Saturday, July 30, 2011


Boy, time sure flies when you don’t know what you’re doing.

Harvey, Dina, Patti and I went to the movies last Sunday to see the last Harry Potter movie. It was excellent! 

Well, here it is Saturday again. I have been working on the kayak rack on the jeep. I had to redesign the whole thing. As it turned out, the square pegs in the square sockets worked ok until I welded the cross pieces on.  Everything had to be aligned just perfectly for it to work. The tolerances were just too close and things just jammed up when I tried to install or remove the rack.


I finally settled on using a 3/8 bolt on the end of the uprights. The bolt fits through a hole in a piece of angle iron and then is tightened down with a nut.


The angle iron is welded to the bracket in place of the square socket.




Once I got that fixed and installed the front and rear racks, I realized that I would have to tie the front and rear together to stiffen up the whole thing. I still wanted to keep the ability of one person to be able install and remove the rack so I welded a plate to both ends of two pieces of 3/4” square tubing and bolted that to the side of the front and rear racks.


The plate acts like a gusset and stiffened things up but is still removable. Only time will tell how well it will hold up.

Now I have to take the whole thing apart and weld up all the places where I just tacked it together. Then I have to clean the metal and paint it. After that I will glue some padding on the crossbars to protect the kayaks. Then its just a matter of throwing the boats on, tying them down and heading for the river.

Saturday, July 23, 2011


Wow! It’s Saturday already.The week just kind of snuck by me.

Let’s see, on Tuesday Patti had surgery on her left hand to remove some skin cancer. She is doing just fine. On August 9th she will have surgery on the other hand.

I have been work on the kayak rack for the jeep.  The weather has been kind of warm so I have been spending more time taking breaks than working but I did get some things done.

Here are the rear sockets being fabricated. I had to bend a curve in the plate to fit the rear corner of the jeep.


then  I welded the sockets (1” square tubing) on.



Then  drill holes to mount it to the jeep.


The next thing was to build the front connectors.


I used some pieces of angle iron from an old bed frame for the base and welded the socket to it. I had to angle the socket out a little to clear the front of the top,

The next thing to do was to fit the 3/4” square tubing into the 1” square tubing uprights to make the “pins” that will go into sockets.


I intend to weld them through the holes in the side rather than weld around the edge. I think it will look and fit better. I still need to work on the cross pieces and decide weather I need to add any more steel running fore and aft to tie it all together.


Ok well, that’s about it for now I will keep working on the rack this week. I want to get it done soon so I can go Kayaking. I think it is the last thing I have to do in town so when its done I can move up to IC for the fall. I have plenty to keep me busy up there.

Monday, July 18, 2011


My grandson Harvey, is going to high school this fall and will be playing JV football. He needs to get his uniform and related football gear. We decided that, rather than give him the money for what he needs we would have him work for it. One of the things that I want him to do is dig some ditches for the waterlines at the cabin, so while we were there on Monday I showed him what needed to be done; we also cut some firewood.

On Tuesday I picked Harvey up at his home and brought him to our house so he could help me with some yard work. The backyard was in bad shape with tons of weeds and other unwanted vegetation growing everywhere. First I put him to work digging out a large Camellia that had died during the winter. After we got the camellia out he pulled up a ton plants that were taking over my raspberries. I pruned the grape arbor and Harvey cut up the pruning's and loaded them and the rest of the weeds into our large “green waste” barrel. Before long, between the weeds from the berry patch, the grapes and the Camellia bush our green waste barrel was full so we started a pile. It will take a couple of weeks to get rid of all the trimmings.

Next, I showed Harvey how to use my small electric chain saw and we cut up a bunch of lumber Bamboo that was coming up in my yard from a neighbors yard. I showed him how to use the electric weed whacker and he wacked weeds until the machine crapped out. By then it was around 4:00 so we quit for the day.

Wednesday, Harvey came back to finish the yard work. The first thing we did was go buy a new gas weed eater. I put Harvey to work with the new machine in a mass of periwinkles.


They are so tough that it was a chore even for the new gas whacker to chop down but we eventually got the area cleared.


By about 1:00 we were done with the stuff that I needed help with and the yard looks much better so we took the rest of the day off.



Friday morning Harvey and I headed back to IC. We got there about 11:00 and by noon we were moved in to the cabin and having lunch.

About an hour later Mat and his wife Elisa stopped by. They were heading for the grove to camp and needed the key to the gate.

After they left Harvey and I went down to the old home site and with the new weed eater we cleared the area around where we shoot skeet. The weeds were about waist high but the weed whacker cut them all down.

Joanne and Dave came up and moved into their lodge around 9:00 PM.

The next morning I got Harvey started on the ditch for the water line to the cabin.


It only took him about an hour to complete the ditch (ah youth) and we covered the pipe.

After lunch, I started him on the ditch for the water line to the dining hall. Now that we have water in the cabin, J&D’s camp and the Wash Room I decided to move the centrally located sink


over to the dining hall where it will be under cover. To do that we need a 100 ft. ditch. Harvey had it dug in just a couple of hours.

while Harvey dug I wacked weeds.



