Wildfires are all around again. Over 30 just in our district, four of them “of note” (i.e. seriously dangerous). Nothing like the one that destroyed the town of Lytton though. Not yet anyway.
Out at the cabin the sky is clear and you wouldn’t know there was a problem. That can change quickly. The one burning at the next lake over is being ignored because it isn’t close to population. Several people have been asking questions about what seems to be a poor response compared to even 2017. Did we learn nothing from that horrendous year? Apparently not.
I’m too old to fight fires – or political battles – so I’ll just keep doing what I can do, to whatever end.
Note the lack of “photographs, photographs, photographs”. It hasn’t been suitable in any way for that.
I am making progress on the cabin, but every step just reveals more that needs doing. It’s like painting a huge bridge – that just keeps getting longer the further you go. A Mobius project?
Once again there is further evidence I’m too old to be doing this, as I seem to be breaking out in spontaneous bruising. Unexplained subdermal haemotomas. It seems effort alone is enough to burst the blood vessels. That’s not good. Especially not when moving large amounts of heavy furniture around.
By the way, the last trip out here I managed the road at the breakneck speed of 34 KPH (21.5 MPH). Yeah, it just keeps getting better. Not. The additional rain we’ve had since then probably hasn’t done it any good either.
It seems I have a deadline of this weekend to make the place habitable as the Mrs. wants to come out and stay – for the first time since 2018. I can’t say I don’t blame her. Unfortunately she’ll bring our zoo with her, and that means certain projects have to be done ahead of then as the animals will get in the way. It also means the wildlife will vanish for the most part.
Unfortunately mosquitoes are not one of the creatures that will leave when the pets arrive. Oh well. Back to work.
Is everybody happy? Anybody? Yes? Well let me just spoil that for you.
This past week here has been full of nasty incidents. Some of them were dangerous, like having wildfires at both ends of our road albeit on two different days. The first one messed up an appointment to look at a house for a friend.
Turned around, went home, rescheduled. Then that turned out to be a waste because the house that looked so good in the listing pictures was some nice renovations hung on a pile of junk. We’re talking about one of the area’s famous (infamous) bring-it-in-on-a-truck builds so popular in the 1970s when people were slapping up “Summer homes” all over the place. Almost none were done correctly, and they’ve gotten worse over the years. Poor foundations (this one was concrete pillars and pressure treated wood – okay for a shed but not a house), bad joins with additions (two in this case), lack of insulation … et cetera. This house had brand new floors throughout – and they never bothered to level things up first so almost every room was joined via “toe stubber” level differences. I’d show some pictures, but that is unethical under the circumstances.
What else? Well I got raging sick for some unknown reason and lost two days to that. No idea why, except that it wasn’t the dreaded COVID-19. As to that I still haven’t got an appointment for a jab, despite being registered. I have this weird sense I somehow got passed over.
I was going to the cabin for a recky on Thursday, but Lorne & a buddy went out Tuesday – and got stuck on the road. Three times. I had mentioned the distinct possibility that the short road would be full of compacted snow banks as sun doesn’t get through the trees much along it. This was in fact the case. I would have seen the snow, backed out and gone home. They tried to push through. Two 4×4 full-size trucks are still no match for the frozen masses we get here. They did eventually make it in, and warned me not to come. Like I didn’t know?
So there’s nothing to do but wait, which is quite the usual pastime around here. I got some work done on clearing out the shed I have to finish:
Believe me; you couldn’t see that much floor before.
Shopping has become problematic as the stores keep not having what I need. Some of it is essential, just not in stock. Some is not essential, but still not in stock. Buying things has become rather hit-or-miss.
Incidentally, our COVID numbers continue to be outrageous. But not as bad as Ontario. Oh for vaccine! If only Truedope hadn’t spent millions on nothing. But hey, his latest budget … well what do you expect from an idiot who thinks budgets balance themselves?
I’m going to put the Nissan on the road again, although there’s no hurry. I need to fix the trailer too, and then get the materials to finish that shed and get it off the list of things to do. I hope.
Oh and the hospital sent me a nice note saying I’m on the surgical waiting list. Which could be up to 50 weeks. Gosh, two more and it would be a year. It will probably become emergency surgery before they get it done. Just weeks ago the government was bragging that they’d cleared 90% of the backlog. I guess that was just another lie.
Anyway I did do some photo experiments and a few pictures around the place, but nothing really interesting. Obviously haven’t been able to take the big camera out for some scenery shots, though.
Oh there’s snow in the forecast for Sunday. It figures.
It would be nice if the events were all pleasant and consisted mainly of taking nice pictures of wildlife or something. But no. The events were about nipping back home to resupply and returning to work.
Starting with Wednesday and waiting for the rain to stop, or more accurately for the generator to finish recharging the batteries because there wasn’t any sun to do it. I loaded up what I needed to take back, and got soaked in the process. Once underway it stopped raining (of course) and a nice, sunny afternoon was spent running errands. That’s a lot of traveling for one day, and I felt it.
The second obstacle of the day was being met with this right at the chain gate:
Yes that’s a tree down across the road. This is why I always carry a chainsaw. Luckily it wasn’t a big one (although quite tall) and three slices took care of it.
