And the road goes on forever...

Wednesday, May 24, 2023

Getting Started


It feels like it’s been a long road to get to the point where we could finally start shop construction. We were late getting to the property this spring due to the amount of snow and cold and once here, we encountered many downed trees that needed dealing with. In addition, we continue to thin out dead and dying trees, particularly certain species like the popples, which are tall, spindly, weak parasitic trees of other desirable trees like the maples. Much of my work time is spent looping off branches and making fire size pieces, where we continue to have all day bonfires on burn days. Certain treetops I use to further build up and sustain our “brush fence” which we use to keep roaming dogs out; we also got the gate totally secured with wire surround so they can’t walk around that. 

At first, I was all about the forest and tall trees but now that it is getting thinned out, I must admit I like it better; the land becomes more usable and hopefully, it will cut down on the bugs by providing better airflow. The mosquitos and gnats are horrendous this year! There is one more large section I had wanted to remain natural because it provides a real barrier from views from the highway but I’m now giving thought to clearing that out as well. Maybe not until next summer though! 

One good thing about the delay in building from last year is that lumber prices are now around one third of what our quotes were last year. Marc debated going the package route but found buying things individually was a better deal so he started with the framing and sheeting lumber for the shop walls. Since he is doing this alone, he decided to do them panelized, which means he is building them in sections on the cement slab—something much easier than being up on a ladder trying to hold lumber himself while wielding the heavy, huge nail gun. It’s an act of “McGivership” though for him to figure out the way to stand the walls on his own and get them level. It proved to be very difficult and heavy so he’s going to decrease the size of the sections from 12 feet to 8 feet. By the way, the walls are also 12 foot tall!

Within a week or two he hopes to borrow a forklift from a friend who lives an hour from here which should greatly help in the building once the trusses arrive. When the garage shell is complete, we can turn our attention to leveling, compacting, and getting utilities to the point of where we intend to place the new park model and he can then move it from Waupaca and get it set and blocked. Next after that, he intends to build a deck for it. On his next return to Waupaca, he will bring the boat up as we’re hoping to get out on that when we desperately need a break from the work. All in all, it looks to be another really busy summer for us in the Northwoods, but it’s sure heaven to be here again!