He did a great job and I think he earned his football stuff.

Now, I will have to buy some more plastic pipe to run the line.

Later in the day we went down to the old home site and shot some clays. Harvey shot up two boxes of 20 gauge and hit about half of the birds he shot at. Friday evening I taught Harvey how to play Rummy so Saturday evening Dave, Harvey and I played cards.


Sunday morning we were visited by a pair of Palliated Wood Peckers


We left IC around noon on Sunday.

This week I will be repairing the irrigation system in the backyard and I will try to get the kayak rack built for the jeep. If I can get that done then I can take Harvey kayaking and I will also be able to spend more time at the cabin and less time working on stuff at home.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011


Last Friday, my brother “Sonny”  called and wanted to know when I was going back up to the cabin as he would like to go with me for a couple days.


I needed to go up to get my van and bring it home for a while as all my tools are in the van and I have to build a rack for the jeep to carry our new kayaks and do some other repairs and projects at home.

We left Santa Rosa in the Jeep around noon on Saturday.The idea was that Sonny could drive the Jeep home while I drive the van. It only takes an hour and a half to get to the cabin from Santa Rosa. We spent the remainder our time up there just hanging out and visiting. It has been a very long time since I have had the chance to hangout with my brother just one on one. We had a great time reminiscing about our youth and all the hunting and fishing we used to do. We took a few walks and a jeep ride around the ranch. It was a good time. We left there around noon on Monday.


I am looking forward to the next time Sonny can come up. I did warn him though that next time I will have to put him to work.

Unfortunately I forgot to bring the garbage home and that could be a problem if one of the bears in the area comes by and smells the garbage in the cabin. So, now I will just have to go back up there. Bummer! :o). I am taking my Grandson “Harvey” up there today around 10:00. We will spend the day and be home for supper.

Friday, July 8, 2011


On Wednesday Patti and I went to Sonoma Outfitter’s to “look” at Kayaks. Unfortunately they had the very kayak that I have been looking to buy, a “Santee 116” by Hurricane. We looked at two different styles of the same boat. One with a standard cockpit and one with a more open cockpit. After sitting in both with and without life vests we opted for the standard cockpit. The standard cockpit style weighs about 37 pounds.


Patti’s is the orange one.

I took mine out yesterday. Bob and I put in at Johnson’s Beach in Guerneville and went down stream to what is called the “summer dam” and back. We spent about five hours on the river and I have to admit that my butt was a bit tired by the time we took out back at Johnson’s beach. There was a nice “breeze” blowing up stream as we paddled down stream (at this time of year, on this part of the river the current is negligible).

About a half mile down stream is a small slough on the south side of the river. It is one of my favorite bits of water here.


If you are traveling down stream you enter the slough by going under an old bridge. Suddenly you are in any jungle or swamp you want to let your imagination take you to. There are creepers and vines hanging from the canopy of Oaks, Alders and Redwoods. Of course a couple of the vines are actually rope swings. A few wooden docks jut a short way into the river and sun-browned big eyed (tourist) children watch silently as you float past. Blue Jays squawk and chatter in the trees completing the jungle feel of the slough with there raucous cries. Occasionally a Blue Heron or Egret will take flight from the shallows with a loud croak and flapping of large wings.


We traveled on down the river.


You don’t see a boat like this on the river very often but I have to hand it to the guy sailing her. He was able to sail the boat against the wind in a very narrow channel.


We stopped for lunch on a small island  and watched the sail boat.


The new boat did fine. I had a little trouble keeping up with Bob a couple of times due to the wind and the fact that Bob does this everyday and is in better shape because of it.


All in all the handling characteristics of the new boat are very similar to the Old Town “Loon” of Bob’s that I used to paddle. My new boat is about 5 lbs lighted than the Loon but where the weight makes a big difference when portaging or loading the boat. I think the heaver boat might glide a little better. Even so, the Santee is comfortable, moves through the water well and is very stable.

As always, it was another great day on the water.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011


We got home from Indian Creek yesterday around 1:00.

Our Fourth of July weekend was pretty low key. We stayed at the cabin for the whole time. Joanne and Dave came up Friday evening. On Saturday morning Lynn


and her new boyfriend, Michael


and  dog Emmit showed up. Emmit loved the creek


That evening as we were driving back from the creek we found Sheila walking down the road to the cabin. She had forgotten the combo to the top gate so had to walk in

On Sunday my sister Mary and brother-in-law Tom


and their dog, Leo came up for the day.


We spent most of the day sitting in the shade visiting.


Peter and Clare (The property owners) and their boys Leon and Gene,


came up Saturday and camped at the grove. We visited with them for a short time before they went home.

We spent the rest of the day sitting in the creek to stay cool


or sitting in the shade reading a book.


The creek was full of tadpoles so it looks like there will be a bunker crop of frogs this year.


The weather was perfect. Friday to Sunday was in the 80’s. Monday and Tuesday were the hottest days with temps in the high 90’s.

I didn’t do a lot of work over the weekend but I did bury the drain line from the cabin sink.