Wednesday, August 8, 2012

I don't want to go home

This was without a doubt my favorite trip of the year so far. Even though we did have a few scattered showers throughout the weekend, the weather was fantastic. Highs around 80 and lows around 60. We actually took some time to relax and I even got a little fishing in. The boys did a lot of fishing, but did not have much to show for it this time.

Since our last trip up, one of the old dead pine trees decided to collapse, so on Friday, Cheryl and the kids took to cutting it up and clearing the debris.

While they were doing that, I decided it was time to replace the leaking faucet on the shower. When I had originally installed the shower, I bought a cheap faucet, and it had always leaked, and was very difficult to set the water temp.  Menards had a Moen faucet on sale a few weeks back, so I picked it up.

 Later on Friday, Cheryl and Mitchell decided it was time to get rid of the old portable fire pit (sitting in the background on the photo below) and install an in-ground one. I love the new fire pit. We had fires every night this trip.

Saturday started out rainy, but cleared off in the early afternoon.  I still needed to install the closure strips on one side of the garage roof, so I got busy doing that.  Now I just need to caulk a few things on the garage roof and cabin roof and that project will be finished. The remainder of the Saturday was spent swimming, cutting wood and enjoying the fire.

Sunday was a perfect day and I needed one because I had a hole to cut into the cabin roof. One thing that I had never done was to vent the drain system in the plumbing correctly to bring it up through the roof. Until now, it had been venting into the open space under the cabin, which worked fine, but got a little stinky from time to time. I had always planned on doing it and now since the new roof was on, it was time.

Another task that had just never got done was to finish putting up the vapor barrier in the last bedroom. While I was installing the vent, Cheryl was putting up plastic in our bedroom.

It was hard to leave on Monday because it was so nice.  I think August is my favorite time of year up there.  The ticks and horse fly's are mostly gone, and the temps are not as hot as in July.  The kids are always sad when we have to go home.  They keep telling me they want to stay there all summer long.  I have to say that I agree with them.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Heat, Storms, and Roofing

Wow. Not sure where to begin with this update. The temperatures were about as hot as I have ever seen them up there. Dew points in the 70's and actual temps in the 90's made for some hot days (and nights).

In addition to the heat, we had several storms come through. On Monday (July 2nd), a strong storm took down some of our neighbors trees, one landing on a new truck. On the evening of the 4th, storms prohibited us from attending fireworks in Crosby and Friday we got so much rain the lake rose about a foot by Saturday. We also found out that during the storms that flooded Duluth, our lake got so high that our boat floated off the lift and down the lake. A neighbor from across the lake can to the rescue and after the water went down, returned it to our lift. We also learned that our dirt road to the cabin had been closed for several days after those storms because much of the road had washed out.

The good news is that when it was not storming, we did manage to put new steel roofing on both the garage and the cabin. The steel arrived late Monday afternoon.

We decided to begin with the garage to make sure we knew what we were doing before tackling the cabin. We started the garage on Tuesday morning and got all the steel on it before sunset. I still had a lot of screws to install on the roof, but at least all the steel was up. I tried finishing the install on Wednesday, but the heat got the best of me and I had to wait until early Thursday to finish.

After finishing the garage roof on Thursday, we went straight to work on the cabin. We decided it would be safe to get the first 20 feet done. The cabin was much more time consuming because I had to cut a ridge vent and also remove some old vents. I worked on cutting the ridge vent while Cheryl put down all the quarter inch foam over the existing shingles. The cabin roof is much less square than the garage roof. This caused us some difficulties as well.

Having a ridge vent (which is covered by the foam in the photo above) required us to make sure it was covered at the end of the day in case of rain before we could continue. I made sure only to cut the ridge vent within the section we were working on. This turned out to be a good thing, because on Thursday night and all day Friday it poured. We got several inches of rain. The good news is that there were no leaks. Also, just for the record, rain on the metal roof did not cause any additional noise.

The rain stopped late on Friday and Saturday turned out to be a gorgeous day. We got started before 8am and finished around 9pm Saturday night. Just in time to head over to town to see the fireworks. Outing always puts on a great show.