How much did it rain? On my way out part of the road collapsed from under me and tried to tip the Xterra over into the ditch. Suddenly finding yourself tilted at near 45 degrees while moving at 50 KPH is an experience I don’t recommend. But the vehicle is good and a quick twitch of the wheel got me back on what passes for solid road. That road needs serious repair. Again.
The town trip errands were the usual long time to get only some of the list. They had blocked off all the entrances to one of the shopping plazas, apparently trapping people in the parking lot from what I could see, while they did some repaving. Oh yes; all the roads in town are badly broken up and needing repair too. It was a harsh winter for roads. Anyway, skipped two stores there completely.
Thursday was run around and get ready to come back out here and work. Yes, a sunny morning wasted in travel. Along the way I noticed several red “SOLD” tags put up, right out to and on Marsik Road, which is a little disconcerting. They seem to be marking the route out to the property next door which has just been sold. What’s the point? Didn’t the people go and look at it before they bought? These days you can never tell.
I did encounter two trucks along the way, past the last vestige of civilization. First one was a Ford, and then several kilometers on a Chevy. Both driving slowly and carefully as though lost or looking for something. Like red “SOLD” signs perhaps? Also they were “pretty” trucks, not at all suited to grinding down unmaintained gravel roads at any speed. I passed each in turn, and wondered what they would do when they got to where the trees are blown down on the road. Maybe they gave up and went home. If you don’t know how to handle it, you shouldn’t be out here; this is not a safe place to be and I don’t mean because of the wild animals.
It was still before noon and bright and sunny when I got back, put things away, and got to work again. I managed quite a bit in the afternoon; primed the kitchen window frame and built a frame for under the kitchen cabinet as well as a few other, little chores.
Last night it all went wahoonie-shaped as the mosquitoes got up after I’d gone to bed. They kept me awake ’til midnight with their antics and my swatting. Now this morning it is cool and rainy – and I’m still killing mosquitoes. Probably have to fire up the furnace (after needing the A/C yesterday) and the generator because there’s no sun.
What will I get done today? That’s a very good question.
If I want to bring it back I’m going to need a 1 ton 4×4 with a big engine as the ol’ Ford E-250 had a awfully hard time dragging that thing up the hills. I doubt it could bring it back out up the hill at the lake.
There were a few other problems along the way too. 80 KPH on the highway? Not possible. Potholes on the gravel roads necessitated going to slow at times the speedometer wasn’t registering. Then there was the problem at 28 kms where a truck came at me around the corner in the middle of the road (the “no one drives on this road” syndrome). I went to the right shoulder, which was soft and sucked the van and trailer in. Somehow I had enough momentum to get the van back on the hard surface and it had enough weight to pull the trailer out. I had visions of having to cut wood and jack wheels to get myself out of the mud. Good ol’ Whale managed it.
The second road wasn’t any fun either, as I had to drive straight down the middle (it’s about 1 1/2 lanes wide) to avoid hitting the overgrowing flora on either side. This meant no dodging potholes. A lot of slow going and the bumps were bad.
There’s a tight ‘S’ turn on the skidder path leading to our place and I had cleared the ground around it to make sure it would fit. It was still hair-raising. Then, wouldn’t you know it? Scraped the awning on an inward-leaning tree right at the gate! The filled potholes gushed out under the weight of the rig too, but I got it into the yard.
Which brought up the problem of having to turn it around. 25 feet of trailer and 18 feet of van doing a ‘K’ turn in a yard full of trees. Whee! And then backing it into its spot and leveling it up and … Well I got it done.
It would have been nice if I’d remembered the computer so I could have sent my wife a message saying I’d arrived.
It would have been nice if my cell phone hadn’t died so I could have called her when I still had signal and let her know I’d forgotten the computer.
It would have been nice if I’d remembered to unload the things I’d brought along to leave at the cabin.
As it was I made it home before the rain started, which is good because the wipers no longer work on the Whale.
Next step, sometime next week, is to pack up and go out and stay and work.
They have got to do something about that road. I think all my molecules have been jarred loose. On the way back out I was following an unloaded 10 wheel dump truck for the last few kilometers, and he was crawling along at about 10 KPH most of the time. This is what he had delivered (I don’t know why):
My work got interrupted by the failing of the air compressor. Let’s back up a minute and see how that goes. I need to dig out underneath more, okay? I get everything set up so I can roll the wheelbarrow in and load it directly to take dirt out and dump it. Right, just have to air up the tires and then start digging. Compressor would not start. Not off the inverter and not off the generator. Total jam-up. Funny because I’d used it two days earlier to air up the van tires. This is an easily transported tankless compressor, not some huge monster like the one I use for the nailers. I’ve had it about 35 years. Can’t imagine why it’s suddenly packed it in. I would have appreciated it if the fault had occurred before I hauled it out there and tried to use it. But that’s not what happened. Oh and they don’t make replacements for it.
Anyway the water in the lake has gone down a little:
Here’s a butterfly on the porch screen. It wouldn’t open its wings, but it looks pretty neat anyway:
I heard a lot of birds around but only managed to shoot (I know) a couple:
I can’t match that one up with anything in my bird book. I need a new bird book.
So now I need a new air compressor as well as all the other things I’ve got to get and do. Obviously not going to be getting out there full time soon!