Thursday, July 7, 2016

12 Days at the Cabin.



I got to the cabin around 10:30.

Matt and Mike.

As I was driving up the dirt road to the cabin I noticed a silver pickup in front of me. After a bit I noticed that the fender flairs were painted camo. That’s when I realized that it was Matt’s truck. Mike showed up about an hour after we got here. Matt and Mike came up to set their camps up for the next weekend (July 4). They were also going to do some weed whacking at the shooting range and replace the toilet seat on the crapper at the Grove.

Strip the Jeep.

I am going to be here for 10 days after all, so I decided to take the door’s and stuff off the jeep to make it easier to work out of. After getting moved in I took all the storage stuff out of the jeep and removed the doors and the top.

“Now it looks like a Jeep”



Bob showed up in the afternoon. We just visited for the rest of the day.


Mouse in the trap.

When I got to the cabin yesterday I noticed that the mouse trap had a mouse in it. That means there is some way for the mice to get in to the cabin.
I brought up some caulking to take care of this problem..

Gaps in the boards.

Since I built the cabin the wood has shrunk a bit and left gaps in some places.
One place where the gaps were large enough to allow a mouse or bat to get in was the boards between the rafters.


I caulked all these boards along the top and sides.

The other place that I found large gaps was between the boards of the sub roof where they go over the end rafters.


Just after I built the cabin I went around and stuffed small pieces of wood between the boards to plug the holes where they looked large enough to admit a mouse. Since then the shrinkage of the wood has made some of the smaller gaps grow larger. I am squirting some caulk into the gaps to seal them up.

Cutting down trees.

Around 10:00 Bob and I decided that it was time to knock down a couple of trees for next seasons firewood. I always try to stay 2 winters ahead on the fire wood collecting.

There is a bunch of Tan Oak trees in the area. They grow in clumps of two to five trees in a bunch. A couple years ago we cut some trees out of a couple clumps but left the ones that were a little tricky to fall.

The first ones we dropped today were up the hill from the cabin. There are two that we left out of a group of five trees.

One is a small one leaning way over to the side. and the larger one that looks like it wants to fall up the hill.


Cutting the smaller tree.

The first thing to do was to get the smaller tree down and out of the way.
It went okay but Bob neglected to make an under cut.
Here is what happens when you don’t under cut a leaning tree.


If you are standing in the wrong place this could be very dangerous.

Fortunately it worked out ok. You can see the larger tree that we have to cut to the left of Bob. Notice how it looks like it wants to fall to the right.


Bob cuts out the wedge on the side that we think it will fall.


Next he makes the back cut.


As it turned out the tree fell about 120 degrees from where it was supposed to fall. I thought I was in a safe spot where I was taking pictures but I had to evacuate my spot as the tree came down only a few feet from where I was standing.

The tree hung up on the way down.


It had to be under cut in a bunch of places before it finally came down.


It all worked out fine and the tree eventually came down with no injuries.

The Next Trees.

There are three more trees that we want to bring down.

They are the two in front of Bob and one behind him in the picture below.


We decide to take the one behind Bob first. Bob fell it across the road so we had to clean it up before we dropped the other ones.


By the time we got the tree all cut up and cleaned off the road we were pretty pooped so we decided to do the other two tomorrow (Sunday).



After breakfast and some sitting around Bob and I started on the last two trees we were planning to cut down.

Here is Bob making the back cut on this tree.


It fell right across the road just where he aimed it.


Of course since it was across the road we had to clean it up.


While I was cutting the limbs off I noticed this abandoned (fortunately) bee hive. That could have been pretty exciting.


Joanne and Dave show up with friends.

While we were working on the trees, Joanne and Dave drove up. We took a break and visited with Joanne, Dave, Dana, and Jeff.


After a while we went back to work on cleaning up the tree.


By the time I had the limbs off and the tree cleaned off the lower road, Bob had already cut down the second tree.
We got the road clear and quit for the day and spent the rest of the day just hanging out, following the shade around and visiting.



Finish the Roof Caulking Job.

Bob was planning to leave today so after breakfast I decided that I should finish the work on the roof before he left. That way If I fall there will be someone around to pick up the pieces.

I used almost a full tube of caulking around the roof jack.


The Cap.

Once I got the the caulking done I replaced the stove pipe cap. It was a little small so I had to beat on it a little to stretch the metal out a bit.


Once I got the collar stretched out I climbed back on the roof and set the cap in place.


Bob Left.

Bob left around 1:30. By then it was getting to hot to do any more work so I just goofed off for the rest of the day.


Butchering Trees.

After breakfast I decided to tackle butchering one of the trees that Bob fell over the weekend.


It only took about an hour to reduce the tree to firewood logs.


After finishing the tree I took a long break.

Washing Cloths.

While I was cutting up the tree I got a lot of scratches and pokes from the brush and was bleeding from  several places. As a result I got a lot of blood on my jeans so after a break I took the jeans off and sprayed them with Hydrogen Peroxide then washed them by hand in a bucket with some dawn dish soap. While I was at it I decided to wash the T shirt I was wearing since I had a bucket of soapy water. Everything came out surprising clean.

