As many of you may have known Tori and I had planned a trip to the cabin for Thanksgiving. Our original plan was to head out Wednesday after Tori got off work (with me running errands and packing on Wednesday afternoon). Tori was not so keen on the 6 extra hours added on to a long day, and the fact that all of that drive would have been in the dark…as the driver I could have gone either way. Considering the fact that the views on the way there are pretty darn nice and a good chunk of the country (most actually) would probably sell their grannies to the devil for the views we experience on a typical drive there. We otp’d for leaving Thursday, on Thanksgiving itself. Its been a few years since I have traveled ON Turkey day and was very pleased to see not much traffic at all. We had our our “family” Thanksgiving on Sat. ( brothers, kids, cousins etc) and a “Mini”version with just Tori and my girls on Sunday of last. With those obligations out of the way we were refugees to the open road…and open it was.
We hoped to grab a bite to eat at the Subway in Leadville but they were closed as were a lot of places…we hit another one further down the road in Buena Vista ( they were open until 4). The weather was dry and clear and we made some good time.
When we got to the cabin it was a just a bit past sunset, temps were chilly and dropping. My digital temp gun was reading 26 on the surface of the deck, but INSIDE the cabin, the tile floor and granite wall behind the wood stove was reading 65. The completely passive Solar Design of the cabin was functioning perfectly. Last year we brought a “fire bag” (Newspaper and kindling in brown paper bag) for a quick start to the wood stove. This year we did not bring one or need one. I had brought the temp gun along just to do some evaluations on how the cabin was performing now that we have some siding on two walls and have “tightened” up the thermal envelope a bit.
In the past we have tended to fire up the wood stove prematurely and create a bit of a sauna in there. Temp control was obtained by opening a few windows. This time we used restraint and only had to do that a couple of times. A couple of sticks burned around 9 and then again at 4 or 5 am was ideal. In one of the early morning burns I used a lot a kindling and it got pretty hot…in the near complete darkness of a moonless weekend the exit elbow of the wood stove was glowing red. When I saw that I cut back the inlet and fully damped the flue. It’s nice to know that IF we did need the extra BTU’s the little Scandia 150 can go the distance with plenty of power to spare.
By the time Sunday rolled by we had our routine down pretty good ( Saturday Night we had -5) and our complete fire wood use for the weekend was about one” mail tub” worth. We can go through that amount in 3 or 4 hours with the big wood stove back home.
My goals for the weekend were to install the Blue Stain T&G I brought down, install some of the tile trim, install Tyvek on the east and North sides of the cabin, some hardi trim and maybe a window or two…but in practice the weather was not 100% cooperative. Friday we woke to fresh snow and a light breeze. The weather did come around a little later so I did get the T&G up. Keep in mind I’m cutting these 12′ lengths outside using the chop saw…which is run off the solar system. When installing over dining area I had to tweak one of the wiring runs for the LED’s to get things lined up. Tori and I were very pleased with this recent lot of wood. This batch was from a different supplier and I think it is a bit better…Not quite as “green” as the other stuff since it is kiln dried and coming from Montana ( the other wood was Colorado local and air dried) I even had a few boards left to add some more to the upper parts of the South wall. What remains is 2/3 to 3/4 of the main ceiling…the wood part of the north wall and some minor bits in the loft and above the kitchen. I just keep plugging away as money and time allow. All of the corners will get some cove molding and the windows will continue to be trimmed in cedar.
The weather was even chillier and windy on Saturday so I I ended up just getting the tile boarder up around the black granite, the free border tiles were not suffcient to complete the “column” that would have mimicked the black stove pipe along the back wall. So plan “b” took over and I just outlined the main field. I’ll have to cut away the excess backer board before the wood gets installed between the two un-installed window locations.
On Sunday the weather was calm and clear and I got in some shooting too, I ran some rounds through the new Springfield Champion .45 Semi auto and got to run some longer distance shots with the Winchester 1873 rifle. The GPS had the distance from in front of the cabin to the target log across the gully at about 220 feet. With not much wind and the open steel sights I landed a good handful on paper. That 1873 is still my favorite. Tori finally did a little herself and plinked a bit down in our canyon at our “mini range”.
Friday morning’s snow continued to melt through the weekend, with the result producing some nasty mud. This was one of the messier trips at the cabin and a new “Punch list” item has been added to the list…and pushed up near the top.
Get Some Crushed Rock!
Our scraps of decking used as a walk way help but they come up far short in the “keep the mud out of the cabin department”. Granted our tile floor is easy to sweep and our grout color was chosen to be the exact match of this mud on purpose…but the sticky messy shoes (with me forgetting my slippers was the pits). I’ll look into getting some crushed rock delivered before my next trip…then we or should I say I, as if Tori and the girls will be man hauling tons of rock, can improve the paths and nearby areas out front.
More time and Money….as is always the case. Progress is moving forward but a bit to slow for Tori…To that end she might kick in some funds to finance a “working trip just for me. With no kids to care for and entertain, and with my simple solo needs…many things could happen in short order.