Wow, I cannot
believe we are at the end of September already. I suppose with the
warmer than average temps we have been having it sort of makes it seem
like we could still be in August or early Sept. Temps have been cooling
some though. I even have worn some long pants and a sweatshirt from
time to time as well. No heat used yet, not even close really.
Friday morning we did drop to 34 degrees, but there still must be enough
residual heat left over in the house materials that it was not chilly in
the house at all. I suppose it won't be too long before we have to
fire up the furnace to take the chill out of the morning air. I have
smelled some wood burners going on some of the cooler mornings lately.
I just love that smell- the crispness of the autumn air combined with the
smoke from burning firewood, you just can't beat it!
I can say that the
last few days of astronomical summer were very summer like with temps in
the upper 70's to low 80's and then the first day of astronomical autumn
was very much like autumn, with a high in the low 60's. I wonder
how many times that has happened where the actual change of seasons on
the calendar matches up with the change in the weather.
We have been getting
some rain. In fact, Monday was the first all day rain event we have
had in months. We picked up around 1" and the grass is starting to
green a bit. In fact we may even have to cut it soon. I has
been over 12 weeks since we last cut it, I hope the lawnmower still works!
We had some rain late yesterday and overnight as well. More rain
has fallen in the past 2 weeks than fell for all of July, August and the
first week of Sept. Figures, two weeks ago was when we started the
Speaking of the workshop,
we have been busy up there too. Monday we did not get any work done
due to the rains all day. As I sat and watched the rains on the radar
all day Monday, I thought that if I were smart, I would have gone up and
done work at the property Sunday instead of writing a journal, then I could
have written a journal while being stuck in the house with all the rain
on Monday. Someday I will put my weather forecasting abilities to
good use! I did get up there on Tuesday and the first order of business
was to squeegee out some of the rain water. After that was done,
I was able to take care of some end bracing work and then Nora showed up
and we worked together to lift some of the end posts in place. The
side posts were 8 footers and not too hard to get in place and brace, but
some of the end posts were 14 footers and that was a whole other story
entirely. I could not believe how much more work it was to get the
14 footers up into the brackets and the brace them. We actually had
one 14 footer come down while we were trying to lift it into the bracket.
No one was hurt thankfully!
By the end of business
on Wednesday we had managed to get all the
end posts for the back up as well as braced and were basically set
for the trusses at that point. On Thursday we took care of a few
odds and ends, including laying down some boards so that the boom truck
that was going to help us set the trusses on Saturday could drive up close
enough to do that. With the boards down, I decided to try them out
and drove the blazer up into the shop. The boards worked fine and
we had the first
vehicle in the shop. That section of the shop will actually not
be used for vehicles. At least not after this winter. I think
we will store the boat and Al's boat as well as some other stuff we have
floating around here this winter, but then starting next spring it will
become my woodworking shop.
Yesterday was the big
day for setting the trusses. I was able to get Al to help (bartered
for storing his boat for the winter) and then had two contractors from
the neighborhood come to help out as well as the boom truck. With
all of those bodies and the fact that the top of the posts were only a
little over 8 feet high, we probably could have set the trusses ourselves
without the boom truck, but I only had to pay $75 an hour for the truck
and it was well worth the money to not have to wrestle those trusses in
place. It actually only took us an hour to set
all the trusses. That was Al on the ladder on the left, Terry
(one of the contractors) up in the truss and my neighbor Darcy running
the truck. He actually works for the company that owns the truck
and basically comes with it. Darcy really was able to swing the trusses
into place and even though it was my
job to man the guy line and help guide the truss into place, I probably
could have taken the morning off!
Once all of the trusses
were in place, I decided to take advantage of all the manpower there to
get the front posts set. Nora was happy to know that she did not
have to help me lift it up and in place and with the trusses in place we
had some ready made bracing for the posts as well. Terry,
Dan (the other contractor) and I were able to get the three front posts
in place in just a few minutes. So in the course of just over
an hour we went from a structure with just the posts up on three sides
to a structure with
posts on all four sides and the makings of a roof. I thought
it was kind of cool how the shop was centered in the sunlight and nothing
else in that last shot. Almost like Mother Nature wanted to do her
part to add to that last shot.
