Construction Journal Entry Week of 11/25/18

11/27-29/18 I went up to Camp Serendipity for 3 days: Tuesday through Thursday.

On the way up, I stopped to visit with Earl. I found him standing in his doorway in front of his driveway with about 3" of slushy snow on it. I didn't risk driving onto the driveway for fear of sliding into Pam's car which was parked there so I parked across the street. Earl had started shoveling his driveway, so I finished the job for him. I broke my scoop shovel in the process and had to finish the job using his shovel.

I arrived at Camp Serendipity at 1:10. There was about 6 inches of very wet snow on the ground which gave me some trouble getting parked. But in 4wd, and with a few runs at it, I finally got parked. I brought my gear up to the cabin in one trip, hoisted the flag, built a fire, had my lunch, and my usual nap. Shirley had left her annual Christmas gift in a bag hanging on the crawlspace doorknob. I brought it inside.

I went down to the crawlspace with a new drawing I had made at home and I checked to make sure it was correct. I made some measurements and found that the drawing was close enough. The next project down there is to fill in the hole in the ground at the Grid E1 corner. That corner was excavated too deep and now it holds water. It needs to be filled in with dirt.

A bunch of wooden scaffold brackets were stored right over the corner and I spent some time moving them to a different location to get them out of the way so I could work on filling in the corner. After the brackets were moved, I picked up some garbage from the crawlspace and began filling a bag of garbage. It rained pretty hard all afternoon and especially hard during the evening. There was quite a stream of water running through the channel in the crawlspace, and I was happy to see that the rocks that I had placed in the channel were all dry on top in spite of all that water running underneath.

On Wednesday the temperature was 30 but the rain had stopped. I started out by dismantling the big block and cable that was wrapped around the big pine tree that Robert had used as the tail tree for his rigging. I carried both the block and the cable down and stored them in the privy. Robert intends to come over and pick them up sometime later.

Next, I started splitting a big round of firewood to give me a supply of wood for the week. Then I went into the crawlspace, got a bucket and a small pail, and bailed the water out of the lake in the Grid E1 corner and took it outside. I took 16 gallons outside and dumped it.

Then, with a spade, I scooped up some dirt from the floor in various places and used it to start filling in the lake. I am going to need somewhat more than 16 gallons of dirt, so I may have trouble finding that much inside the building. I may have to go outside to get it.

In the process of working in that corner, I discovered that some of the big rocks are movable, so I got out the big steel bar and worked one of them loose. I was able to slide and roll it into the wheelbarrow which was lying on its side. Once the rock was inside, I was able to stand the wheelbarrow up and push it to the door where I dumped the rock out. I did the same to a couple more rocks, so they all ended up outside.

After lunch and a nap, I split some more wood and hauled another, smaller, rock out of the Grid E1 corner. Then I started working loose another rock which was bigger than any of the previous ones. I was pretty sure I wouldn't be able to get it into the wheelbarrow. I don't think I even could slide it on the ground. I decided to use a come-along.

I wrapped a chain near the top of the Grid D3 column and hooked the cable of a come-along to that. Next, I levered one end of the rock up off the ground and was able to snake a chain under the rock. I wrapped the chain around the rock, fastened it to itself to make a bridle, and then hooked the come-along to that. Then, by cranking on the come-along, I was able to slide the rock all the way to the Grid D3 corner of the crawlspace.

Then I re-rigged the come-along to pull the rock toward the door. For that, I hooked a short log chain into the anchor hook on the outside of the foundation at the Grid A3 corner. Then I ran the chain across the Grid A wall and into the open crawlspace door. With the chain draped over the doorknob, the other end was a foot or so off the ground. The plan was to hook the come-along to that chain. The other end was hooked to the same bridle that was already around the rock. I disconnected the chain from the outside again so that I could shut the door, and then went in for the night ready to pull the rock in the morning.

On Thursday morning, I started out by calling Frontier and reporting a loud hum in my phone. They seemed confident that they could fix the problem without coming into the cabin. I was happy about that.

Robert called and told me that he would probably be over to Camp Serendipity next week.

After breakfast, I went down to the crawlspace and winched that big rock all the way across the floor, up a 2x10 ramp and then onto the stoop. Then I re-rigged to pull the rock all the way outside. There was nothing to anchor the come-along to outside except a big, old pine root wad that was lying by the flagpole. I wasn't sure whether the root wad or the rock was going to move first when I started cranking. The root wad moved first, but it only started to roll a little before the rock started moving. It held still enough for me to winch the rock all the way past the concrete stoop and step after I shoveled the snow level so it could slide over.

I put the tools away, went in for lunch and left for home at 12:50. On the way, I stopped at Plain Hardware and bought a new aluminum scoop shovel. I felt good about the week's progress.

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