Construction Journal Entry Week of 2/10/19

2/13-15/19 I went up to Camp Serendipity for 3 days: Wednesday through Friday.

I delayed my trip for a day because of the heavy snow in Seattle. Before I left, I took Ellen to the bus stop in the truck, also due to the heavy snow. There was compact snow and ice on the road pretty much all the way from Seattle to Camp Serendipity. Chains or 4wd were required going over the pass and since I-90 was closed completely, there was extra heavy traffic in both directions including a lot of tractor-trailers. The going was slow but beautiful with all the trees loaded with snow.

I arrived at Camp Serendipity at 1:50 and was happy to see that the driveway and parking area were nicely plowed out. I drove up to the hairpin turn but I could see that the snow on the trail up to the cabin was 3 or 4 feet deep. I decided against breaking a trail through that, so I turned around and parked heading out at the foot of the concrete stairs. I figured that it would be a better use of my time to shovel off the staircase than break a deep snowshoe trail.

It took me until 2:50 to reach the cabin after clearing the staircase and stamping out trails from the truck to the stairs, from the stairs to the flagpole, and from the flagpole to the cabin. When I opened the crawlspace, I found one mouse in a trap. I dumped the carcass out and reset the trap.

I skipped hoisting the flag because it was so late. I started a fire in the stove, shoveled and swept the back porch and stairs, went back down to the truck and brought my gear up, and then had a late small lunch.

I did some exercises, brought a big load of firewood up and stacked it on the back porch, swept a skiff of snow off the lumber that was stacked on the front porch and by then I was ready to quit for the day.

On Thursday the temperature was 10 outside. Dave called first thing and we had another great conversation. Then after breakfast I spent the rest of the morning splitting and stacking a bunch of firewood.

After lunch and a nap, I took some pictures of the snow in response to Ellen's request when we talked the night before. Then I went down to the parking area with my scoop shovel and scooped out a ramp at the hairpin turn going up into the snowbank at the start of the trail to the cabin. Then I took my snowshoes up to the cabin and used them to make a trail from the cabin down to the ramp I had just built. It is much easier snowshoeing downhill in such deep snow.

When I got to the bottom, I turned around and snowshoed back up the new trail, which of course was pretty easy on the second pass.

When I got back up to the cabin, I continued on and made a snowshoe trail up to the privy. On the way, I paused and scooped the snow off the cover of the mixer. It was about 3 feet deep: 2 feet of frozen icy snow with 1 foot of fresh soft snow on top of that. The snow on the mixer convinced me that I had better clear off the roof of the privy.

For the rest of the afternoon, I used the Bosch Bulldog with the wood chisel bit to enlarge the bigger knuckle notch for the back-porch stair rail and to give it a nice, smooth cylindrical shape. It is much better now but it still needs to be sanded a little more.

On Friday morning, the temperature outside was up to 21. After breakfast I took the 20-foot extension ladder and my scoop shovel up to the privy and proceeded to scoop the snow off the roof. The scoop shovel worked great for the top foot of new soft snow, but it didn't work well for the frozen icy snow underneath.

I went back to the cabin and got a sturdy square-nose shovel and used that to chop through the frozen snow on the privy roof.

When the roof was cleared, I stamped out a trail up to the high side of the woodshed. From up there I was able to reach a considerable amount of the woodshed roof and was able to clear most of the fresh snow off. I did as much as I could reach and then quit for the week.

I left for home at 1:00 a little disappointed that I didn't get much real work done, but I sure did get a lot of exercise and had a lot of fun.

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