A New Camp On it's Way

IMG_0311Some people thought we were crazy to do it but we just got back from a week at my parent’s Adirondack escape (ending last Sunday 7/11/2010).� This was Delilah’s first trip to the Adirondacks and it was a hot one.� She did great, slept a lot (it was in the 90’s with no A/C, ugh!) and smiled at her daddy a ton.

Last year we built a shed (Mostly my father, I helped a little).� This year we’re putting on an addition to the camp.� More like a new camp really… We’re taking the camp from the tiny studio-sized 336 square feet up to 960 by adding 2 bedrooms and a bigger living space.� The current camp is going to become a ‘dining’ area, kitchen and bathroom.� We’re well on our way.

IMG_0044Last week when we got to camp Dad was already all the way up to laying the floor.� It might not sound like much, but there’s a ton involved to get to that point.� Squaring everything up, leveling (& digging) the ground, insulation, wire netting, studding, joists & beams… Not simple work.� He’d been working for over a month just about steady to get to that point.� These things take time, especially when you’re by yourself in the mountains and you’re fighting the rain nonstop.

By the time we left Sunday afternoon (7 days later) we had raised all 3 of the walls (complete with OSB Board covering), All rafters were in place (save the ones that need to be placed over the existing roof) and all Zip System Roof Panels were in place and taped (as far as could be done until the remaining rafters are positioned).

IMG_0113Not bad for 5 days worth of work for 2 guys in 90+�F heat and 2 days with a bunch of help from other family.� Thanks Jerry, Scott, Donald, Wes, Pauline, Virginia, Gage & Mindy Lee!� Still lots to do, but we’re getting pretty darn close to weather-sealed.� We’re only a few steps away:

  • complete & install 1 remaining rafter
  • install Zip System Roof Panels over remaining area
  • shingles
  • small 4ft section of Wall & OSB board panels to go up adjoining existing deck
  • install a few missing OSB Board panels on the walls (mainly the gable end)
  • Tyvek Weather wrap

Of course there’s lots of little things to do as part of those steps, but those are the big ones.

If it was easy, Everybody would do it
~Harry

While it wasn’t much of a vacation for a week off… it was still enjoyable to be around some family and it made me overjoyed Rachel and Delilah were able to come up with us and be around during those ‘off’ times while we were taking a bit of a break from the beating (building) so I could hold the little one.� Oh, and a huge thanks goes out to Rachel for all the delicious meals during the week.

The place is gonna be totally unrecognizable when we get done, but it’s sure gonna be nice.� A great place for Debug to grow up.� I’m looking forward to watching her play in the stream from the new living area.

Some other photos from the process:

Horseshoe Lake

Man I love it up here!

There’s three ways into Horseshoe Lake but I can only recommend one of them in good conscience. Riding the railroad tracks is no fun. Not unless they’re groomed. The first few miles from Conifer to Horseshoe were groomed and beautiful. 55mph was nothing. Then the groomer turned around and holy cow, forget it! We toughed it out but I almost wished we’d turned around right there. Washboard the whole way.

If you want to go to Horseshoe I recommend taking 7A right to the front door.

On our way back up 7A (the way we should have come in) we met Wes and Donald. Kinda funny meeting someone you know miles and miles in the middle of nowhere.  We stopped and said hello for a few minutes and then went our separate ways.  Back to Diamond by way of

Not sure what I think about possibly taking the railroad to Tupper Lake to get us to Lake Placid for that trip… we’ll see. might have to wait for a day with some fresh snow and hope for a groomer.

A good day of riding, around 100 miles. Horseshoe is a pretty little lake, but I’d stay off the railroads to get there if I were you.

Miles on the sled this season: 198

The Toy Shed

shed-6Rachel and I were gone on an awesome vacation for 3 weeks this summer.  By the time we got back, my father was full-swing into building his new shed for camp.  The rest of my summer was spent at camp (oh no), helping him put it up.  It felt like every weekend but was probably only every other.  Some days we made progress, other days we just relaxed in the mountains.  Either way you look at it though, we were within the blue line so did it really matter?

