Wednesday, April 29, 2015

The last 7 days at the Cabin 04-22 to 04-29-15


Monday evening:

I got back from Ukiah around 5:00. I swapped out the refrigerator batteries and connected the dead battery to the charger. The generator had been running all day so I decided to let it run until it was out of gas. It ran out around 7:30.

About ten minutes after the generator quit Bob showed up. He said that he had a good paddle on the Albion river. I saw the pictures and it looked pretty nice.
You might want to check it out on his blog for this date.

His blog is called “Bobs Eyes”.  


Making firewood.

Around 11:00am, Bob and I decided that we had to get some thing done so we started the chore of cutting down trees for firewood. The groop I wanted to cut down were it the beginning of the short driveway to the cabin where it meets the Homestead road.

Here is bob standing in the middle of the group of Tan Oaks that are slated for cutting.


Checking the trees out to decide where to start.


Bob gets started.


One down.




Number three got stuck in a tree.


It took several cuts to get it to come down.


Eventually it was on the ground.


Once we had the trees on the ground we had to clean the debris off the homestead road.


Bob did a good job cutting down the trees.
Now I have a large project to work on; cutting, splitting, moving and stacking all this wood. It will probably take me all summer.

Here’s another fine mess you’ve gotten me into Bob.



Finishing the dead tree removal from the Bear Spring Road.

We spent bout 4 hours removing that big old chunk of wood at the crossing on Bear Springs Road. I forgot to take my camera with me until after lunch so I only got one picture after the log was removed.


Later in the day I got a picture of one of the bulbs Patti planted. I’m not sure what kind of flower it is.


Okay that’s it for Wednesday.


Puttered around in the morning.

Bob and I improved the path to the bench on the hill and I rolled a big old redwood round up the hill to use for a table by the bench..


Bob left around 2:00 and I went into Boonville to get gas for the generator.

Goofed off the rest of the day.


To day is the day the old narrow stair treads have to be replaced.


The first thing to do was to remove the old treads so I started the generator so I could use my Milwaukie to pull out the 12” long lag-bolts that were holding the tread to the rest of the structure.


Once the bolts were removed the old tread lifted out easily. I only removed one tread at a time so I could still climb the stairs if I needed to.


I picked out the blanks that it was going to use for the treads and laid them on a couple of old saw horses so I could work on them. I had to try and true them up a bit on the top and bottom. The blanks both had a pretty good twist in them. After some work with my old home made fro and a draw knife I got them cleaned up enough to use.


After a couple of hours of lifting, grunting, fitting and several breaks; I eventually got the stairs back together just about the time the rain started to sprinkle.


Right now, I’m sitting at the table in the cabin with a fire going in the stove listening to the rain on the tin roof and writing this blog.


A delightful end to a productive day.


Lounged around the cabin in the morning drinking instant coffee mixed with hot cocoa, staring into the fire and listening to the radio.

Eventually I got going.
I swapped the batteries and started the generator.
After that I swept out the cabin and refilled the wood box. That left the porch empty of wood.


The next thing was to split enough wood to put a sizable stack on the porch.
That meant about 3 wheel barrows full


It didn’t take too long to have a good pile of wood on the porch.


After messing with the fire wood I went in to have lunch. After lunch I fell asleep in my chair. The chair isn’t that comfortable so I must have been tired from the wood splitting.
I just kind of hung out enjoying the cabin for the rest of the day.


Another long slow morning. The stove is getting to full with ashes so I let the fire burn down with the plan to dig some of the ashes out later in the day and put them in a metal bucket to cool. I won’t remove all the ash; just enough to have a good lip at the door. The fire burns better on a bead of ash and cinders. The waste ash, I’ll let cool for a while and eventually spread it around; It’s good for the soil.

Started the generator around 1:00. This may be the last time that I will have to run it on this trip. I hope so.

After that I got in the jeep and went up to the trail head for the Cabin Loup Trail.
I did a little cutting on the tree that is across the trail there.


I got some of the tree bucked up and the logs out of the trail. There is still more work to do but that was all my back would take.

I took my rake and headed up the trail. I did some trail maintenance and some improvements.

At a brake I this scene caught my eye.


