Construction Journal Entry Week of 4/17/11

4/19-21/11 I went up to Camp Serendipity for 3 days: Tuesday through Thursday.

The drive over was gorgeous. There had been a new snowfall at the higher elevations and the sky was bright blue. I arrived at 1:00 and was promptly greeted by Bert and Ernie. I drove up and parked at the hairpin turn. I turned the water pressure up, the thermostats up, and got a fire going in the stove.

I was just about finished with my lunch when I noticed a couple of men on the road below. I called to them and invited them up. They were Nick, our next door neighbor and his friend Bob. We had a nice visit while they had a look at the cabin. We also opened the bronze Mt. Rainier case up and set it up in the display mode. We looked at that for a while. Then, before they left, I took a picture of them and got their permission to post it on our website.

Next, I fired up a chainsaw and cut up all the big fir branches I had brought up from Seattle a few weeks ago. We had used a few of them for stickers for the lumber delivery last week, and Josh and Brandon had stacked them up again after they had moved all the boards. I bound the stack tightly with a couple light ropes and then sawed through the stack, or most of it, in each saw pass. This made the cutting go pretty quickly. I hauled six wheelbarrows of the resulting firewood up to the cabin and stacked it under the front eaves.

On Wednesday morning, my birthday, I got the wheelbarrow out again and hauled up a load of short pine boards from down by the trailer. These had been used in the bundling of the pine paneling and I had forgotten to haul them up when I hauled the firewood up. I threw these short boards up onto the porch deck. I'll use them when I build the soffit in the kitchen.

Next I went through my various wood piles and selected a few 2x4s that will be suitable for building my soffit. Then I went to work on item #25. This was to chisel clearance on top of the short loft beam to accommodate the ceiling drywall. That beam is a very lumpy log and there were a few big knot lumps that needed to be cut down a half inch or so. I did all the work with a couple different sizes of hammers and chisels.

I finished just about in time for lunch and a nap. When I got up, I went into the woods and checked on all the sequoia trees. I measured and recorded the heights and bushiness of each one. Dan Cress had advised me to fertilize and water the trees, so I'll start on that next week. All twelve of them made it through the winter, and they all seem to be doing well. Bill is still the runt of the bunch, although it seems to be thriving.

Back in the cabin, I finished item #26 which was to chisel clearance for the ceiling drywall along the long loft beam. This beam isn't so lumpy but it is longer and I had to do both sides of it. I also had to chisel away part of the bottoms of the upper PSLs at Grid B2 and D2.

I had just finished cleaning up the chips when I got a happy birthday call from Bill. We had a nice conversation and he gave me some good advice on choosing finishes for doors, cabinets, casings, and baseboards.

At the end of the day, just as I was about to get in the shower, Paula called with a happy birthday greeting. She told me about Paul's plans to leave for Alaska at the end of the week and of how he had hurt his back a day or two ago. I hope it heals before he leaves.

On Thursday morning the view of Nason Ridge was spectacular. The sunrise was lighting up the new snow and it was simply gorgeous. It didn't last long, though, because it clouded up and even snowed a little. I decided to devote the morning to spring cleaning, so after breakfast, I vacuumed all the walls and windows in the loft, the loft floor, the loft stairs, and the log walls and windows in the front rooms downstairs.

At one point I looked out the kitchen window and noticed a log in the drainfield area that had emerged from the snow. I wasn't sure whether this was a new-fallen tree or one that had been there for some time. I went out to investigate and realized that it was one that I had partially spudded the year before. It is a good sound log and it was suspended above the ground from each end but it still had bark on the bottom and part of the sides. I decided it needed to be spudded right away before the weather got too warm. I got the cant hook and the spud out, rolled the log halfway over, and spudded off the remainder of the bark. It was all wet under the bark I removed, so I was glad I got it off. It is a good log that I probably will use in the front porch stoop, or maybe somewhere else. It was fun to be working with logs again.

On my trips to the drainfield, I noticed the appearance of what looks like a new spring. The water is coming out of the cut in the sidehill that was made to get dirt to cover the sewer line last summer. The resulting creek crosses the path and runs down over the bank. This might be just seepage from snowmelt, but it looked to me like most of the snow above it has already melted away. I guess we'll see how long it runs. It shouldn't affect the flow of the main spring because there is a big valley separating the two. At least I hope it doesn't.

I had lunch, packed up, and left for home at 1:00, another year older.

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