Thursday, February 24, 2011

The Progress Thus Far (Week 5)

A very good argument against trying
to build your own log cabin.

For the last week and a half, I've been doing only one thing: collecting the logs for my walls. This means finding a suitable tree (even surrounded by trees, this is surprisingly harder than one would imagine), felling said tree (given their size, this is both terrifying and exhilarating), cutting the tree into ~12 foot logs, trimming off any (hopefully, very few) branches, and then dragging the logs in to my clearing. The dragging is the fun part. Okay, it's not actually fun; it's hell. Even when cut to length, I feel like I'm trying to drag the entire tree. I use smaller logs underneath as rollers to assist my progress, but it's still slow going. My back is threatening a revolt, I have callouses and rope burns on my hands, and my knees are making noises they shouldn't be whenever I bend them. I can see why the old-timers used oxen or mules to do this task. (Despite all the planning I did in advance, making lists, double-checking everything I packed, I sadly managed to forget to pack an ox. It's an oversight I sorely regret.) 

Yet another argument against trying
to build your own log cabin.

Once the logs are in my clearing, I have to peel their bark away using a short shovel I've sharpened for the purpose. It works quite well, but it's time consuming and tedious. I've been averaging three logs per day. As of Thursday afternoon, I have 30 logs in my clearing, 27 of which are peeled. I'm guessing I'll need about ten more.

Also, on a happier note, I while driving back to camp from Sunday lunch in El Dorado, I decided (or rather, my truck decided for me) that it was time for a new radiator. That was fun.

Man, I really can't wait for this week to be over.

One half of my ever-expanding log collection.


  1. Your dad sent me the link, I have read the whole thing. I have contacted Heifer International, an ox is on the way if you can show how you will keep it fed. Keep up the good work. Maybe you will get super inspired and end up building a bed & breakfast.. Chris P. Lewis Pisgah Forest, NC