Nora, the hounds and I headed back up to the property to do the final bracing
on the shop. There were wind braces to set for the ends, knee braces
for the ends and side braces at all the corners. I decided to throw
some extra bracing in the sides just for good measure. Sounds like
a lot of work for one day, but we had some help. Baileys
did her part to make sure the bracing was done to speck and Burt
was by my side just about the whole time making sure I had an extra
paw when I needed it. Burt and Baileys are both union and up here
the local chapter has some pretty strict rules about taking naps every
2-3 hours in order to not overdo it. So both Baileys
and Burt did
their part to abide by the rules. I'm just a lowly independent and
was not able to take any naps, but here
I am securing the last brace in the shop. So here is a shot of
and Baileys relaxing at the end of the work day yesterday. The
shop fully braced and starting to look like a building.
Today the plan was
to put all the roof purlins on. I figured a couple of hours and we
would have them all in and boy was I wrong! This was the first time
that my time estimation for a task was dramatically off. Nora and
I headed up at about 9 am this morning and I thought we would be done in
time for lunch. Things did not start too smoothly and by lunch time
we had only managed to get one run of purlins done along the edge of the
trusses! Here I thought we would be done and we had only put one
of the 20 runs of purlins in! Now, I knew that the edge and ridge
purlins would take more time as they needed to be butted up to each other,
while all the other purlins can just be overlapped, but wha! We came
home and had lunch and then Nora had plans for the afternoon, so I called
Al to see what he was doing and if he wanted to help. He obliged and during
the lunch break I had thought up some tricks to make the laying of the
other edge purlins go quicker. My ideas worked and in about 20 minutes
Al and I had the other end purlins in place. I thought "great, we
should be able to zip through the other purlins and finish them this afternoon".
Well, the going is slow when you are trying to keep from falling 8 feet
to a concrete slab below and Al and I were able to almost finish one side,
but still have about 20% of the one side and all but the edge course of
purlins to do. I was hoping to be able to put the roof on tomorrow
because the winds will be light, but it looks like we have at least 2 more
work sessions left before the purlins are done. Then we can lay the
roof- weather permitting. I did take a shot of things
at the end of business today, unfortunately you cannot even see all
of the hard work done today, as most of the purlins are not even in view!
Oh well, I did take down the temporary bracing, so at least the structure
is standing on it's own integrity!
So as I sit here and
type, just about every muscle in by body aches- some that I did not even
know I had, but we are making progress. Hopefully the roof will be
on in a week or so and then I will be able to breathe a whole lot easier.
Not much else going
on in my life at the moment. The color show is starting to ramp up.
Just about every day more and more colors are showing up in the woods.
At first I thought that this was going to be a really poor color season
because the early turners were turning as much brown as they were reds,
yellows or oranges. I also thought that the main event might be a
little early this year, but it looks like I will be wrong on both counts.
It looks like the main color show will be pretty close to the normal time,
October 6th to 15th, and I think that the trees in the main event are much
healthier and their colors should be pretty good. Maybe not as good
as can be, but spectacular none the less. If you have never seen
the Keweenaw in autumn, you have never really seen autumn colors.
Even folks who made regular trips to New England say that we have a better
color show then them. So it looks like two weekends from now and
we will be at our peak. Here is a shot of the
hounds walking through the School Forest this past Thursday.
Still lots of green, but the change is ramping up.
About the only other
excitement was the arrival of Born to Ride 4. That is the DVD that
was shot up here with KSE last February. I have to admit that with
all the attention going to my regular work and the workshop building, I
was not even thinking much about the DVD, so when it came and I sat down
to watch it, it really got my blood pumping to ride! Personally I
liked BTR 4 better than BTR 3 (last years DVD we were in). Rick
Dobson really has some cleaver ideas and put them to use in BTR 4.