I puttered around out there for a while and then decided to head back to the jeep.

It is starting to get dark and cold so I have to stop here and get the fire going in the stove.


Dave showed up around 10:30. We sat around and chatted for a while then I wanted to go out the trail to pickup a couple tools that I left there the last time I was there. So we headed out the trail.


Along the trail we came across this beautiful alligator lizard.


From noes to tail it looked to be around eight inches long.

When we got back to camp Dave got to work putting up his camp. He will leave it up until late fall.


I puttered around getting things together to go home tomorrow.


Dave left around 11:00.  
I puttered around for a while longer. While I was picking up some stuff behind the cabin and saw these two Alligator Lizards fighting or perhaps mating.


They kept it up for quite a while. When I first noticed them I didn’t have the camera, it was packed. I had to go find it.
After a while the stronger of the two drug the other off.


The last I saw of them was their tails disappearing under a set of shelves behind the cabin.


I left the cabin around 3:00 and got home by 4:30.

Okay that was the last seven days at the cabin. I hope you enjoyed it.

Monday, April 20, 2015

Week two at the cabin. 04-20-15


On Tuesday I replaced the old squashed spring barrel with two new barrels.


First I had to remove the old one , then I had to do a little excavation to make a pad for both barrels.


I made sure there was enough room for both barrels on the pad and leveled the barrels.


Once the barrels were in place I plumbed them.


There is an overflow in the front and a vent in the back of each barrel. This should work out pretty well. Time will tell.

Battery issues:

I am finding out that I need a better way to charge up the batteries for the fridge. With the system that I am currently using (a generator and a battery charger) after about 11 hours of charging the battery is only getting to 85 percent.
While I was in town on Monday I left the generator and charger running on a dead battery for the whole time I was gone and until almost dark, probably nine hours or more. That battery only lasted for about 12 hours running the controls on the fridge.

Yesterday morning I started the generator around 9:00am and ran it until around 7:30pm. At 7:30 the charger indicated that the battery was at 75 percent so I disconnected the battery and hooked it to the fridge. It is still working this morning.

I connected the other battery to the charger at 7:30 this morning and will let it run for 12 hours. We will se later if it gets a full charge or not.
I don’t want to have to run the generator every day as it is noisy and uses about 2 Gallons of gas per day. That would mean that every other day I will have to go to Boonville for gas. Gas in Boonville is over $4.00 per gallon.

I’ll just have to see if I can find a more efficient charger for the Batteries.


In the morning I went to Boonville to get gas for the generator. When I got back I split some firewood for the cabin


and some for the porch.


The weather is getting a little warmer so maybe I won’t have to do to much wood splitting for a couple days

Worked on slabs from redwood tree.

I need to build two new steps for the cabin. The original ones had been split from an old  redwood log that had a lot of white wood on it. After a couple of years of weathering, the white wood has fallen off and what is left of the steps is getting too narrow so they will have to be replaced. The two middle steps have to be replaced.


I threw some tools in the jeep and headed for the trail and the log I would use for the new steps.


Last year while we were making the first trail to the broken handle  spring we crossed this very old redwood dead fall. This tree probably stood dead for 50 years before falling over and lying on the forest floor for many more years. In all this time all the white wood has fallen off and all that is left left is the core of hart redwood.


The log had a diameter of about thirteen inches where I cut the blanks out for the steps.


Hart redwood Is fairly easy to split.

First you check out the log to be split and look for cracks that can be opened like the one in the bottom of the log in the picture above. I didn’t use the crack that you see in the end of the log because of the large knot that can be seen opposite the crack. Try not to attempt to split across any large knots in the log.

What I do next is stand the log on end if possible and make a line across the end of the log going through the center. I do this with an axe or hatchet and a hammer of some king. In this case I used a large ax and the flat back of a splitting mall.


Work the axe across the end of the log eventually you will get the ax in so far that it is very hard to remove. Lay the log down, remove the ax and start pounding the splitting mall  into the crack moving the mall along the crack to split the log. On some logs you might have to use several wedges to get a good split. On a really long log you would have to work your way along the crack with wedges.


A few more whacks and voila! you have two nice redwood steps or bench seats.


