Construction Journal Entry Week of 10/15/23

10/16-20/23 I went up to Camp Serendipity for five days: Monday through Friday.

After a rainy drive over the pass, I stopped and talked to Dean who was out walking just before our driveway. He told me he had seen a moose cross the road while he waited in his car earlier in the week. It was a thrilling experience for him and a surprise to me that there were moose in the area.

I arrived at 11:55. I was concerned about the rain because I had two sacks of mortar in the back to unload and even though it was covered with a tarp, I really didn't trust the tarp. Fortunately, the rain stopped by the time I had unloaded my other gear which I had brought up in two trips.

I hoisted the flag and trusted the tarp to keep the mortar dry until after my lunch. When I went back out, the rain had stopped, fortunately. Unfortunately, when I looked under the tarp, I could see that the mortar sacks were wet. The tarp had not been trustworthy. I was able to get one sack in the wheelbarrow and bring it up to the cabin but just as I got there the rain started again. It was a struggle to get the mortar undercover and out of the rain, but I managed to transfer it to a dry 5-gallon bucket.

The rain stopped again, and I brought up the second sack of mortar having more but different challenges. That sack stayed intact, and it was not too wet so I thought I could use it as is.

I had brought a kitchen garbage bag with me and managed to get the mortar sack inside of it before I put it in the wheelbarrow so that helped keep it dry. The end result was that I had salvaged pretty much all the mortar mix.

On Tuesday I started by practicing the piano. Then I went outside and mixed up one batch of mortar and laid up a few stones with it. After lunch and a nap, I went out and mixed up another batch and laid another bunch of stones.

On Wednesday I started by practicing the piano and then spending quite a bit of time harvesting and cleaning more stones. I got one more batch of mortar mixed, and stones laid, before I went in for lunch and a nap. In the afternoon, I did one more batch.

On Thursday morning Dave called first thing and I was delighted to hear from him. He has been extremely busy, and I understood completely what had delayed his call. Next, I practiced the piano, and then went outside and mixed and used a batch of mortar before I came in for lunch and a nap.

Next, I found two candidate lentil stones and after considerable trouble, got them both down to the work site. I chose one to be the stone I would use, and I rigged a come-along hanging from the log wall to lift the stone up above the position where it needs to finally rest. The abutment walls are not quite at the proper height so they will have to be built up before I lower the lentil stone in place. But now that I have the stone suspended, that will be no problem. I am very happy to have that problem solved.

On Friday morning I practiced the piano, then I filled and loaded water jugs into the truck. Then I took a picture of the work in progress after 38 batches. I also had a wonderful surprise when I measured the two candidate lentil stones I was working with. I discovered that they can be placed in tandem and will both fit fine on the same abutments. I was a little worried about the strength required of the lentil stone but now that it's doubled those fears have vanished.

I left for home at 12:30 very happy with the week's development in spite of the wet mortar.

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