I was told that he will also be doing a Raw and Uncut version this season
too. Looking forward to that one as well! Nora said something
to me today and I think she is dead right. She said that with building
the workshop this autumn, I am not all hyped for winter to come.
She also said that just about the time we are done building this season,
winter will be here. Pretty cool how that will work out!
Well, I guess that
about covers it for now. My only other order of business before I
sign off is to remind you all of the ride in this February. There
are still spots left. I do not know exactly how many, but I would
venture to guess around 50 or so. So don't delay too long, or you
will miss out! Actually, the registration is for the banquet and
you are welcome to just show up in the Keweenaw that weekend and partake
in some of the other activities. However, we will be having some
informal tours into the woods up here and the registered persons will get
first dibs in going on those rides. You can learn more about the
ride in here.
Good night from the Keweenaw..
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Well, I started
out the last journal talking about the heat and while we have not had any
since last Sunday, there is a bit more I can say about it, so I figured
I would get it out of the way. I did a little homework last week
and discovered that we have either tied or set a new record high temperature
record 9 times this summer (since June 1). That is the most of any
season ever. There were several years where we set or tied a new
record high 6 times: 1988, 1983 and 1975. In 1995 we had 5 days that
tied/set new record highs. So from a standpoint of number of days
that set or tied a new record high temperature, this summer was the hottest.
As far as actual mean temperature, I do not know, but I seriously doubt
that it has been the hottest summer on record for this area. We did
have some cool days in August.
I'm not one to say
that there is a strong connection between hot/dry summers and cold/snowy
winters, but I do believe there is at least a weak connection. If
you look back in the previous summers where lots of new record high temps
were made, they were followed by winters with some pretty big snowfall
totals. 1995/96 was the last really big winter they had up here,
with 329" at the airport and 367 at Delaware. 1988 saw 325" at the
airport, while 1983 and 1975 were more towards average with 226 and 261
respectively. So I am thinking that we could be heading towards an
above average snowfall winter here in the Keweenaw. In fact it is
also my belief that the longer we stay in above average temps this autumn,
the greater our chances for a big winter will be. The next week to
ten days look to be spent in above average temps, so that's somewhat promising!
The neat thing about
above average temps up here at this time of the year is that they are seldom
uncomfortable. The type of pattern that would bring mid to upper
90's in June, July and August now brings upper 70's to mid 80's and the
humidity is usually a lot more timid as well. So above average temps
this time of the year can actually be a bonus. I love those crisp
autumn days when you have to wear long pants and a jacket to stay warm
and we have yet to have a day like that so far this September, but I also
do not mind walking the woods in shorts and a t-shirt like I did today
and have been doing all of this month so far.
With above average
temps seen for the next week to ten days, there is certainly no snow in
the forecast, which believe it or not is just fine with me! I really
want to get the roof on the shop and then it can do what ever it wants.
Laying trusses and wrestling with 18 foot long sections of steel roofing
are not things I want to do when it is windy and snowing out!
Speaking of the barn,
we have been busy this week working on it. I say we because Nora
has been a huge help to me. On Monday I was hoping to get up there
to do some work but it looked like it was going to rain all day and never
did, so that day was pretty much a lost day. The concrete guys did
head up on Monday and finished their work by laying down a course of block
that we will be erecting the rest of the shop on. Tuesday was the
last day for golf, at least for me. In fact the season ended the
previous week, but last Tuesday was the "Greens Keepers Revenge" where
they put the pin placements in very difficult locations and even put things
in the holes to make it next to impossible to sink your put. They
also put the tee boxes in very difficult locations to mess with your game.
There is a 10 stroke maximum on all holes and many times that mercy rule
is used. Al and I actually did pretty good, carding a 46. We
actually played with two other 2 man teams and their scores were in the
50's and low 60's. So perhaps Al and I won some money. Funny
how we don't score so well in the regular rounds, but then do so well in
the Greens Keepers.