If one wanted to you could split out as many as four or more boards from a billet like this one. This method works well for short pieces like the steps. Splitting longer thinner boards takes a little more patients, work and skill.

After splitting out four log halves I headed back to the cabin for lunch.

After lunch I split some more firewood. 


Mat an the gang showed up around 11:30.

Mat was the first to show.


While he was setting up his camp, I headed up the hill to work on the bench.

The spring barrel and the bench:

I stopped by the spring barrels to check them out and there was water coming out of every vent and overflow. Right now there is more water than the 1/2 inch overflow can handle. I am going to put a vent on the overflow pipe. Maybe that will help. 

After messing around with the spring tank for a bit I continued up to the trail where I had split the logs to build the steps and some benches.

I wanted to put a bench at the place where I had split the logs yesterday.

The first thing that needed to be done was to cut a couple of stumps off of the redwood log for the base for the bench.


Now I had to decide how I would attach the slab with its round bottom to these stumps with flat tops. I could flatten the bottom of the slab and set the slab on the to stumps. If I do that I will have to bolt or spike the slab to the stumps.

The other way, would be to notch the stumps and set the round underside of the slab in the notch. This way I won’t have to use any fasteners. I think I’ll try the notch.

It was a little tricky cutting across the end of the short stumps but I eventually got the notches cut.


After a little ground preparation. I set up the bench.


When I was done with that little chore I tied a rope onto one of the left over slabs and drug it out of the woods to the jeep.


I loaded the slab in the back of the jeep and headed down the hill to camp.
By the time I got back to camp the rest of Mat’s group had showed up.

There was: Mat, his brother-in-law Mike, Mikes son 8 year old  Cody, Mikes Dad Ray, Mikes friend Mat and his son, six year old Mike. This is a little like when we are jeeping with all the Dennis’s.

Once the group got set up they all went to grove to play in the creek; I took a nap.

The battery on the fridge lasted about 3 days but died this afternoon so I hooked up the freshly charged battery and connected the dead battery to charger. Then I started generator and let it run until around 8:00. It made it to 21 percent. I’ll let it run all day tomorrow.


A trail walk:

Filled up the generator and started it around 8:00 am.

Later I went up to the trail and drug the last two slabs out of the woods and brought them down to the cabin.

Later on I took the guys on a hike along the new trail.


Only about half the trail is complete as yet but there is enough of it to find your way through.

Shooting clays:

Around lunch time we went down to the shotgun range and shot some clays for a couple of hours. Always a fun thing to do.
Here is a nice action shot; you can see the orange bird in flight.


Here is another one.
You can just see the little orange bird near the top of the picture.


I let the generator run until it was out of gas around 7:30 in the evening. The battery only reached 62 percent.


Leaving time for some and an unexpected arrival.

Around 10:30 every one from Mat’s group had left for home, Mat was around for a while longer getting his camp dismantled and packed away. When he was done he stopped by the cabin to borrow the keys to the grove as he had to retrieve a forgotten item.
Shortly after he left to go down to the grove I heard a vehicle pulling in to my driveway I looked out and there was Bob’s van maneuvering into his preferred camp spot.

We sat around and BS’ed for a while before Mat came back to return the key. After mat left Bob and went up to the trailhead in the jeep so we could pick up the Polauski. We had decided to start picking away at the hump in the road at the Nutmeg creek crossing, near the barrels.

Working on the road gang:

It’s hard to see the hump in the picture but you may be able to see the large root coming out of the roadside. That root goes into the road about 6 feet and is causing a large hump that you have to drive over before going down into the crossing. It’s no problem for the jeep but larger vehicles have a trouble some times.


The root has to be removed. What you see uncovered is about 2/3 of the root.


We picked away at this for a while and decided that there was no way we were going to get this done in one afternoon so we headed back to the cabin for a rest.
Bob did most of the work.


Bob made another of his superb stir-fry dinners.


Monday morning:

Bob left to go to the Albion river to see if it is a good place to kayak. He is coming back here to night.

I am head into Ukiah to do laundry, shopping and post this blog.
Currently I am parked in front of the Bottle Shop. I just put my laundry in the machine at the Laundromat, bought a sandwich and a drink and am now going to bush the publish button…….