The Creek

The Creek
This creek wraps itself around the 38 acres of lower camp and defines the border. Acres of hills, lowlands, a bluff, and a meadow. Up from the creek a bit the camp continues with 20 acres of high ridge leading to over 100 acres of deep pine forest, brooks, and marsh.All of it lies in the middle of a 1200 acre woods. Walk north and you're in 6 million Adirondack acres. Bring a camera, you might just see moose, bear, coyote or deer here. Cross the creek and you're in my mini-camp, with guest cabin and road access.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

A Hunter's Paradise! The Camp Grows

An old logging road crosses the corner of the parcel

As two adjacent parcels became available, I bought them both, turning the 38 original acres to 171. At the heart of the new land is a 100 acre section completely isolated from roads or any building. The land ranges from low ridgelines to two babbling brooks that converge on a marshy area. Plan is to hunt the land and possible put a bunkhouse on it. Long range, I may dig out an acre or two in the lowlands and divert the brook, creating a large pond that I will stock with lake trout. For now, it's just for enjoyment on ATV, lumbering, hunting, and the like. Perhaps I'll buy a tractor and backhoe to help in clearing a path in and out and to maintain the camp's roads.

An unmapped brook runs across the 100
A larger brook which appears on the map

Gentle slope upwards to a crest

May and June

The trees went from bare to a lush green as the temperatures at the camp rose. The work goes on but is slowly wrapping up. Wiring at the main camp is in, along with lights, ceiling fan, etc., all powered by three 200Watt solar panels and a 5K Watt power inverter. The spring box, once filled with branches and salamanders, is clean and covered. The water pump and 12V battery, though temporarily rigged, has pumped water 600ft to the holding tank at the cabin. The septic tank and leaching field are scheduled to be installed this month. That means electric and plumbing will be nearly complete and the with all the "creature comforts" available, our stays will be more comfortable.
This is what it's all about!

The doors were made up to look like barn doors. The results were great.

I'm wondering how to best cover the bottom weatherproofing in the front of the cabin. A row a various shrubs should look better. I started with a few of these but will add a different variety as well.

305 gallons of water storage, slated to be dug in this month.

Friday, April 13, 2012

A new season begins!

Compared with last winter, when our last trip up was late December, this winter didn't stop us from enjoying the camp. As such, we got loads of stuff done and enjoyed winter, albeit a mild one, in the Adirondack foothills. Another fringe benefit of going up during winter was that we got to test out the heating, insulation, and discover problems with winter living. Flushing a toilet, rinsing a plate, heck..brushing your teeth. Not so easy when all the water's frozen and it's 20 degrees out. All the tools and lumber were either frozen to the ground or buried under snow.

Dad and I were up last weekend and got plenty done. Wiring, kitchen cabinets, solar panels, and cleaning were done at the main camp. The guest camp saw little done in the last two months, especially since discovering that the propane heater couldn't compete with the wood stove at the main camp. Nevertheless, we did get a new utility pole placed at the entrance of the guest camp, had a 500ft trench dug, ran a line to the transformer, put up a meter post, and made it ready for inspection. With some luck, it will go off without a hitch and we'll have power in the next month.

Since kids, dad and I are headed north today and will meet a good friend and his family tomorrow, I'll end this post here. The following are a few photos of what's been done thus far. More to come!

Monday, November 28, 2011

The Main Cabin: A Pictorial Update

"The Doctor is in"

Me and my "posse"

Adirondack Sunrise

Front elevation, thus far. Log stairs and railing to be added. Shrubs will be planted below wood siding.

Home made solar rack for 400 watts total. That's at least 1200W daily! Who says we can't watch TV?  Trench is now dug the 55ft to cabin. Controllers, invertor and batteries will be located in basement.

Creek? What creek? Oh yeah, the one visible from all the rooms. Love it!

General layout of the main area. All furniture pieces are adopted and refinished as my side hobby.

Stovepipe is in but still needs to be set straight once I'm done sliding the stove back and forth and flooring is in. I'm glad I used single wall pipe. Like the stove, it throws off lots of heat and costed less.

