Monday, March 23, 2009

Almost There...

Another weekend of running, and more progress to report. This weekend started off with somber task, cleaning out grandma's house, since she is no longer able to live there on her own. But after all she is 98, so that is a pretty good run, I think. Its hard to take someones life and memories and pack it up, give it away or just get rid of it. Makes me think I want to get rid of some of my clutter now and avoid the rush.
After finishing early on Saturday we decided to go up and check the progress. We felt it should be close, if not complete and decided to stay up there overnight. Well, as always, what a difference a week makes. It appears all of the main work is complete, with only window trim, and doors for the storage alcoves remaining. The dormer has been completed as well, minus the window trim. It will provide a great catbird seat to watch wildlife from, as well as the snowmobiles on the trail.
It is amazing what a warmth the pine adds to the room. The choice is perfect I think, and the large window in the front as well as the dormer gives a great natural light source, which really keeps the place bright all day long. The only reason for turning the lights on this weekend was to test the lights and switches after installing the stairwell light. We opted for a rugged light that would take possible brushes from moving furniture and other objects up and down the stairs. We also installed a 3 way switch so it can be turned on from the top or the bottom of the stairs.
As the days roll by we have just entered the first weekend of spring. Although it was 30 degrees and snowing Sunday morning there are signs that warmer weather is around the corner. Bird sounds are more abundant than in the past few months, grass is starting to show in the yard (although we are a little more sheltered from the sun than the people across the street) and the home-made stream out back is starting to run once again.
This is a reminder of things to come, and more work to be accomplished during the next 3 seasons. Plans include bringing the yard up to par, cleaning up dead and fallen trees, fortifying the stream with some rocks to reduce erosion, and possibly a walking/snowmobile bridge over the stream out to the trail. And there are certainly more tasks on the list, but if I tell you everything you won't check back, right?

Saturday, March 14, 2009

The Walls are Closing in on us

I spoke with our guy on Thursday and he was moving along on the pine installation and had a few questions for me. I answered the questions, and after his update we decided to take a day trip up on Saturday and check things out. He is moving along very nicely I must say. As you walk up the stairs, the door and wall have been installed and most of the pine done. As you walk in, it is just an amazing transformation from last week, when there was just a little pine installed, and mostly insulation showing.
As you can see the rear wall, side wall, and 1/2 of the ceiling is done. In addition the door has been trimmed out.The front wall is done as well. One of the walls on the side of the dormer has been done, and a doorway has roughed out to access the area behind the knee wall for storage.
Now it is really taking shape!
It is really looking awesome! We did a little electrical work, fixing the length of the switch wires in the new wall, and mounting the box and wiring for the hallway light. Before we left we had to look at the snow a bit. The trails next to the house were very icy and thin, yet there was still a lot of snow on the trails, or more exactly on the sides of the trail. And there was still plenty of snow in the yard as well.

Stay Tuned for the Final Reveal- in a few more weeks!

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Wild, Warm, & Wet Weekend

March is definitely a crazy month, with random and extreme warm ups, cool downs and odd meteorological events. A veritable kitchen sink of weather. On Monday, we received upwards of 7 inches of snow in CT. On Saturday afternoon, we stood at the corner of NH, VT, and Canada in T-shirts after a late lunch, but before I arrived at the garage, it was raining/sleeting last night, and today I drove home and it was in the mid 60's.

My weekend started on Friday. I left ~8:00 after dropping the kids at school. I stopped upstairs when I got there, because I knew that some work was progressing with the installation of the pine board, and I just had to peek.

After that it was downstairs to put on the riding clothes and hit the trail. It was in the upper 30's so I opted for the lighter bibs and coat. I took off heading north, and the trails started out a little rocky, the fields were spotty, but the ice had softened up. A little mud then into some better riding and deeper snow.I rode for a couple hours, and decided to head in for gas and a quick bite. As I drove into North Concord, I passed a few friends having a snack together.
After a quick bit of nourishment, it was back to the woods, and on to points north. I rode through several towns, or more accurately the woods of several towns, and rarely saw any sign of life. The trees started to envelop me, with the birch and maple trees becoming denser, and the mountainous views becoming more limited. I stopped to look at my watch and marveled that I had already been gone over 4 hours and hadn't seen a single snowmobile, but lots of trees. I decided it was time to head back toward home, and "civilization". I met up with some friends for a tour of the garage, and a short ride down to the local restaurant for dinner, and happened to run into the guy who is doing the pine work up at the garage. We had some decent food, and drove back, planning to meet early Saturday. I parked the sled for the night with a 110 miles for the day.

We met up ~ 8:00 the next morning, and headed north. The trails were not too bad early on, but things change as you head into higher traffic areas. We had a minor breakdown on the trail, and had to perform a little trail side repair to fix a leaky radiator hose-thank god for duct tape!
We rode on into Island Pond, to stop at the local snowmobile shop for a new piece of hose. On the way we drove through probably the biggest logging operation I have seen out in the woods. This is only about half of the wood pile that was on trail side. From there is was onto Canaan, VT for a late lunch, and back to home base. By the time we left Canaan, the trails were pretty bumpy, and it was challenging and a little tiring, but we made it back around 8:30 pm and logged just shy of 200 more miles. Almost 300 miles in a little over 32 hours, that was enough for this weekend. Right now it looks like it may be over, but riding season is open till April 15, as long as there is snow on the trails. If you are interested, here is the track of the weekend ride. The red is Friday and black is Saturday, some trails we covered twice.

Hmm, temperatures are now supposed to drop again, and I only need 80 more miles to hit 1,000 miles for the first time ever.............

Sunday, March 1, 2009

The Hard Part is Over

Well it's Sunday night and we beat the "big storm" home. We went up this weekend and finished the insulation work, and preparation for the wood paneling. We did about 1/2 of it last week, and this week was the other half, plus all the little filler, plus cleanup, and the last two were definitely time consuming. We worked all Friday afternoon, and into the early evening while it rained. The rain melted almost a foot of snow, and we ended up with a little water in the garage, mostly because there was a significant ice build up near the door. This seems to happen, because the driveway gets plowed, the the snow on roof falls down and sits and melts and freezes. Come spring we need to re-grade the driveway a little more I think. Saturday we went back to work in earnest, seeing the daylight at the end of the tunnel. After 3-4 hours, there was just a little left to do, so we took a break-for a quick 50 mile ride. Down to the gas station to top off, up through North Danville, and up to the scenic overlook near Cole's Pond. It was a much clearer day than a few weeks back, and offered some excellent views of the Presidential Range of the White Mountains

After a ride to clear our heads, and enjoy a little Vermont countryside, it was back to work, taking care of the final touches, and cleaning up the mess. Finally we brought the futon upstairs and assembled it, so we wouldn't have to bring it up after the new wall and door have been put in place. Finally everything is done.... For now :-)