Construction Journal Entry Week of 8/9/20

8/10-14/20 I went up to Camp Serendipity for 5 days: Monday through Friday.

Brian Kemly called me on the drive up. I pulled off the road and asked him to call me in an hour when I would be at Camp Serendipity. I arrived at 12:15, brought my gear up, hoisted the flag, and then had my lunch. Brian called again and we talked about the electrical job he is going to do for us in Seattle.

After a fairly long nap, I went into the woods and irrigated Andrew. It was just too hot to do any more work that day.

On Tuesday, I started on the ugly job of clearing things off the crawl space floor to begin to get ready to lay plastic down. Robert called shortly before noon and said that when he comes to move his equipment, he would like a charged hose available so he could water the area down to reduce the fire danger.

After lunch and a nap, I irrigated Andrew and then went down by the hairpin turn and dug out the hose that was all tangled up with young vine maples and blackberry bushes that had grown up and through it over the past couple years. I got the hose all untangled and stretched out from the spigot down to a stump by the jammer. I tested it and it is ready for Robert except that there is a small leak near the end of it that will spray whoever is using it.

Then I used the old-fashioned golf-club type weed whacker to whack down weeds around the skidder and the jammer.

On Wednesday I tackled the first of two big targets for clearing the crawl space floor. That was the big wooden tool box that had come out of Leonards truck and which I had set up in the corner of the crawlspace some 25 years ago. I found other places to store the chainsaw, log wizard, come-alongs, blocks and tackles, chains, and other tools that were in the box.

When the box was empty, I dragged it out of the building and set it on the edge of the cliff across from the firewood splitting station. I'll leave it there until I decide what to do with it.

Next, I hauled a bunch of plywood and OSB out and stacked it under the front porch. I also took outside a bunch of old pieces of wood that I put in the firewood pile. Then I raked and smoothed the floor that had been exposed again for the first time in 25 years.

After lunch and a nap, I irrigated Andrew and then duct-taped the small leak in the hose so it wouldn't spray whoever was using it.

On Thursday morning, the temperature was a lot lower than usual. It was 40 degrees outside and 55 degrees inside the cabin. I had left all the windows open overnight to cool the place down, but this was a little too much. One of the electric heaters had even come on. I burned a lot of old cardboard in the wood stove to take the chill off, and also to burn off some of the creosote in the chimney.

After breakfast, I went back down to the crawl space and tackled the second of my targets: the old freezer body that I had used for a waterproof cement storage bin 25 years ago and which had been sitting in that same position ever since. It was full of masonry tools, an old, dead, partial sack of Portland cement, a bag of lime, and a huge amount of packrat mess that I had ignored for all those years. This was a real day of reckoning.

There also were some old doors and other stuff on top of the box that I removed and placed in other places. There was also a box containing a brand new light fixture that was given to us by Vladimir. It was the perfect fixture for lighting the loft staircase. I brought it up to the loft, unpacked it, and got it ready to hang someday.

Back down in the crawl space, I removed most of the stuff from inside the freezer body, and when it was light enough to move, I dragged it outside and also set it up on the cliff edge with the sun shining into the box to help disinfect it.

After lunch and a nap, I irrigated Andrew and then cleaned and put away the mason's tools that had come out of the freezer body.

On Friday morning, Dave called before breakfast and we had an extra long delightful conversation. Then after breakfast, I irrigated Andrew and then bagged up a big garbage bag with garbage from the cleaning I had done and then loaded the garbage bag into the truck.

I cleaned up, had my lunch, packed up, and left for home at 1:15. Things felt a little more relaxed this week now that the building department is behind me. I felt a little pressure to get that plastic down in the crawl space, but that still doesn't diminish the feeling of joy I have at being the owner of an official house in the woods instead of just a construction site.

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