So the point to all
of that rambling was that I was not able to start working with the wood
for the shop until Wednesday and by then I was really chomping at the bit.
Each night as my head hit the pillow, I would rehearse in my mind how I
was going to do everything and by Wednesday I was sick of the rehearsals
and ready for the real thing. Here is a shot of the
state of things upon my arrival Wednesday. You can see the block
was down and all the wood Nora and I hauled over last Sunday is sitting
ready to be worked. One of the first things I did was to place the
brackets that are used to secure the bottom of the posts to the brick and
slab. Unfortunately in all the pictures I have taken of the work
up there, I have failed to take a picture of that device. I will
do my best to take a shot for the next journal entry. In addition
to the placement of the brackets onto the anchor bolts, the other task
I wanted to get completed on Wednesday was to cut the side posts to length
and notch the tops of them to receive the trusses. I was able to
get all of the sizing work done and as the sun was slowly sinking below
the tree tops on the horizon, I finished cleaning up the final notch on
the posts. So at days end on Wednesday I was right where I wanted
to be, I had the brackets mounted and all
18 of the side posts sized and notched. Actually in that last
picture you can see a few of the brackets, but I will try and remember
to take a close up of them. Also on Wednesday, the
trusses showed up. I ordered them the previous Friday, so it
only took them 5 days to be manufactured somewhere in WI and then shipped
to Moyle Building Supply up here and then Moyle delivered them to the property.
Pretty good I think!
Thursday the goal was
to get as many posts placed, leveled and braced. Nora joined me on
Thursday for that work as I figured an extra set of hand would come in
very handy while trying to level and brace things. She really is
great how she does not mind jumping right in and doing anything that I
ask of her. She says that as long as I do not yell at her, she is
happy to help me with anything, although I don't think I test that by having
her work in the trusses when we are setting them next weekend! She
is not a big fan of roofs and won't even go up on ours in the winter when
there is a 4-5 foot deep snow cushion to fall on if you were to fall off
the roof. Anyway, after a sluggish start with the post leveling and
bracing work, we got into a rhythm and had one wall just about completed
by quitting time on Thursday. Feeling confident in our gained knowledge
from Thursday, we headed up Friday afternoon to try and finish out the
remaining first wall and complete the second wall on Friday. We were
able to accomplish that mark on Friday and here is a
shot of the second wall up with the bracing, at least one half of the
bracing. Here is a
shot of the first wall as we were working on the girts that will help
brace the posts from movement towards/away from each other. Nora
actually grabbed the camera and took an action shot as I
was working on the girts for the second wall yesterday.
On Saturday we
finished up most of the bracing for the two side walls. We still
have some 45 degree braces to put in and then once the trusses are in we
need to put in some knee braces from the wall to the trusses, but if we
wanted to, we could have placed the trusses on at the end of the work day
on Saturday. I was not sure if it was better to leave the end posts
out until the trusses were in and then secure the end posts and trusses
at that point, or to put the posts up and then secure the trusses to them.
The end posts are not needed to support the end trusses, but I asked some
folks in the know and was told to go ahead and put the end posts in and
brace them. Then the end trusses can be secured to the end posts and that
will help with stabilizing the roof truss network right from the start.
Today I went up and squared up the ends of all the end wall posts as well
as cleaned up all the cutoffs and swept the slab clean too. Nora
and I will be heading up in the afternoons this week to get the end posts
up and braced in anticipation of the truss setting to take place Saturday
Ol' Blue has once again
proven to be a valuable workhorse. I think it is happier in it's
duties now compared to what we have asked it to do. It's duties now
are to be the portable
workshop for me, hauling things like a generator, air compressor, saws,
saw horses and anything else we might need.
I believe Nora is having
fun and I know I am. We are still talking to each other and I do
enjoy it better when she it out there with me than when I am alone.
