Construction Journal Entry Week of 8/8/21

8/9-13/21 I went up to Camp Serendipity for five days: Monday through Friday.

I arrived at 11:45. The temperature was 70 degrees outside and a pleasant 65 degrees in the cabin. I carried my gear up in one trip, raised the flag, had my lunch and a nap, did some exercises, practiced the piano, and then went outside.

Earlier, I had noticed a log up on the bluff that looked like it might be good firewood. The problem was that it was dangling over the cliff and buried in bushes so it wouldn't be easy to reach. I decided I would try to yard it out using chains stretched to a big tail tree. Then by successively pulling on the center of the chain to move the log, and then taking up links to remove the slack, I might be able to drag the log out.

I loaded the wheelbarrow with chains and went up on the bluff to try my plan. I was happy to discover that it worked pretty well but was quite a bit of work. I probably moved the log 5 feet before it got too hot to work.

On Tuesday I had left all the windows open, so the temperature got down to 61 degrees inside. I practiced the piano and then went back up to the bluff and used the chain rig to yard the log a couple more feet.

Then I built and installed a new flagpole using 1x2s which I installed on top of the stanchion at the head of the concrete stairs. I was happy with the result and took a picture.

I spent the rest of the morning reading and writing. Then I had my lunch and a nap and spent the rest of the afternoon doing more reading and writing.

On Wednesday I decided the chain method was too tedious so I brought a come-along up onto the bluff and used it in addition to the chains to pull the log all the way out to where I could buck it into firewood.

Then I went to work planning a handrail for the steep portion of the trail above the concrete stairs. I found a 4x4 and a length of handrail material and brought them down to see if they would work. The handrail was a little short so I wasn't sure whether I should use it. I left the post and rail lying there and went back in and had my breakfast.

I practiced the piano and then had my lunch. Before I took my nap, I took down the mosquito net tent from over the bed. I think the mosquitoes are gone for the season and it will be nice having that tent out of the way.

After taking a nap, I spent the afternoon writing.

On Thursday I went back out in the cool of the morning and decided that the rail I had was too short. I wanted the post higher up on the hill. I dug a hole where I wanted it and planted the pole. Then I got a three-quarter-inch rope and used it to make a rail that stretched from the new post to the stanchion at the head of the concrete stairs. Then I rebuilt the rock steps to make them safer. I took a picture of the result.

Back in the cabin I did some more writing, had my lunch and a nap, and then went back to my writing.

On Friday I went out and checked all the Sequoia trees. They are all thriving. I brought 5 gallons of water to Andrew.

Next, I took a hammer down to the new flagpole and moved the cleat up a foot or so. With the new handrail tied to the stanchion, the cleat was in an awkward position.

Back in the cabin, I practiced the piano and then had my breakfast. I did some more writing, and then called Earl. We caught each other up on the news. Earl told me about a fire that was burning right across the valley above the Two Rivers quarry. I had noticed the thick smoke but didn't know about the fire. I left for home at 12:30 and was surprised that it was smoky all the way on both sides of the mountains. There must be a lot of fires.

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