Construction Journal Entry Week of 5/4/08

5/6-8/08 I went up to the property for 3 days: Tuesday through Thursday.

It was a beautiful drive over. There was fresh snow in the mountains and the new leaves and grass added several new light shades of green in addition to the dark green of the trees, all framed under a bright blue sky. Gorgeous!

I arrived at 11:50 to a pleasant 56 degrees. I brought a bundle of 3/4" EMT with me and after moving in and having lunch, I carried it up to the cabin. Then I went to work in the loft and installed the 6th and 7th receptacle boxes and the EMT between them.

On Wednesday morning I made a lot of phone calls to get ready for the power installation. While I was talking with Verizon, I decided to install the inside jacks myself. It's going to be tricky to install jacks on logs and I learned that I had better do that myself. I found out that you can buy all the necessary equipment with instructions at Home Depot. That is what I will do.

I called the PUD and learned that I should have the trench dug right next to my temporary power pole and plant the new pole right next to the temporary pole. That way, the sweep that feeds the temp can be swung over a little to supply the permanent meter base. I also found out I need to pick up some fiber optic cable in Leavenworth (from Bill Kunsman 509-860-3944) and install it up to a hand hole near the transformer. I also found out I need to call for a power cut-off prior to the dig.

I called L&I and scheduled the inspection and I called Mike Dickinson and scheduled the dig. The schedule now stands as:

Mon 5/12 - I will buy phone jack equipment at Home Depot
Wed 5/14 - I will install at least the bedroom phone jack
Fri 5/16 - Call 1-800-424-5555 to schedule location of buried utilities before digging
Wed 5/21 - Mike will dig the lower trench and plant the pole
Wed 5/21 - I will schedule Mike for closing the trench on 5/28
Wed 5/21 - I will Call 509-548-7761 and request power disconnect on 5/22
Thu 5/22 AM - PUD will disconnect the power at the transformer
Thu 5/22 - I will glue up and lay out the fiber optic conduit and install the hand hole
Thu 5/22 - I will string out the phone wire
Sat 5/24 - Brian Kemly and I will install the conduit, meter base and wire
Tue 5/27 PM - Verizon will inspect the trench and hook up phone service to the cabin
Tue 5/27 PM - L&I will inspect the installation of service and of the loft baseboard EMT
Tue 5/27 PM - PUD will energize the meter base and service panel
Tue 5/27 PM - I will energize a baseboard outlet circuit and maybe some others
Wed 5/28 - Mike will close the lower portion of the trench
Wed 5/28 - I will close the upper portion of the trench and build vault forms
Later, as weather and time permit, I will mix and pour concrete into the vault forms.

After all the phone calls, I went up and finished installing the 8th, and last, receptacle box and EMT in the loft baseboard. I also installed the box for the utility room switches. This box will also be a junction box for several wires so it is extra deep.

Just as I finished lunch, Earl stopped by for a visit. We went up to the cabin and had a nice visit. I took a couple pictures of him and me. After he left, I wired up the feed wire from the utility room switch box to the string of loft baseboard receptacles. I specifically want to get this inspected soon because it runs up the corner of the loft where I plan to run other wires. If there is a problem with this plan, I want to learn about it as early as possible.

With the electrical work pretty much done, that I want to get inspected right away, I turned to my next priority. I want to get a wheelchair accessible ramp up to the cabin done as soon as possible. The weather is great for visiting right now and I want to get Herb and Marie Roberts up for a visit soon.

I made two hangers out of 16 gauge steel strap and used them to mount the two 6x6s, the boys had dragged over, onto the edge of the back deck. Then I dragged two more long 6x6s up from where they had been stored down by the trailer. These four timbers will be the main supports for the ramp.

I took a picture of the ramp under construction.

On Thursday morning, right after breakfast, I drove to Leavenworth and picked up the fiber optic conduit, two sweeps, and a hand hole from the PUD. On the way back, I spotted four deer in the right-hand ditch up ahead of me. I slowed down so that I was almost stopped when I got up to them. They didn't move until I got right beside each one. It was a doe and three yearlings. I don't get to see them close up like that very often so it was a neat experience to top off a beautiful drive up the Tumwater Canyon.

Bert and Ernie spotted my pickup coming back to the property so they were all over me for dog biscuits as I parked and carried the conduit up to the cabin. They both were extra clean with shiny coats. It looked like they had just had a bath. We did a lot of hugging in between biscuits and trips up the hill.

Next I went back to work on the ramp. I dug holes in the snow where footings for the cross beams need to go and placed a bunch of rocks in the holes as the beginnings of the footings. I also cleared away most of the brush that was growing in the way of the ramp. Most of the brush had stem diameters of about a half inch or less so I broke most of them off just with my hands. I used an axe on the bigger ones. The brush had thorns on it so I had to be a little careful in getting it out. But I did get a nice clear right-of-way for the ramp. My back was pretty sore, though, probably from leaning over to pick up the rocks. It will heal. I went in, had lunch, and left for home at 1:35.

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