Construction Journal Entry Week of 7/19/20

7/20-24/20 I went up to Camp Serendipity for 5 days: Monday through Friday.

This was another great week. I arrived at 11:30. The temperature was 84 degrees. I carried my gear up to the cabin in two trips, hoisted the flag, and found a phone message from Dave Garmin. I called him back and learned that he wanted to stop in for a visit while I was there. He said Thursday would work for him and I said it would also work for me.

After lunch and a nap, Robert called me with a hydrodynamics question that I couldn't answer. He wanted to know how to predict the behavior of a fire hose in different configurations. I told him that's a hard problem and the best thing to do would be to try it and see. He told me he would try to get over this week to work on his skidder.

The temperature got up to 90 degrees outside and 80 degrees inside. Too hot for me. I picked a few blackberries but not too many of them were ripe.

On Tuesday, I started out by drilling a second hole through a bedrock outcropping for use as the second anchor on the restraint for the water heater. Then I decided to use 3/8" allthread for the anchor bolts instead of the half-inch I had planned on. That was because the holes in the EMT that I planned to use for the struts would leave more meat and so would be stronger.

I spent most of the morning moving things out of the crawl space to make access for the insulators easier. Some stuff I loaded into the truck for a dump run and other stuff went up to the privy or on top of the log rack. I also spread the two buckets full of clean 3/4" gravel into the drainage channel on the crawlspace floor. There was just enough to fill the channel. With the rocks in there, it should minimize the amount of dirt that gets kicked into the channel by the insulators. It also got those buckets out of the way.

After lunch and a nap, I irrigated Andrew and then screwed down the plank ramp in the crawl space to make it more stable for the insulators to walk on. Then I got Cindy out and pruned saplings out of the blackberry patch.

On Wednesday I was expecting a call from Shon at Gale insulation to tell me when he expected to arrive to arrange for the insulation job. While I was waiting, I cleaned more stuff out of the crawl space.

Shon finally called and said that he had changed his mind. My job was so small that it wasn't worth him spending three hours to come up from Wenatchee to see it. Instead he said we could contract for the work over the phone and by using email. I explained that I didn't have email capabilities, but that Ellen could do it. He said that would work so I alerted Ellen and explained what she needed to do. She's better than I am with that sort of thing anyway, so I was happy to let her do it. She called me later and told me that she had signed and returned the contract and she had scheduled the work for Friday of this week. That was wonderful news.

Before I stopped for lunch and a nap, I called Earl and brought him up to date on my progress toward passing that final inspection.

After irrigating Andrew, I did a lot more work in the crawl space. I removed all the old temporary insulation I had stuffed around the plumbing in the floor. The mice had been into it over the years, so it was a real mess. I got two big garbage bags full of old insulation and I brought it down to the truck.

On Thursday morning Dave called and was happy to hear that Dave Garmin was coming over. Then Ellen called with the news that the insulation job was scheduled for 8 AM tomorrow. I did some last-minute preparations in the crawl space to get ready for the insulators. Then I had my lunch and a nap,

When I got up, I picked all the ripe blackberries and filled a 16 oz. cottage cheese container. Then, when I was inside the cabin, I happened to see a little lizard on the floor. I got the same box I had used to catch the lizard a few weeks ago and I caught this one the same way. I took him out on the front porch and took some pictures when I let him go. I think I need to figure out how they get in.

A little after 3:00, Dave Garmin called and said he and Kristen would be at the cabin at 5:00. He really wanted to see the ram pump so we decided to look at that first and then after some visiting, we would go to the 59er Diner for dinner.

After he hung up, I went into the woods and irrigated Andrew. Then I proceeded on over the hill to the ram pump. I made sure that the intake wasn't plugged up and then I tried to start the pump. It took a while, but I got it going. It starts pretty well if you completely close the output valve so that's what I did.

Dave and Kristen showed up shortly after 5:00 and we started on the grand tour. We went up on the high rock where I explained the unique geology of the outcropping. I also pointed out how flat and true the big roof is. You get a good view of it from up on the rock.

Next, we went into the cabin having a nice visit talking about Dave's sailing, among many other topics. We went into the loft, looked at the scale model and talked about peculiarities of Skip's methods of cabin building.

Next we went into the woods to see the giant sequoias and the ram pump. We started by looking at Paul. Then we went into the main grove and saw Dan and then Dave. I took a picture there. Then we moved on to Earl and Ellen and decided to skip John and Larry. We then turned around and went back and saw Bill, Cam, and Brian. I showed them how I take water from Brian's irrigation hose to water Andrew. On the way, they spotted the sign for Chuck, which unfortunately didn't survive.

After looking at Andrew, we proceeded on over the ridge and down to the springbox. From there, I showed them the intake end of the pipe for the ram pump and then we went down to the pump itself. Dave tried to figure out how to make the pump run reliably but after emptying the compression chamber, and starting it a few times, we decided to abandon hope and go back to the cabin. On the way back we took a different trail and saw the maple tree with the fluke and the site where I lost and then found my hearing aid.

When we got back to the cabin, we left in two vehicles and met at the 59er Diner and had a nice dinner outside where we talked a little politics among other things. We had talked about looking for the comet but when we parted ways and I returned to the cabin, I completely forgot to look for the comet. It was probably too late anyway because I got back at 9:30.

On Friday morning, Robert called first thing and told me he would be over later to change the tires on his skidder. After we hung up, I went down and moved the truck back from the hairpin turn and parked it out of the way in the parking area.

At about 8:00 the insulators showed up and backed their truck into the hairpin turn. There were three guys and the leader was the same guy that insulated the ceiling ten years ago. He remembered me and the cabin so I invited him in so he could see how it had changed. After a short visit, he and his crew went to work and insulated the floor from down in the crawl space.

Meanwhile, Robert and Tom had arrived, and they got the two front tires mounted on the skidder. I took some pictures of them rolling the tires. Robert also picked up some cables and equipment that he had left on the property. I took the wheelbarrow to the privy and loaded a couple of Robert's big pulleys, a big choker, and some big shackles and wheeled them down to his truck.

The insulators finished their job by 9:30 and left. Robert and Tom finished their job shortly after and also left. I went to work constructing the restraint for the water heater. I completed fabricating and installing both anchors, one band, and one strut. Then I went into the woods and watered Andrew. Finally, I had my lunch and left for home at 1:40 very pleased with the week.

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