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DayCreek Journal

October 14 , 2001

Pining For Pines
I gave up hunting through the wood scrap piles at a log home company. It was mostly slim pickin's (whatever happened to him?) and the number of 150 mile round trip drives I would have to make to supply me with enough cordwood was just too much trouble. The owner of the log home company informed me that he had a stockpile of red pine logs that had been felled about a year ago. The logs were of various lengths from 8' to 14' and most of the bark was just falling off the logs. After negotiating a price, I agreed to buy 1,000 linear feet of logs. This is more than I will need to finish the house, but I'm sure I'll find other cordwood projects to use up those logs in the future. (I know I'm crazy. Who in their right mind would even consider another cordwood project after all the man-hours it will take to finish our house?)

Now the trick was to get all those logs down to our place in Minnesota. After numerous phone calls I made arrangements with a log hauler. Plans were to get the logs hauled earlier in the week, but the guy canceled out on me. I was low on his priority list and he didn't know when he could get back to me. He was nice enough to give me the name of another hauler who this time came through.

Thanks to Scott, I've now got plenty of work ahead of me. It was fun watching him maneuver logs around like they were little sticks. I wonder if he practiced on the claw arcade game before advancing to logs?

So finally on Friday afternoon I got my logs. I think about a quarter of all the bark on the logs became flying projectiles along the trip from Black River Falls to Hokah, Minnesota. (My truck was the main target since I was riding behind the log hauling truck most of the trip.) Without any major incident, we made it up our hill and around the corner to the pole shed. This will become my main workshop area for the foreseeable future.

Each log will be stripped of its bark, cut and split to let dry for the next 9 months or so. I've got plenty of dry wood yet in the pole shed for next year's cordwooding. This new batch will be used after the outside walls have been completed by the end of next summer.

Solar Tour Was A Success, But A Wet One.
It amazes me how weather forecasts evolve around here. Earlier in the week, they said Saturday would be partly cloudy. Then they said mostly cloudy with a 30% chance of a shower. Then they said sunny in the morning with a 30% chance of showers in the afternoon. Then they said cloudy with a 60% chance of scattered showers.

Well, so much for advanced weather forecasting. It started raining at 9:45 a.m., just as Tom showed up to help with giving tours. It didn't stop raining until 4:45. And of course, it didn't just rain -- it poured. The two days prior to the tour, the weather was sunny and mild, but as usual, when you plan something, it always rains.

Even with the lousy weather, approximately 30 people showed up to see the house. It was wonderful to see so many people make the trip even in the pouring rain. I was surprised by the number of people that showed up interested in building a cordwood house. I expected that most were interested in the solar heating system, which most people were, but there was a lot of interest in the cordwood walls too. Thanks to everyone who made it out to see the place on such a lousy weather day. I hope next year's tour will bring sunny weather and hopefully by then the house will be completed enclosed.

...And finally a special thanks to Tom for helping out with the tours. Tom gives me a hand whenever I need it (sometimes even two hands) and his help is always greatly appreciated.

Woody Woodpecker
For those who have never seen a Pileated Woodpecker, your in for quite a surprise. This bird is BIG. It's about 16" long and is a year round resident here at Day Creek. The Woody Woodpecker character was modeled after the Pileated Woodpecker.