May 23, 1999
the Footings - Part III
As I write this, it's late in the evening at beautiful Day Creek. I may not have indoor plumbing, but I've got power and a phone line. The combination of the two gives me access to the outside world and through the magic of the Internet, I'm able to send to you the latest and greatest news!
I arrived here one week ago hoping that I would (1) be able to complete the footings on time and (2) the weather would hold up for May 22nd, the date of the concrete pour for the footings and piers. The week was full of many ups and downs. As I arrived on Sunday, May 16th the rain began to fall. Not just rain, but torrential rain along with thunderstorms to boot. These storms persisted on and off (mostly on) until late Monday. Needless to say, I was unable to get any of the work done that I planned. Much of my time was spent getting the cabin supplied for my summer stint and cleaning up the pole barn.
Tuesday morning, I was ready to go, but the clouds and rain stayed around in the morning only giving me half a day to work on the footings. I was able to get most of the insulation done.
Wednesday morning it rained (briefly). By afternoon, the rebar had been laid and shaped leaving just about an hours worth of rebar work left. I was also able to dig 5 of the 8 piers. This was no little feat considering that most of the holes had rocks and a few boulders weighing at least 50 lbs. to be pried and removed.
Thursday it rained for most of the day. It was a good thing that I had covered the center piers the night before. Late Thursday I got about 3 hours in -- just enough time to dig the other 3 piers. I was a bit worried if I would make the Saturday date, but things now were looking good.
Then... yes... it rained overnight and into Friday morning. Now I was getting quite concerned about the giant mud hole that surrounded the building site. I realized there would be no way for the concrete trucks to get up around the building site. So... Friday was spent trying to make our gravel road drivable. After an entire week of rain, things were quite bad. Luckily, my friend Russ who had helped dig the trench for the foundation was able to dump 4 truckloads of gravel. I spent the entire day on Friday, using the Bobcat dumping and spreading gravel to make the road passable. Russ almost got stuck with his dump truck, a delivery truck did get stuck and I managed to get the Bobcat stuck in mud up past the wheels. It took me over an hour to dig the bobcat out by using a hand shovel and the front loader on the Bobcat. What a gigantic mess and a rather costly expense to make a road for the concrete trucks. Jo and her brother (Jon) arrived at 6:30 in the evening and helped put the final pieces of rebar in place for the pour Saturday morning. By 8:30 in the evening we were ready for the pour.
Saturday morning it did not rain. (Amazing, simply amazing.) But it did start out on a rather bad note, a friend of mine (Gary) drove up from Illinois overnight and hit a deer on the way up almost tipping his van over. The van was still drivable and luckily Gary was O.K. I really felt bad that Gary went way out of his way to help, and then had this happen to him. He seemed rather happy about the accident he was looking forward to getting a new van!
The trucks promptly arrived at 8 a.m. and the fun began! We ended up having plenty of helpers: Jo and two of her brothers (Jon and Bill) along with Bill's wife Terri, Gary and Tim. Tim was recommended to me from Russ. Tim does concrete work on the side and was a great help along with everyone else. By 10:30, we were completely done. After all the worrying and long days this week, the goal was reached.
It's nice to know that you've got friends and relatives to help out in a pinch. After a few days of pampering the footings, I will start construction of our house. Stay tuned for the latest and greatest from Day Creek.