Parting shots…

And sweet sorrow.

The unhappy time of closing and prepping for translation south has come. It involves lots of work to get projects completed as well as the normal closing tasks amid the beauty of the north transitioning to late summer to fall/winter. So, as I run around trying to get these things done, I am constantly barraged by scenes of daily beauty.

First, I will outline some of the many projects I have completed. Whilst Paul and friends were up, we refounded the base of cabin #10 and I have adjusted the foundation to ensure that the problem doesn’t happen again. I identified the reason for the problem as the differential thawing of the perimeter foundations versus the central pillars. Every Spring the perimeter pillars/foundation lose contact with the cabin. This is caused by the approximate 4″ lift caused by the frost heaving. The perimeter thaws quickly and recedes downward to summer height and the central pillars are still holding the center of the cabin 4″ higher. Then the cabin tilts on its center of mass and exerts all the pressure on the East side of the perimeter. This caused undue pressure on those pillars and puts high end torque on those pillars and tilts them to the East. Then as the cabin settles to its summer height it tilts the western pillars too as the cabin has moved a fraction of an inch to the East. The cabin was in no real danger of toppling off the pillars, but the process looked worrying. So, we refounded all the pillars to plumb, and we made the central pillars removable for the winter. I have large wedges that I am able to pop out with a hammer from the central pillars to disengage them from the cabin. So, they will not be holding the cabin artificially high during the Spring thaw. Once the thaw is complete in the Spring, I will pound the wedges back in to fully support the center of the cabin. It’s a little more work in the Spring but it will stop the tilting. I usually have to crawl under the cabin anyway when I am getting the water system up. And besides it always fun to crawl around in the mud under a cabin.

I also had some standing dead trees to drop and cut up for Spring firewood and brake work to do on the Jeep. That was taken care of during some breaks in the fall monsoons. The monsoons were definitely needed to get the docks stored too. The entrance to the “lead” where I store the docks was perilously low – then the rains raised the lake level about 5″ in two days! Mike came over we dropped the docks and motored them over in an afternoon. The waves were pretty good from a stiff north wind, so it was pretty cool riding the docks over to their winter digs.

Over the summer I also noticed the beginnings of some roof seepage on the pump house, diesel house and diesel pump house. The south face of cabin #9’s roof was also showing some major deterioration – although no leaks were reported or observed yet. All those roofs needed attention. The small roofs were redone in a couple days, but it took me a string of three nice days to get #9’s roof done. It looks pretty good if I do say so myself and I didn’t fall off the roof during the work.

there it is with it’s jaunty cupulas with the Ark and abomination in the foreground.

The other roofs are not so nearly photogenic so no pics there.

I also did some refitting of the water system connections that were dripping over summer and other sundry water system upgrades.

As I was working on the roof and the sun was setting I noticed the bright vibrance of the yellow aspens highlighted against the dark blue sky. I needed to stretch my calves out with a short walk to get the camera for the shot anyway.

pretty cool eh?

As i have aged I find that getting off the roof when you start feeling fatigued is key to not descending the roof in an unplanned catastrophic fashion. LOL that’s most of the projects that i recall now.

The Japanese have a saying that no man can call himself complete unless he owns a forest. This has fostered a lot of forest bonsai plantings I am sure. I am presently working on two forest plantings, but the true nature of my forest can be easily seen when they are all being transported to their winter digs in the Ostridge fern copse.

The moveable forest

Another of the fall tasks is the annual running of the bulls… wait – er I mean the counting of the cans, beer bottles and liquor bottles for collecting the windfall deposit.

that’s a trailer load of cans!

Joan kindly helped out with this onerous task before she flew the coop.

Another of my fall task is clean up of my raised garden, collecting the hybridized daylily seeds and transplanting plants for next summer. I am trying something a little different this winter. I am covering the bed after working the cleared bed in hopes that the spring sun will heat the soil and prematurely geminate the weed seeds. Life is a giant experiment, and I am constantly conducting experiments to see how things work. I’ve also written more notes to myself about what I have done so that I remember! LOL Its surprising how much you forget over a ~7-month span when the memory is more than a 60 year span!

I painted the bed timbers flat black too – hopes of some additional early spring soil heating.

There has been a shit load of snowshoe hares in camp all summer. But with less traffic in camp we now have at least two Lynxes in residence. I saw a small female yesterday when I was coming back from shutting off the gravity water tank. Judging from tracks in camp there is also a large tom around too. Kevin does a lot of sniffing around when he is outside and I spend a good deal of time shadowing him whenever he goes out for restroom breaks. I also haven’t seen a single bunny in about two weeks. The lynxes are probably bulked up pretty good for winter. Mary Bullock also got some pictures of a coyote just east of Gowganda.

There is still a good deal of things for me to winterize and store that I was hoping to complete today – but today was pretty much a washout with cold rain transitioning to snow – brrrr. Tomorrow will seemingly be a better day and I’ll get those things done and then be able to devote most of my efforts to packing. I am anticipating a slippage of a couple days from our planned leaving date but hey it’s all good.

I leave you with a pleasant shot of what I saw the other day walking back from Cabin #9.


3 thoughts on “Parting shots…

  1. It was the night before closing and through out the camp… Not a creature was stirring not even Brian’s AMP……. From the roof of number 9 a creature appeared It was Jack Newton with an ICE cold beer. Jack turned and exclaimed as he guzzled the beer ” F … you all ” Ill see you next year!!

  2. Whether it’s blog posts about opening up camp, or posts like this about closing down camp, it’s such a treat to be walked into your world for those of us who only get a snapshot of Sportsmen’s Camp on our annual trips. And those yellow aspens, breathtaking. . .

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