The Tent, Part Two

Success! We have the tent up, and have already put her to use! What a useful, thoughtful, and wonderful gift from my dojo!

After a good night’s sleep, we arrive back on site, with the last joists already having been cut the day before. That was a challenge – we still haven’t unpacked the generator, so we were using bow saws normally reserved for cutting up logs and trimming trees – accurate only in the hands of someone as skilled as Grandpa. My cutting using a bow saw was really, really bad. So bad that when Grandpa saw one of my cuts, he even had to call over Mummu to show her just how crooked it was :). At least I set the bar low, and can only achieve much better success in the future!

Grandpa used the MTD to haul over a stack of pallets that we had obtained for free from the Habitat for Humanity ReStore here in Thunder Bay. With Kenny’s help, we assembled them around the perimeter, and, yesterday Donna began prioritizing which bins needed to be assessed and moved to the tent. It’s large enough for our bins, and, right now, I am able to park the tractor completely inside.

It was fortunate that yesterday I did so at the end of the day, and found myself with an extra few minutes, so I cleaned up everything around the sawmill and stored it all inside the tent. Last night, we were awakened by a thunderstorm and loads of rain! I’m confident that the tent held up a champ, but I haven’t yet checked, so we’ll see.

Today Grandpa is planning on taking time to go catch a pike for supper. I haven’t found (or updated) my Outdoors Card yet, so I’ll likely stay back and work around the yurt site. I can remove the stacked rocks, and dig more holes for the other beam supports.

The driveway is pretty leveled out, so I also can call for another load of gravel. We are all really hopeful that the dump truck will be able to travel further down our driveway before emptying his load. It will be truly nice to be past the brush and courderoy road altogether, and onto rock/peat/loam/soil, where the gravel will be able to go much, much further! Of course, I could likely be using my own gravel pile at that point, to be working my way along from the property side of things. Already Grandpa and I have been using my gravel pile to try to level out the sawmill site a bit more. It’s looking better, safer and more stable all the time. I’ve even begun thinking about switching around the sawmill a bit when I have more time.

It will also be nice to be able to cut my logs in winter and allow them some drying time before I need to mill them. Even the smallest logs are very heavy when still full of sap – I was getting winded just stacking 7′ 2×6’s yesterday!

Sadly though, my Poulan chainsaw died out yesterday. It was already very old, and I had recently had its’ fuel system replaced, so I’m a bit at a loss as to what I should do. Grandpa thinks that we can use his new, small saw to finish cutting down enough trees to make the floor for the yurts, after which we aren’t as compelled to cut down trees with a power saw. I’m eyeing an entry-level Stihl saw that I know is on sale right now, but I’ll perhaps also call the Husky dealer in town and see what they have that is comparable. I’m really mindful of making large ticket purchases, but I suppose I also have to remind myself that “I’m too poor to be cheap” and should be willing to pay for quality items that I will use for a long time.

That’s about all to report for now. The spring peepers sang me to sleep last night, and woke me up again this morning. Much like my schedule having a certain order to things, I suppose it is their time to peep. Everything here has its time. They are still going like gangbusters up here. It’s nice to know that the population here is so healthy. St. Andrew must be so happy.

3 thoughts on “The Tent, Part Two”

  1. Marian – kitchener – from aikido club
    Hi Stephen and family,

    Just got the link from Sensei and the tent looks good. I bet you are learning new skills everyday.
    Just wondering, if it rains, will the water sip/get inside the tent from the sides? It might be a silly question.
    Any bears around, did you get 101 book on how to fend the bears? :-).

    Cheers and good luck,


  2. I suspect there's places to economize and places to not overspend, but spend on quality. Regular, everyday-use appliances that will save you a ton of manual labour time strike me as high on that list. If you're smart about how you eat, then having a dishwasher saves you, what, 10 or 15 minutes of light labour after a meal? How long are you going to spend felling those trees and cutting 'em up without a chain-saw?

  3. Well, Grandpa did give me a bucksaw with a brand new blade as a housewarming gift. I suppose with some skill, one could put it to good use quickly. But yes, watching him pulling the starter on his economy chainsaw about a dozen times to get and keep it running through one tree makes me feel that a quality saw is a sensible investment. Maybe Thursday – it's suppose to be rainy then, and I should be close to having the floor joists finished.


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