I am not sure which I like better though- building furniture or building
buildings. The both have their pluses and minuses. Building
at this level I can certainly say that it is nice to not have to be within
1/32th to 1/64th of an inch in all my measurements and cuts. Build
furniture with less stringent tolerances than that and it's junk.
However, I must say that building at this level is much more physically
demanding. I can spend 8 hours in the shop working on a piece of
furniture and not feel physically spent at all. After about 4 hours
of this type of building and I am ready for a gurney! I suppose that
having a desk job really does not do me much good to prepare for such physical
work and maybe I will get myself in better shape and be more conditioned
for that kind of work. Only time will tell, but I can tell you that
I am one tired pup at the end of one of our work sessions! But it's
a good tired and every once in a while I will stop and just sit there quietly
and take in the beauty of where I am working. It's at those moments
that I feel like I am in a dream. Then I get back to work, nail my
thumb with the hammer and know I'm not dreaming, but rather living out
The hounds went up
with us on Saturday while Nora and I did some work. They were very
good. Usually they like to roam all over the place and I was worried
we might spend more time keeping track of them than working on building
the shop, but they settled in and just watched the two of us work.
Burt seemed to follow Nora or I around a lot, probably wanting to help
in some way. Baileys just sat comfortably on the blanket we put down
for them to lay on. Today not much work was done and so we took to
the woods for a little afternoon adventure. The temps were in the
low 70's, there was a good breeze and some puffy fair weather cumulus clouds-
basically a good day for a walk in the woods, so we headed out to the School
Forest. Pretty quiet out there except for a few white tail we saw
and a friend of ours who also helps manage the area. He was out cutting
the grass on some of the trails to make it more enjoyable for folks like
us who head out there to walk. After chatting with him for a while,
we continued on and I snapped a shot of the
woods so that you could see how the color show is progressing.
As you can see, the woods are still mainly green and I suppose that our
peak will not be too far from the traditional time which is around the
6th to 12th of October. We have been getting some rain and maybe
that is helping to slow the early change a bit. Of course they should
be starting to change a bit more now as we are just a little over 2 weeks
from what should be the peak. It just does not seem like it since
the weather has been so warm.
I guess that about
covers it for this one. I hope you all enjoy the pictures of all
of our construction as that will probably be the main topic for another
week or two. Once the roof is on, I will breathe a whole lot easier
as I know I could put the siding up in a blizzard if I had to! Power
will be going in before the snow flies and I hope to actually have a live
web cam out there to capture the building of the cabin next spring/summer
and probably fall! Until next time...
Good night from the Keweenaw..
For those of
you sweating it out like me, I have a few shots that might help to cool
you off and maybe get your blood pumping. The first photo I have
to share with you is from the top
of a ski resort in Montana. I believe it was the Big Mountain.
As you can see it was taken Saturday evening and they had a pretty decent
amount of snow that fell, over a foot it looked to me. This next
shot was taken this morning as
the sun was rising at Togwotee. They got a dusting of snow too.
I have looked at those two shots a few times today and I think it has helped
to keep me cool. That and sitting directly in front of the air conditioner!
Like most of the Midwest, it's been hot up here. 87 tied the record
for yesterday and the 90 today broke the record by 6 degrees. The
90 today was also the latest that a 90 degree day has occurred up here.
Heat this time of the
year is just so much more tolerable for me, for several reasons I guess.
First, it usually does not lock in for days on end. We can have 2,
maybe 3 days and that is it. Secondly, it usually is not accompanied
by humidity, although we have been humid yesterday and today. Third,
because the sun is not rising until about 8 am now, it stays cool until
about 10-10:30 in the morning and is not scorching at that mid morning
hour like it is in July and August. Also because the sun sets at
about 7:50, it cools off quicker. There are times in the summer that
it will be 90 degrees at 8 pm because the sun is still so strong.
Now don't get me wrong, I am not enjoying this heat at all, especially
since we have been doing a lot of work outside. However, it is somewhat
less bitter to swallow now than it is in July and August.
