Wednesday was to herald the glorious arrival of my dad, brother and associated entourage. Unfortunately, we sent word that the road was impassable for their trailers. The family tried to get me to rest, while I stubbornly popped some Ibuprofen, slapped on an ace bandage, and tried to be useful in any way I could.
My brother busied himself hooking up the utility sink for laundry that might someday have a way to dry. I sharpened and prepped my chainsaw to cut more firewood which was depleting at a much higher rate than before. However, things looked gloomy when the chainsaw was spitting out dust. I determined the rakers needed filed, and I didn’t have the right file for that. We hadn’t found time to gather and mill the fallen trees, so we decided to try on the brand new ‘ripping’ chain I had purchased.
I watched with envy, as my brother got to use a brand-new chain. For those who haven’t experience this, there’s a rush of testosterone that comes when you put a few horse power in your hand and glide through a tree like it’s butter, turning hard wood into a spray of large wood chips. I had handed down my Poulon from Bi-mart when I got the Stihl, and I was glad my brother got to experience it. Though for his tree-trimming, and mesquite (I said) he probably would never need something like this. With a grin, he disagreed.
The weather teased us all day with rain, hail, but small batches of sun that would send up clouds of steam across the camp. My dad arrived that evening, and we shared a nice visit, ferrying him and my sister on the quad. My older brother elected to camp at Diamond Lake, and would drive down in the morning with his entourage.
My dad had brought with him a trove of goodies that he had been procuring for us over the past couple months, and we were anxious to get our hands on them. You see, my brother and I live in remote, rural areas where the Craigslist offerings are slim or outrageous. My dad, however, lives in a populated area on the I-5 corridor and procure all manner of good deals. When we took him back to his truck, we laid our hands on my brother’s next project, a 125cc quad that needed some work. We towed it back to camp, as my dad and sister went back to their warm, dry hotel room.
That night we roasted hotdogs over the fire, and surprised my mom with a present for her birthday, which we had missed for years.
THURSDAY: I started the day by trying my first attempt at applecakes, which were well received. Either we slept in, or they made good time, because my dad and older brother were there sooner than we would guess.
The most important treasure was a tractor my brother had borrowed from my aunt & uncle. (THANK YOU!!) He drove it in, cleaning ruts as he went.
The day was spent moving rocks and clearing ground for a more passable path. Everyone pitched in, and by the end of the day, my mom’s Civic could get to the main camp unhindered!
We convinced them to stay for dinner, and I ran to town for extra groceries. I made a double batch of pasta salad & 25 of the most delicious burgers I had rendered in quite some time. Garlic, onion, egg, 97% lean beef, tillamook cheese, Worcestershire sauce, these things were epic. Combined with other contributed sides, we truly had a feast.
The Sunday we arrived happened to be Father’s day, so we thought we’d do something for our Dad when he came. We wrestled with ideas, though, as he’s hard to get things for. After a few decades of being a general contractor, he has no lack of tools. However, whenever we were helping him with a project, he would have us fetch things for him. Often, he couldn’t think of the item’s proper name, and would simply ask for ‘the deal.’ Sometimes it was the thing ‘next to the deal.’ So we decided to get him the tool he’s always wanted, “The Deal.” (click the image to the left for a close-up)
We loaded everyone in my truck hillbilly-style and headed out. We stopped along the way for a tractor bucket full of small boulders for my grandma’s garden, and the ruts were touched up some more, too!
Enjoy the gallery, more to come…