Construction Journal Entry Week of 1/9/11

1/12-14/11 Harold Samdal and I went up to Camp Serendipity for 3 days: Wednesday through Friday.

There had been quite a bit of snow in the mountains but the roads were pretty clear and there was only a light rain when we drove over. We stopped at the '59er diner for lunch on the way and arrived at Camp Serendipity at about 2:30. The driveway had not been plowed but there wasn't much of a berm so after switching to 4wd, we drove right in to about halfway to the trailer. There was 12 inches of snow on the ground so we high-centered all the way and built up a mound of snow in front of the bumper.

I used the snowshoes to make trails to the trailer and up to the cabin and then the two of us hauled our gear up to the cabin. I had an extra pair of Sorel boots that fit Harold, so he was able to get around on the trails once they were packed down.

Harold offered to help me with some project and I was thinking about doing some more work on the smoke alarm wiring, but my back was still hurting badly enough that I decided to forget the work and make this just a pleasant visit for the two of us.

We spent some time looking over the bronze model of Mt. Rainier after I went through the ritual of morphing the traveling case into the display case. Harold thought the case was almost as impressive as the casting. When we had enough of that, we closed the case back up, set up our bunks, had a light dinner, and watched the first couple DVDs of Harold's set of the HBO series "Band of Brothers". We also made a serious dent in a bottle of Teacher's.

On Thursday morning, we saw that it had snowed about eight more inches overnight. We had some breakfast, Harold and I took some pictures, and we soon settled down to watch some more of the DVDs. We took a break for lunch but spent the entire day watching disc after disc until dinner time. It was a very pleasant, relaxing day.

I brought the microwave up from the trailer so we had two of them to cook our dinner. We baked potatoes in one while we cooked the pork roast and green beans in the other one. It was a great dinner if I say so myself. When the dishes were cleaned up, we finished watching the last of the DVDs. It was a compelling story and by watching the whole series like that, we both felt as if we had just been fighting in WWII. That made the serenity of the cabin seem that much more pleasant.

I had kept my back pain under control by taking Aleve around the clock and by wearing a back brace during the day. But the pain kept me awake for a good portion of the night.

On Friday morning, I took a hot shower which made my back feel a lot better. After breakfast we packed up and loaded our gear in the truck. Harold started scooping out the driveway so we could get the truck out while I finished up some chores in the cabin.

For one thing, since the temperature outside had gone up to 40 degrees, I checked the pipe in the crawlspace to see whether it had really frozen and ruptured. To my great delight, I found that the pipe was still intact and dry and the stalagmite of ice had melted away. It must have been condensation after all. I was very happy about that and decided that I will still make an insulated wrap for that tee next week. The weather is supposed to stay warm until then.

When Harold got to the end of the driveway, he discovered that the snowplow had thrown up a berm nearly 5 feet high and he went to work to clear it out. I joined him with another shovel and the two of us worked up sweats as we cleared the berm away enough to get the truck through it.

We left at about 11:00 and headed back to the '59er Diner for lunch before we headed home. It was a great visit. I'm glad Harold had that much time to spend with me at Camp Serendipity.

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