It has been a busy
last couple of days. Late last week I went and ordered the trusses
for the shop. I had already gotten several bids and so I knew where
I needed to go. I also picked up the anchoring plates I am going
to use to attach the posts to the slab/brick. Saturday was the big
day for the pour. I actually did not get a call from the guy that
is helping me with the cement work, but I headed up to be there at about
8 am, thinking that I would have a few minutes to write down which PEX
tube was with which loop. I was surprised when driving up the road
the property is on to see one of the guy's pickup trucks sitting at the
entrance to our driveway. As I drove in to the driveway, I saw two
concrete trucks, one dumping and the other in wait. I guess they
got an earlier start that I thought they would! They actually had
intended on starting the pour at 7 or 7:15 am, but the trucks did not show
until around 7:30, but by the time I arrived at 8, they were already done
with the part I was going to help with- running
the concrete to the back edge of the slab where the boom could not reach.
Shucks! I was able to help out a little though. They were not
able to rent a vibra-screed that early, so
they had to screed (do the rough leveling) with a 2 x 4. I helped
out with that. However, I did not even have to change out of my sneakers
and into the knee high rubber boots I picked up the evening before at Walmart.
By about 8:30 the concrete was
poured and floated and then the waiting began.
It was neat to be part
of the pour, even though I missed the first part. I know it is not
something I want to take on myself, although I may attempt to set the forms
and do some of the other prep work for the cabin's slab next spring, we'll
see. The one thing I was amazed at was how fast the concrete set up.
I know you want it to cure as slowly as possible as it will be stronger
if it cures more slowly, but we did not have access to water and it was
a pretty warm day, so it setup fairly quickly. I don't know how long
it was from when they poured it to when we were able to walk on it, but
it was a lot quicker than I would have imagined! The concrete guys
did have a power
trowel and used that to trowel out the slab. By mid afternoon
all that could be done was done and before heading home, I took one last
shot of the new slab.
With the slab done,
it was time to get going on the next stage. The concrete guys still
need to lay one course of block for me and they plan to do that early this
week. In the mean time, Nora and I went to pick up the lumber for
the workshop. We went out yesterday afternoon, but I think it was
a blessing in disguise that the sawmill was closed. It was hot and
humid and I think we both would have passed out moving all the wood.
I did talk to the owner of the sawmill and arranged to pick up the wood
this morning at around 10, so Nora and I headed out there. My first
time out there, I was really amazed at how much wood he has. There
are piles and piles of logs
awaiting to be sawed into boards and probably just as many piles and
piles of boards awaiting
to be used. It took us 3 trips and 4 hours to get all the wood
from the sawmill to the property and the two are only about 2 miles from
each other! Ol' Blue and the snowmobile trailer were put to good
use today. Here is a shot of the
first load after we had already taken a post or two off. I did
not take a picture of the second load, but here is a picture of the
3rd and last load we brought over. As mentioned, we only had
to go 2 miles to get from the sawmill to the property and they were on
back country roads. That is why we hauled such an unstable looking
load! I don't think we went any faster than about 30 mph hauling
the loads over.
the wood for the posts, purlins, girts and siding is sitting up at the
site. The trusses are coming in a week to ten days and the doors,
windows and roofing is coming next Saturday. Weather permitting,
I hope to get the posts cut to length and notched to receive the trusses
early this week, then get the posts up and braced by the end of the week
and be ready for the trusses when they arrive. Then the roofing will
go on once the trusses are done and after that the doors, windows and siding.
As soon as my first two posts are up and braced, I will call the electrician
to come out and prepare a box for the workshop and then I can send in the
work order for the power company to come out and run power into the property.
I have a portable generator that I actually bought from a visitor to the
site several years ago. I bought it to give me backup power for my
office when the power goes out. I think I have used it twice in that
time and it has been a life saver for my work on those two occasions.
Now it will be a life saver out at the property to power all my power tools.