Picking up Firewood and a Walk on the Trail.

After lunch I took the jeep up to the trail head where I had left some firewood last fall. It was nice and dry and will be a good addition to the wood pile.


After loading the jeep I decided to walk back to the cabin on the loop trail.
I’ll walk back up to get the jeep later today or tomorrow morning.
I didn’t see much wildlife on the walk along the trail.
After taking a break on a log, I noticed this yellow caterpillar crawling along.


By the time I got back to the cabin the day had warmed up considerably. After hosing myself down with some cold water, I took a long nap.


Stacking firewood.

I didn’t feel like butchering any trees today.
Instead I decided to collect some wood that had been stacked in different places around the property.

Throughout the year trees fall in the woods. It is worse during the winter but it happens all the time. Every once in a while a tree will fall across one of our roads. When that happens we generally cut the tree up into firewood length pieces and stack them alongside the road.
Today my project is to drive around with the jeep and pick up and transport these stacks to the cabin’s wood pile.

The first thing after breakfast, I walked up the road to where I left the jeep yesterday.


As I as walking along I noticed these neat looking plants covering the ground. I guess you would call them a ground cover. Winking smile


Eventually I got to the jeep and brought the first load of logs down.


There were three plies in all. The one that I loaded in the jeep yesterday, another one down by the creek crossing on the way to the shooting range and another not to far from the camp near where we stacked some of the wood we cut on Saturday.

I collected all the wood and stacked it by the cabin, it looks like we have a good start on this Fall and Winter’s firewood supply.


The Water Feature.

I have been noticing that there are still some leaks in the plastic pipe that goes to the water feature. I decided to replace a section of the pipe that leaks with a longer piece of the old copper pipe that I pulled out of the woods.


Now I think we are getting all the water from the overflow of the tank to the water feature. It still isn’t much but it is flowing.


By mid afternoon, it was too hot to do any more work so I spent the rest of the day taking it easy, reading and staying cool.


Charging a Battery.

The first thing I had to do this morning was to start the generator and charge one of the batteries that run the refrigerator.


Working Around the Cabin.

When I built the cabin I tucked it back into a corner under a couple of redwood trees so there would be enough room to drive past the cabin on the upper road.
As it turned out the rear corner of the cabin foundation gets covered with tree litter and some dirt as stuff slides down the hill.


I decided that I would have to dig the hill back some to give more room for the litter and dirt without covering the foundation.


It turned out to be a bigger job than I expected. There was even a large root that had to be removed.


I worked on this project until It got to hot to work but I didn’t finish it.
I spent the rest of the day trying to keep cool.

I’ll work on this project some more tomorrow morning.

Friday 7/1.

While I was writing in the blog the battery on the computer died.
I will have to complete the blog on Thursday 7/7.

Finished around back.

I finished up the project in the back of cabin.


Here is the up hill side of the cabin.


People show up.

About the time I finished this project people started to show up.
By the end of the day there were about 16 people camping around me.

Saturday. 7/2

We spent the early part of the day at the creek.

Unfortunately we didn’t take many pictures over the weekend.

There were so many people using water that by Saturday afternoon we had drained the 100 gallons of water storage. When the tanks went dry a large air bubble had formed in the pipes. We had to wait for the tanks to fill to clear it and it took us a while. I switched over to the cabin spring but that only has 50 gallons of storage and didn’t last long either. I guess we will just have to find some kind of larger water storage container.

Sunday. 7/3

We did some trap shooting Sunday morning.

Toilet Trouble.

The toilet has been flushing kind of slow lately. On Monday afternoon it decided to stop flushing all together.

We ended up digging up the septic system to find the problem.


We had to use an ax to cut into the bottom of the 55 gallon drum that is being used for the leach line. Once we got it open the problem was obvious. In the five years since the system was installed, the redwood roots have filled up the barrel and plugged up the whole system.


You can see the roots in this picture.


We managed to get enough of the roots out of the way to get the system working again. Nasty Job!!


I guess the next big infrastructure project will be to dig up the whole system and figure out a better way to do this.

Monday. 7/4

Our friends Doug and Paulette showed up.
Patti took Dina and Lorraine home and was back at the cabin by around 6:30.

Tuesday 7/5

The last of my company left for home around 5:00 in the evening.
I like the feeling when the last ones leave.
It’s kind of like standing on the edge of a lake and watching the float plane take off and disappear in the distance leaving silence and solitude in its wake.

Wednesday 7/6

I spent the morning packing up for the trip home and cleaning up the cabin. Left the cabin around 12:45 and got home around 2:25.

Just as I was getting stuff out of the jeep, Bob showed up.
He told me the story of how he was going home from the cabin last week and the engine in his van crapped out.
It turned out that a small screw from the new TBI system he had installed had come loose and fell into the intake manifold and worked its way into one of the cylinders. There, it punched a hole in the top of the piston.

He has decided to replace the old 250 6 cylinder engine with a new 350 V8. That will give him a lot more power.

It was another interesting trip to the cabin.
Now we will have to start planning our tip to the Sierras to do the Rubicon Trail in a couple weeks.

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