Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Week 2

After the fun of the weekend, last week was spent working towards beginning my cabin.

On Monday, I spent that day working on my makeshift driveway. I added a ton of new dirt (four straight hours of shoveling worth of dirt), new branches, and some additional stakes to help hold an edge. It looks a lot better and will hopefully dramatically reduce my risk of getting stuck.

Tuesday, I cleared a new trail, this one leading directly from my truck to my campsite and the adjacent clearing where I will be building my cabin. I also opened up the clearing, cutting out the countless sour gum and saplings and small pine trees growing there.

After all my work on Wednesday,
the view of my campsite, across the
clearing where I will put my cabin.

Wednesday, I continued work on opening up the clearing for my cabin. After cutting everything I needed to, I cleaned up the mess. This left two large piles: one of branches and leafy debris, and one of larger logs to be split for firewood.

I spent all of Thursday splitting wood. I took the larger logs I had piled the day before, cut them to length, and then split them with an axe. After six straight hours of work, I had a large pile of split logs and back muscles that were about to give out. Having split a lot of wood during my time at camp, I can now appreciate why we use a hydraulic splitter and not axes.

Friday, I moved and stacked my pile of split wood between two trees on the edge of my campsite. I strung a tarp over them and moved the majority of my tools underneath this tarp. Then I went to town and bought the various building supplies I would need to install my footers. 

Saturday, I dug and installed the treated 4x4s that are my footers. Each sits three feet in the ground with around 18 inches above ground. Instead of using concrete, I tamped soil in around them. Tamping takes considerably more works, but it's cheaper, and because the soil is almost exclusively gray clay (which tamps well), it was relatively easy.

On Sunday, I once again went to El Dorado for lunch. I had to keep reminding myself not to eat with my hands and to use a napkin, not my pants. It was great to see my relatives (who very well could be in contention for the title of 'Nicest People Alive') and to wash myself free of the grime.

Bad weather is coming this in the early part of this next week, but whenever it clears, I plan to fell my first big tree for the cabin. I keep asking myself "What could go wrong?", but then I begin to answer that question and immediately try to change my train of thought.

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