Construction Journal Entry Week of 3/30/08

4/1-3/08 Andrew, his friend Jeremy, and I went up to the property for 3 days: Tuesday through Thursday.

We arrived at 12:30 and were met by Bert and Ernie as soon as we stopped. It was a bright, beautiful, 40 degree day. The boys were on spring break so they came up to help me do some work. After they set up their bunks in the cabin loft, and after I moved into the trailer, they went to work moving a stack of old boards from near the crawlspace door to under the front porch. The boards have been in the way for a long time and now that the space under the porch became available, this is a much better place for them. The boards were also in the way of the trench for the electric service conduit. I will use some of the boards again to make forms for the vault that will cover exposed parts of the electric service conduit. The rest of them will end up being firewood.

While the boys were moving the boards, I got the chainsaw out and bucked up a fairly big log on the upper roadway that I decided not to use. The boys split the bigger pieces and stacked all of it, along with some other firewood, in front of the stack of boards.

Then, I had Andrew and Jeremy move two long 6x6 beams from under the front porch to under the back porch. As soon as the snow is gone in the back, I will use these beams to make a wheelchair accessible ramp up to the back porch so my friend Herb Roberts can come up and get into the cabin.

When the beams were moved, I showed the boys how we would be insulating the seams in the loft walls and a few remaining seams on the first floor. First, we set up the insulation cutting board on the porch. Then I showed them how to cut the insulation strips and had each of them practice cutting a few strips. Then we went inside and I showed them how to stuff the strips into the seams between the logs.

By then, it was time for dinner. Instead of eating in the trailer, we used the microwave oven up in the cabin that I got from Joe O'Leary, and we cooked our dinners in that. We had a cozy fire in the wood stove which made the dinner very pleasant.

On Wednesday, the boys slept in. It was another beautiful sunny day. After breakfast we started working on insulating the seams. I wasn't sure whether it would take longer to cut the insulation or to stuff it in the seams. We had enough strips already cut so that we could all go inside and start stuffing it in the seams. As it turned out, cutting was much faster than stuffing so we all stuffed for a while. When we started running out of strips, I went down to cut some more. I had no problem keeping the boys supplied. In a relatively short time, the boys had completed the insulation job in the loft and I finished up the few seams that were left on the first floor. That marked the end of another long project that I was happy to see concluded.

With that job done, I set the boys to work harvesting two fairly small dead standing trees. Jeremy used an axe to fall, limb and buck one and Andrew used a saw and a hatchet to fall, limb, and buck the other. Then they dragged the logs up to the upper roadway. I may use part of them for railings. I'll probably use the rest for firewood.

That was the last of the projects I had in mind for the boys, so for the rest of the afternoon, they sledded and played in the snow. I went up in the loft and nailed the first five seams at the top of the gable. Then we got in the pickup and headed off to have dinner at the 59'er Diner.

On Thursday morning, the boys slept in again. They decided to skip breakfast and instead pack up and leave right away and have lunch at Zeke's on the way back. While we were packing up, a single Gray Jay showed up and ate peanuts out of my hand. Unfortunately the boys were in the cabin and didn't see it.

We had just left at 11:00 when we ran into Randy and Maddy Utt and Jo Levin who were on the road walking their dogs. I invited them to come up and see the cabin and they accepted. I parked the pickup again and took them up for a look. Maddy and Jo are two of Harry and Jean Metsker's daughters. They told me that there are two other daughters: Meg and Jan. They told me that Meg is married to a geologist so I explained a little of the unique geology of the White River Road outcrop that goes through the property. I took some pictures of them before we left for home and lunch at Zeke's on the way.

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