Side elevation

Frontal view. Two rear vertical logs missing. Also still missing, log rails and stairs.

Heat proof stone wall I'm making. 

Getting the boards planed and ready for the walls. I stained 34 of them that evening.

The stones roughly laid out the way they will be put up. Some stones were swapped out for better blending.

Using a float, I'm pushing wet cement into the wire lath to make a scratch coat.

Finished scratch coat will allow bonding of river rock to the wall. Behind the wall are metal beams and a 3 inch space that exceeds building codes for fire safety.

Insulating well is worth all the itching. I'm only half done but ran out of insulation batts.

One Year Later

Here we are again, at the tail end of fall. I remember walking around in the forest this time last year. As I recall, the lot had just been cleared and I was making plans for how the cabin would look. Since then, it's been a great year. Many things yet to do, but so much accomplished. Happily, insulating the guest cabin made a world of difference. It's now possible to sleep comfortably in 60 degrees while outside drops below freezing. It also made it possible to get more work done while saving money on all those nights I used to spend at the motel.

Added floor joists to close off the cathedral ceiling. The ceilings are very high to begin with and frankly, in a cabin this small, space is more important. This will double the loft size and add two more bunks.

Nice to have dad along helping. I always learn from him and the job goes from being work, to being a pleasure. The wall on dad's right shoulder will feature a glass door to bring in light and take you out to a small veranda. Beds will be positioned to either side of the door.
I added insulation and felt an immediate change. Even the small propane heater warms the cabin up nicely.

In anticipation of electricity in the next 6-8 weeks, the guest cabin will have all the creature comforts. Thanks, Mom and Dad for the white stove. It's a birthday gift.

Hunting season has been fun. I've only thrown myself into it half-heartedly as there's been so many things underway. I haven't seen a single buck, bear, or anything else for that matter. Only a few red squirrels. But it's been fun anyway. I learned a lot about nature, spent great sunrises and sunsets outside, from inside my deep woods blind, or up in my tree stand, and made friends doing it. It's not about the kill. For me, it's about knowing I could live off the land if I had too. It's also an activity that takes us back to our very roots as hunter gatherers. So while I sat around the woods waiting, and waiting, and waiting, it's been great. Next year for sure.
20ft to the platform offer the best view in the house!
Up in the stand just after nightfall.
In the dark, it's easy to forget you're 20ft up!
A wonderful thing to see on the trails. Those aren't Nike's!
Just after sun up at the guest camp.

23 degrees left a frost on the ground. With sunrise, all traces of it will be erased from the eyes of  late sleepers.
I was walking across the camp as the snow came down. Silence in the forest broken only by the sound of low flying geese. What a nice feeling to be in nature, any time of year.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Finished Roughing In! The camp is up and the money is out!

The basement windows were installed at the camp marking the official completion of what was originally paid for. As the building season comes to a close, so too does the building budget. Fortunately, all was done that needed to be done. The result? Beyond expectations! The siding change from "live edge" to vertical board and batten worked out wonderfully. The color, great. The increase in porch from 8ft to 10ft made a huge difference. Now, with my garage cleaned out and the furniture and odds n ends moved up north, I await spring, when the project can continue.

Gearing up for hunting season. A deer runway winds through the back of the camp but a wildlife cam set up two weeks ago turned up nothing.

I asked the builder, John, to install my stovepipe. He does it all the time and frankly, I don't have the ladder to do it with. It will be a straight vertical shot 19ft up through the roof.

My brother making short-work of a fallen hemlock. This will be in stove come next year.

Some furniture rescued from the trash heap and rehab'd. Others are hand-me-downs. All will make themselves at home here.

Come spring, a log stair set will be placed here. Also railings, a rustic cabin sign above, and maybe a couple benches to sit on when we're taking off our boots.

The kitchen ended up small so part of the bathroom was used to accommodate the refrigerator. That meant no tub. Instead, a large shower.