Construction Journal Entry Week of 10/23/11

10/25-27/11 I went up to Camp Serendipity for 3 days: Tuesday through Thursday.

This week I had arranged with the Burtons and the Kings to meet them for lunch at the 59er Diner at 12:30 and then after lunch, we would proceed on to Camp Serendipity for a visit. They were going to be in the mountains to view the fall leaves.

I planned my departure so that I would arrive at the 59er Diner somewhat before 12:30. Before I left, I topped off the crankcase oil and the radiator coolant just in case. The drive over the pass was spectacular. There had been a snowfall at the higher elevations, the sun was out, and the snow and the brilliant leaves made for spectacular scenery. I very much enjoyed my trip up and over the pass.

As I was coasting down the other side of the pass, I could see that I was going to arrive at the diner at about noon. I decided to use the extra half hour to drive on to Camp Serendipity, open the gate, pressurize the plumbing, unload my gear, and then return to the Diner to meet Bob, Pat, Gayle, and Denny.

About the time I formulated this plan, I noticed that my heater quit working. A quick glance revealed that my temperature gauge was pegged at the hot end. I pulled off the road and stopped as quickly as I could. I discovered that I had forgotten to replace the radiator cap.

Fortunately, the cap was still lying on top of the radiator, and fortunately I had a jug of coolant with me. Unfortunately, the jug of coolant wasn't enough to fill the radiator, but fortunately, it was enough to bring the temperature needle down to the middle of the range. And, fortunately the rest stop was only a mile or so down the road.

I changed my plans and decided to stop at the rest stop and fill the radiator the rest of the way with water and then go straight to the diner. Just as I was turning in to the rest stop, Bob called me on my cell phone. He had forgotten our meeting time, was already at the diner, and was wondering where I was. I told him what had happened and that I would be there in 5 minutes.

It took a little longer than I thought because I had to park some distance from the rest room and it took two trips with the coolant jug to fill the radiator to the top. It took me 15 minutes from the time I talked to Bob to finally get to the restaurant, slightly embarrassed to tell my story.

Denny and Gayle arrived shortly thereafter and the five of us had a delightful lunch and conversation. After that we proceeded on to Camp Serendipity as planned and arrived sometime around 1:30. Bert and Ernie joined us as soon as we were parked and I gave them their biscuits right there since I had brought a new supply with me in the truck.

We all went up to the front porch and then inside the cabin. It was a mess, of course, since big sheets of cardboard, visqueen, and drop cloths were taped over beams, log walls, heaters, switches, etc. to mask them from the painting. There were also the stockpiles of doors, cabinets, and flooring that cluttered the floors. But they said they understood, and I'm sure they did.

We spent some time on the first floor, but we all went up to the loft and spent most of our visit up there. They had a lot of questions about various aspects of the building, both the noun and the verb. And we spent time unfolding and looking at the bronze Mt. Rainier model. I also spent quite a bit of time relating the tribulations of installing switch boxes in the log columns. They were very complimentary about the workmanship and Denny commented that the round drywall corners were "upscale". All in all, it was a delightful visit in spite of not having enough time to go into the woods to see the spring, the big trees, the sequoia grove, or whatever else we might see up there. But there will no doubt be a next time and we can do it then. I took a few pictures of the Kings and the Burtons and got their permission to post them on our website.

They left at about 3:15 and I went right to work painting. I painted the final coat on the utility room, which was the last room needing the enamel paint. All the rest would be painted with flat latex paint.

When I woke up on Wednesday, it was 24 degrees outside. It was nice and cozy in the cabin though. After breakfast, I painted the bedroom closet, the bedroom, and the living room closet before it was time to quit for lunch.

When I went outside to clean the tools, I discovered that the hose was partially frozen so the water barely dribbled out. I was lucky that there was some flow because after running it for a while, the ice inside melted away and the pressure was back to normal. I was grateful that it hadn't frozen solid. I realized that the timing was perfect; since I was going to finish the painting this week, I would have no further need for a hose outside so I could winterize it. As it is turning out, this is the last chance to do so for the season.

After lunch and a nap, I painted the kitchen, the hall, the living room, the entry room, and the linen closet. I had just about a quart of paint left from a 5-gallon bucket. I had more left-over paint, although less than a gallon each, of the other two types of paint I used. Pretty good estimating I'd say.

After cleaning out my tools for the last time for a while, I turned off the spigot at the hose bib and drained the hose. Then after removing the small amount of masking in that area, I happily rolled the refrigerator back into its final position. It's now back where it belongs and won't have to be moved again until I install the floor under it.

On Thursday morning I slept in and got a late start on the unmasking project. I was only able to remove the masking from the living room, the entry room, and about half of the hall before it was time to go home. I took some pictures of the new paint job in the areas where the masking had been removed. I left for home at 1:40 feeling very good about finally having that painting job done, and feeling good about the Burton's and King's visit.

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