Friday, June 12, 2020
This was a short weekend at River Song as I had to head back to the city Saturday evening. Earlier in the week, I started putting my belongings into storage in preparation for moving to my new place at the end of the month. Rather than panic and try to move everything at once, I rented a 5’x10′ storage unit. I would take my time, put everything in storage, and then move it from storage at my leisure. Or leave it there. The unit is only $18 a month, so no hurry.
My big deck box with my Burning Man gear was the first thing to go. This freed up the eight 12″x12″ cement pavers it sat on, and I decided to use these in front of my cabin’s back door. I had been planning to build a wood porch, but why do that when a couple of pavers would accomplish the same thing? And in a matter of minutes, instead of hours!
As soon as I got to River Song, I got to work. First, I had to level out the area. I started digging it out, but then it occurred to me it would be much easier to build it up, instead. The cabin sits almost a foot above the ground, so this was an excellent option. And, the area around the front deck could use a bit of dirt removed to level it, too. Perfect! I dug up four buckets and spread it around the back door. It wasn’t quite perfectly level, but it is good enough for now.
I laid out the eight pavers in a 3x3x2 pattern. For the most part, the pavers were level. Over time, their weight will compact the dirt, and I can add more to re-level it, as needed. In addition, the area could use another four pavers. And then there’s no need for a back porch. I can now take off my shoes on the pavers and walk into the cabin, leaving the dirt outside. A super simple, elegant, and cost effective solution. My favorite kind!
My new back entry area took only about half an hour, leaving me plenty of daylight for another project. I really wanted to roast hot dogs over a camp fire. I started clearing an area last Sunday, and there was still lots to do before I could put in a fire pit. Time to grab my shovel and rake and get to work.
I worked for about an hour and a half, clearing out ferns, digging out fern root balls, and hauling away rotted vine maples. I piled the root balls in a depression near the road. They should eventually compost and help fill it in.
By sunset, I’d made good progress and decided to call it a night.
Saturday, June 13
I decided to continue working on my gathering area today. But first, I had to wait for the rain to end. Fortunately, I had a new book. A real printed book, not an e-book! A few weeks ago, I discovered “Native Peoples of the Olympic Peninsula : Who We Are” while googling local basket weaving materials. It sounded interesting, especially since it was written by actual Native people. I ordered the book, and it arrived yesterday.
After a few hours, the sun chased the rain away, and I headed out to my gathering area with my rake and shovel. It took only a few hours to finish digging up the rest of the ferns. I also moved dirt from the higher areas to fill in some low spots and level it out. By mid afternoon, I was pretty happy with my work and decided to call it a day. Time to head back to the city!
I didn’t get a lot done this weekend, but it was enough. After all, I built this cabin as a relaxing getaway. I don’t have to work hard every weekend!