I just plan to keep everything in the back of Ol' Blue and not leave anything
at the property. No need to tempt someone and create the worry for
We have not been all
work and no play (probably never will be either!) this past week.
Temps were comfortable enough for walks in the woods all last week, but
it was too hot for that playground yesterday and today, so we took to the
water. Yesterday we just shot down to the Bootjack boat launch and
today with westerly winds we went to the northshore. There are more
and more homes going in along that stretch of lake shore and soon that
quiet road and stretch of beach will not be so quiet anymore. I am
not really complaining. As much as I would selfishly like to have
all these neat areas to ourselves, I know that just cannot be and should
not be. However, we are going to have to get a little more creative
in the coming years to find the quiet, off the beaten path places up here-
especially when it comes to the lake shoreline.
In any case, I did
manage to take a shot out at the beach. Looking at the forecast,
this may very well be the last
picture taken at the beach with hot temps in place for this season.
We may still have some days in the upper 70's or even low 80's, but I think
the upper 80's are done with for another 9 months. I have been mentioning
how the trees seem to be turning color quicker this year. Most likely
brought on by the drought we are currently in. Today I have a picture
for you. This
was taken up near M 203 just to the west of Calumet. There is
a little more color in the trees in that shot than there is on average
up here, but it really looks like the colors may be an early October or
even late September peak this autumn, rather than a second week in October
event. So you color hounds may want to think about bumping up your
trip to the Keweenaw to catch the colors a week sooner than you might normally.
Well, I guess that
about covers it for this one. I suppose the next entry will include
some shots of posts standing upright or something. Kind of exciting!
Good night from the Keweenaw..
Before I get into the
typical rantings of the journal, I would like to let everyone know that
you can now register for the JohnDee.com Snowfest Ride In this February.
For those of you that may not know what this is, I was contacted by a visitor
to the site asking me if I had any interest in setting up a ride in up
here. I have wanted to do one for several years, but because of the
overwhelming amount of work the site creates I just did not want to partake
in another endeavor. This person decided to take it upon himself
to handle things and I agreed to become a part of it. The first things
we needed to figure out was what exactly it would be. It was decided
to keep things simple this year and not try and do too much. We wanted
to have some form of a formal get together where folks could meet me and
other visitors to the site. Plus we wanted to have different groups
going out for snowmobile rides on the days of the event. One thought
was to have structured tours going out each day for all the folks, but
knowing how hard it can be to organize just 2 or 3 groups of folks with
their guides plus the issue of liability caused us to set things up in
a way that informal tours will be going out. Some of the tours may
be "guided", but the guides will bear no responsibility for the group.
Meaning you may follow this person for much of the day, but they are strictly
doing this on a volunteer basis and are not an official guide in any capacity.
Some of the tours will be out on the trails, while others will be out in
the back country and off trail. I have no idea who might be able
to do any of the guiding or where they would be going, but think most folks
would have a good time regardless.
So the ride in starts
on February 16th and ends on the 18th. There will be a banquet at
the Ramada Inn on the 18th and all the folks wanting to go out on a ride
will meet up in the mornings at the Ramada as well. I chose the Make
A Wish Foundation because it is an organization that is close to my heart
and also fits with the theme of the site a little. They provide the
means for wishes to come true to persons who are ill and might not otherwise
be able to see this wish granted on their own. The wishes are usually
some form of entertainment/enjoyment in an activity and that is what this
site is mainly about- enjoyment in an activity.
There is a page setup
on the site for the info and registering and it
is here. Please note that due to restraints on the banquet facilities,
only the first 100 persons registered will be able to attend the banquet,
but folks can still register and receive a T-shirt, qualify for any giveaways
going on as well as have a portion of their registration go to the Make
A Wish Foundation.
Now onto the goings
on up here. As mentioned in the last journal, we got started on the
slab foundation for the workshop. By Wednesday evening, we had things
pretty far along, with the insulation
down in most areas as well as the rebar and reinforcing mesh.
