Construction Journal Entry Week of 8/17/14

8/20-22/14 I went up to Camp Serendipity for 3 days: Wednesday through Friday.

I almost didn't make it up to Camp Serendipity on Wednesday but I finally did. The day before, my truck broke down and was in the shop overnight. The mechanic said the earliest it would be ready would be noon. So first thing in the morning, I called Robert Ferrel explaining that I couldn't meet him at Camp Serendipity this morning as we had planned.

But that wasn't my only problem. I had been feeling sick with weird symptoms for over a week so I called my doctor when her office opened up and made an appointment to see her at 10:00. It's an hour travel time each way to see her so that would use up most all of the time until my truck was ready.

One of my symptoms, a cough induced headache, was a little scary so the doctor ordered a CT scan of my head to rule out a brain bleed. I had the test, along with blood tests, and the doctor reviewed the results with me before I left her office. Fortunately, there was no trouble found in my brain and she suspected a virus of some sort. She said to let her know if it got worse.

When I got back home, I had just enough time to have some lunch and pack up my gear for the trip to Camp Serendipity. The mechanic called at 2:00 telling me that he had replaced my 2-year-old fuel pump and the truck was ready to go. After the 45 minute walk to my mechanic's, I finally got my truck and headed for home to load up. The fuel pump was still under warranty so he didn't charge me anything.

After gassing up and then loading my gear, I got on the road at about 4:00. I visited Priscilla for a short while in the rehab center, I visited Uncle Charles and played a game of checkers with him, then I stopped at Marilyn's and picked up some rubber boats we will use on our outing next week, and finally arrived at Camp Serendipity at 6:15.

After hauling up the rubber boats, two heavy photo albums, and my gear, I felt ready to collapse. One of my symptoms was fatigue. I didn't have much of an appetite so I didn't eat much dinner. I had my shower and went right to bed.

On Thursday morning, Robert Ferrel and his helpers Tim and Dee showed up at about 8:30 to resume the logging operation. They brought a loader, a dump truck, and a pickup. I worked with them the best that I could feeling the way that I did. The main thing I did was to take down the old temporary power pole. I used a hacksaw to cut through the conduit and the electrical wires. Then I discovered that it wasn't going to be easy to remove the hardware from the pole so I left it.

Robert and his crew used the loader to fill the dump truck with brush and branches, and then Robert falled a fairly big tree near the foot of the concrete staircase. The tree landed on the lower roadway right where it was supposed to.

While Robert took the truckload of brush to the mill, Dee and Tim limbed the tree and piled the branches in neat piles. When Robert came back, they bucked the trunk into logs and loaded the brush into the dump truck. Robert made a few dump truck runs, at about a half hour apiece, before we all went up to the cabin for lunch.

After lunch, they picked up and hauled more loads of brush and they stacked the logs so that the entire area ended up looking like a park. Robert has begun calling it Serendipity Park. It really looks nice, not like the normal mess that traditional loggers make. I took a few pictures and video clips during the work.

They quit work and left at about 3:00 leaving the dump truck and loader behind. I got some tools and went to work dismantling the temporary power pole. When it was all apart, I carried the wire, the conduit, and the boxes up the concrete staircase to the cabin. I really felt crummy but I got it all carried up in 4 or 5 trips.

After taking a shower and fixing my dinner, I eagerly and gratefully went to bed early hoping that my immune system would work extra hard during the night.

On Friday morning I overslept. I woke up at 8:30 still feeling sick. I got dressed and hoisted the flag and then Robert showed up by himself. I hadn't had any breakfast yet but I went down to talk to him. He told me that he was having trouble with his pickup and his guys were staying with the pickup to get it fixed.

I helped him load up a dump truck full of brush. He drove off with the brush while I went up and had my breakfast. He was back about the time I finished eating so I went back down to help him. We loaded another truckload of brush and while he was hauling that away, I went up and vacuumed the loft. I want the cabin to be as clean as possible when the guests come up and there isn't much time left to clean it up.

Robert made a couple more brush runs like that and each time he was gone, I made some progress in the cabin cleaning up and packing to go home. Robert left about noon and I left about 1:00. I began to feel a little better as the day wore on, so I hope this bug has run its course.

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