Construction Journal Entry Week of 8/26/07

8/28-29/07 Andrew, his friend Jeremy, and I went up to the property for 2 days: Tuesday and Wednesday.

We stopped at Plywood Supply and picked up four pieces of TJI for joists in the hole in the cabin floor. We stopped at Zeke's for milkshakes and we stopped at Deception Falls on the way up. We arrived at the property at about 1:00.

We unloaded our gear, brought the TJIs up to the cabin and were happy to discover no traces of mice. After lunch, we drove up to the overlook and had a nice view of the property and the lake from above.

When we got back, the boys skidded the two logs from up at the drain field down to the cabin. I will use them for the back stair stringers. Then the boys dismantled the temporary staircase going up through the hole in the floor while I dismantled the handrails.

Then the boys took up a sheet of plywood that I had used to make a temporary floor over part of the crawlspace so we could use it to cover the hole in the floor upstairs. We measured the hole, the boys marked the sheet of plywood with a chalkline, and I used a Skilsaw to cut the piece. I already had a second piece of plywood that together with the one just cut would fit in the hole.

I cut the four TJI joists to length and the boys placed them in the joist hangers which had been installed in the hole since the floor was built. The boys and I used a broom, a brush, and a pocket knife to clean up the tops of the joists around the rim of the hole so the plywood would fit nicely. Then the three of us fit the tongue and groove of the two pieces of plywood together and positioned it to the side of the hole ready to slide into place. It is hard to mate the tongue and groove on old beat up pieces of plywood like that, so by doing it ahead of time, we could get the plywood in place quickly before the glue got stiff.

I got a tube of Liquid Nails glue and squeezed a bead of glue on the tops of all the joists in the hole including all around the rim. Then the three of us slid the two pieces of plywood over onto the joists without letting the tongue and groove joint open up. When the plywood was in place, I fastened it down with screws. It's nice not having that hole in the floor any more, but I still avoid walking on it out of the habit of avoiding the hole for these past seven years. Having the hole covered will make it much better for the scout planning session in a couple weeks, and I can now bring the wood stove up and eventually get some heat in there.

After dinner, the boys went up to the cabin to play and sleep. I took a shower and went to bed in the trailer as usual.

On Wednesday morning, the boys slept in until about 9:30. I got up and stripped the forms from the newel post pad I had poured the week before. I liked the way it came out. I covered each of the three CB66s with a coffee can forced over the flanges and a bucket over that just for safety. A fall on those flanges could be pretty dangerous.

After the boys had breakfast, I gathered all the tools we would need to begin burying some more of the water pipe. I closed the water valve at the trailer so the water couldn't drain out of the hose. Then I led the boys over all the trails so Jeremy would know his way around. On the way, I showed them the hornet's nest that Alex had stepped in when they visited in July. The hornets (or bees, or wasps, or yellow jackets, or whatever they are) had rebuilt a big paper structure which now went right over the trail. We gingerly walked around it.

When we got up to the spring, I disconnected the water pipe by opening the union at the springbox. Then we proceeded down the trail to the site where we would be digging. We had to leave the trail to get there and when we were almost there, Andrew or Jeremy stepped in another hornets nest. Most of the swarm chased Andrew as he crashed through the woods heading for the cabin. He was off the trails and got into the valley behind the cabin. He climbed the rock cliff to get to the cabin and the hornets were still chasing him. He opened the door and ran in but there were a few hornets that followed him in so he ran back out and started swatting them and picking them off his legs.

Andrew and Jeremy each got stung a half a dozen times, but the welts seemed to go down and quit hurting pretty fast. I put on a bee hat, a raincoat, and gloves and went back up and retrieved all the tools. I also reconnected the water pipe at the spring and did some digging where we intended to bury the pipe to see how it was going to work. I decided that the conditions weren't the best -- too many mosquitoes, hornets, and leaves -- and the job was a little too complicated to have the boys do it. It is a job that I better do myself maybe in October.

When I got back the boys told me that they didn't want to stay another night like we had planned. I agreed but first I wanted them to help me clean up the cabin to help get ready for the scouts. We got most of the tools, garbage, and loose items picked up. I brought up the two doors that I use to make an easel for the scouts and then I installed two signs I had brought with me down at the rock outcropping at the road. One says "Private Property" and the other says "No Trespassing", to which I added underneath "Geologists OK - Please call " and then my phone numbers. I hope that will cut down on the vandalism there and still not deter the Geologists.

I had lunch, packed things up, and we left for home at 2:30. I was disappointed that the gray jays didn't show up while the boys were there, but we did see a tree frog climb all the way up to the top of the trailer.

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