I have to give kudos to my wife, Cheryl. She was critical to the the completion of these roofs. She totally surprised me. I had not expected her to be on the roofs so much. I actually thought she had a fear of heights, but she totally proved me wrong. Sometimes I love being proved wrong. Thanks honey!!

I also would like to thank my mother-in-law, Kathy. She was up for a good portion of the week and helped entertain the rug rats while Cheryl and I focused on the roof. Thanks Kathy!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Roofing prep

Returned home today from a great trip up north. Zac was in a soccer tournament on Saturday (his team finish 2nd in the league) which ended in the early afternoon. We took off after the tournament and arrived up north around 5:30pm. It was around 88 degree's when we arrived. Cheryl got busy mowing the grass while I unloaded our full trailer. This was the first time this year we had a dry drive up.

I brought up an old Select Comfort air bed and frame that had been in our basement the last few years. We set it up on Saturday night and, for the first time in our cabin, we all slept on real beds.

The bunk beds...

Julissa's bed...

The lake level had dropped about 1.5 feet since we had been up there a couple of weeks ago. We did not know what to expect, and it was nice to see it had returned to near normal.

Sunday was another steamy hot day. With the water level's back to a reasonable level, we go the boat out of the garage and finally got it in the water. The boat is running great. We spent most of the day on the boat or down at the lake swimming. The wind's were pretty strong on Sunday afternoon, but we managed to get the canopy put on the boat lift. And it was a good thing too, because we had a ton of rain on Sunday night.

The temperatures on Monday and Tuesday were below average, but the days were perfect for working outside. My main goal for the trip was to remove the shingles that had been installed just hanging over the gable ends of the cabin roof. In order to prepare the roof for the steeling roofing, I had to get some actual fascia boards installed on those ends. You can see the shingles just over-hanging the gable end in the photo below.

Underneath those shingles are the 2x4's supporting the roof. I had to cut each of those shingles off along the roof line to expose the 2x4's and attach fascia board. The end result is a much cleaner looking roof line as you can see below. I did this on both ends of the cabin.

I had some time in the evenings to work on the chainsaw. The starter cord had shredded, so I replaced it and was able to get it working again. A chainsaw is a required tool up there since it seems like each year we are cutting up a couple of tree's.

My oldest is becoming quite the little fisherman. Instead of asking if he could play video games, he spent the entire trip asking to go fishing. Of course, we never say no to that. He caught his first Northern Pike on Tuesday.

He also caught his first Large Mouth Bass too. The boys actually took the paddle boat down to the smaller end of the lake and did some fishing off of it. It's so nice to see them enjoying the outdoors.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Rain Rain Go Away...

Just back from our very wet, very rainy Memorial weekend trip.  We have never seen so much rain during any stretch of time we have spent at the cabin. The lake is at least two feet above normal.  The dock is almost under water and we decided not to leave the boat on the lift for fear that it may end up floating away.  The lake was continuing to rise even as we left today.  We did find a few minutes of sunshine on Monday and took some photos.

The entire drive up we drove through pouring rain.  Everything in the trailer was soaked even though I had it heavily tarped.   Even the coolers that were strapped shut had about 1.5 inches of water in the bottom of them.

Shortly after we arrived, there was a break in the rain.  I took the opportunity to hook up the satellite dish.  It was good I did, since we got stuck inside most of the weekend and it was nice to have some TV to view.

I did manage to get a little work done.  I trimmed out the windows in the main living room to finally get rid of the exposed 2x6's around the windows.  It actually looks quite nice.

The highlight of the weekend was when Mitchell caught a 13" small mouth bass.  It was the biggest fish he has ever caught.  I think the entire lake heard him celebrating.  

This was our 2nd trip of the year. Our first trip was 3 weeks ago. I had found a bunk bed on Craig's List and instead of storing it we decided just to take it up.  The boys have been sleeping on it and think it's about 1000 times better than the cot's they had been sleeping on.  I also brought up a single twin bed for Julissa so all the kids are sleeping on real beds now.  Too bad Mom and Dad are still sleeping on an air bed on the floor...