress on that project before we called it a day.

The loggers left, and I had my lunch and packed up. I left for home at 12:30 happy with the progress and after noticing that the mason bees had completely plugged 15 holes in the big block.

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