Then on Thursday my friend Dan from the Torch Lake Cabins in Lake Linden
went up with me to show
me how to lay in the PEX tubing for the infloor heat. He put
infloor heat in his home and the rental units, so I wanted to tap into
his expertise. We were able to get 2
loops done that evening. Then Nora and I went up on Friday and
put in 2 more loops. We would have been able to finish all of the
loops (6 in all), but we ran out of ties to attach them to the mesh.
So Friday night we picked up some more ties and Saturday morning headed
up and finished up the remaining 2 loops. It took about 25 minutes
per loop, so all told it took a little over 8 hours to put in all
the tubing. Then on Saturday afternoon Dan headed back up with
me to set up the manifolds. All of that tubing needs to come together
at a common point so that the heated water can come into the system at
one point and then exit at one point- thus the manifolds. The system
is not going to be used for heating for at least a year, so we did not
have to worry about actually hooking the manifolds up to a heat source,
but things still needed to be hooked up and organized and thanks to his
expertise and help we were able to get the
manifold hookup done in a few hours.
The one problem in
this whole story is the fact that while at the Menards in Marquette last
week, I only picked up one manifold! So I picked up another manifold
locally on Friday, but it turned out to be the wrong type. The PEX
and crimps would not fit over the nipples on the manifold. We could
get the tubing over, but then the crimps or little brass rings that get
crimped and hold the tubing secure to the manifold could not slip over
the tube. So I decided to bite the bullet and Nora and I headed to
Menards on Saturday to get the correct manifold. Sunday I made some
modifications. I turned 2, 4 loop manifolds into 1, 6 loop manifold
and capped off the ends. I have very limited experience in soldering
brass pluming- truth be told I only experimented with two other joints
prior to my work on the manifold, but was successful. Because on
Sunday after my little bit of soldering work was done, we headed up to
attach the return manifold that I made and then pressurized the system
with 50 psi of air. It has been over 24 hours and there is still
50 psi in the system, so I think my soldering job was a success!
The inspector comes to check the tubing and pressure on Wednesday and then
we will pour the concrete Saturday. That means by next week at this
time I can start to build the structure! That also means I am done
working on this until Saturday.
Now it has not been
all work and no play since I last wrote. We have still been taking
our afternoon walks. Nora had to go it alone with the hounds on Saturday
while Dan and I worked on the manifolds, but for the most part we have
been able to take to the woods and beaches as a family. It had been
cool enough up until today that we could stick to the woods. We have
been taking to the school forest a lot as well as taking some walks in
the woods up behind the house. Although today was too warm for the
woods, in fact we hit 90 degrees late this afternoon, so we took to the
beach. Of course Burt was all fired up, in fact he could hardly
wait for the truck to stop before he wanted out and to head off to play
in the surf. Baileys did a bit of swimming and then spend the
rest of the afternoon lying in the shade and watching Burt swim.
Burt will actually
swim as long as you keep throwing the stick out. He just becomes
possessed and will not stop. However, both Nora and I could sense
him getting a little tired and so I stopped for a minute to discuss
with Burt how much longer he should swim. It was decided a few
more tosses of the stick and then we would head 'er home. Baileys
must have felt like she was being left out of the decision making process
because she came running over too. Of course maybe she just wanted
to give her daddy
a kiss. That's what I call a great day at the beach!
As mentioned today
is warm, but the other days have been mild. I don't mind the warmth
this time of the year as it's days are limited and there is usually not
much humidity associated with it, although we can have humidity this time
of the year too. Plus it cools off at night. This morning we
were in the low 50's with 40's occurring most other mornings and even a
39 yesterday morning. So autumn is knocking at the door. Things have
still been dry and that is causing the splashes of color to be even more
numerous. We are still far from any kind of real color show up here,
but there is about 5-10% of the trees up here that have some form of color.
Well, I guess that
about covers it for another one. Happy September everyone!
Good night from the Keweenaw..