We call it the shed, but It should probably be called a barn.  It’s not built like the typical plywood thrown-together mess you can buy almost anywhere.  It’s built to last, Adirondack style.  Amish raw cut real 2×4’s and all.  In a lot of ways, it might be over-engineered and over-thought, but it’s good to do things that way sometimes.  My dad did most of the work himself. I helped a bit with the roof, siding and hanging the doors.  My Uncle and my cousin helped a bit with the roof and the siding, and a friend at camp dug out the hillside and leveled out some of our lot with his equipment.  All that’s left is some tin in a few places and some paint!

My dad likes to call it the “Toy Shed” or the “Toy Barn” or the “Toy House,” whichever name fits his fancy at the moment.  We even had a sign made for it.  That’s because it’s intended to house our snowmobiles, 4-wheelers and whatever else we come up with.  Oh, it’s also intended to house the tools and equipment we’ll need for next years project, the camp addition.

We’re gonna need help though.  So if you’re up for some hard work next spring/summer at a beautiful location, let me know.  Remember, the more you help out the more likely we’ll be to invite you up to relax!

A bit of the construction process:

Then There Was Four (Snowmobiles)

Bever PondWe’ve managed to make it up north for three absolutely gorgeous weekends. This weekend was no exception. We went riding on Saturday and the sky was an incredibly clear blue without a cloud in sight. We took a ride up Littl Blue Mountain and again the view was better than the last time. White Face Mountain was perfectly visible as well as some other mountains in the same range and beyond.

Broken Down SledAfter a quick snack we headed off to Sevey’s Corner and beyond. Once we crossed route 3 the trails were even better. Freshly groomed with few sleds having been down them. Everything was going great until we were waiting for my uncle Wes and a few other sleds came by and told us we had a broken down sled. We went back a few miles and it wasn’t good. The supports holding his suspension up broke and his snowmobile was literally sitting on the ground. We towed it back to route 3 and my cousin Donald headed back to the truck while Uncle Jerry, Dad and I headed out to finish the days ride. Only four of the five sleds we ran with this season made it out alive.

Looking Back On 2007-08 Snowmobiling Season

Looking back this year we’ve had a fantastic season. We put on over 520 miles in three weekends. All the riding we did was on perfect trails. I’ve never seen better snow conditions than the past two weekends and the days we went out the sky was so blue it was amazing.

Cheney Takes Visa

North Branch of The Grass RiverWe got an earlier start today and were on the trails by 10am. After hearing that Easter dinner would be ready when we got back we had to make sure we put on the miles early and were back in time for the feast. We put on roughly 100 miles again and made it back by 6pm.

First stop today was Camp. Along the way we crossed the North branch of the Grasse River as well as a branch of the Oswegatchie. The scenery was beautiful as were the trails. We certainly hit this trip perfect. In most sections there was several feet of hard packed snow and ice. Step off the hard packed groomed trail though and you were likely to sink up to your waist.

Cheney’s CampIf you need a place to stay out on the trail just stop by Cheney’s Camp. Apparently they take visa or MasterCard so you should be good to go. Fortunately no friends were shot in the face while filming this cabin.

The sleds were running great today and yesterday with the cold weather and hard packed trails. If you punched it you’d lift the skis right off the ground which makes for tricky cornering. We hit 75mph on a few of the straightaways without even pushing it.

Cranberry LakeThe last stop of the day was The Pinecone at the southern end of Cranberry Lake in Wanakena. Once we got on the Setback Trail to Wanakena the trail got pretty rough. You can definitely tell the difference between groomed trails and not. The setback trail was miles of moguls and switchbacks. Eventually it let you out in Wanakena and we were able to take a quick rest at The Pinecone before heading home.

It’s amazing the amount of scenery you can see up here while riding the snowmobiles. It would take you months on skis to see what we’ve seen in two days. That’s easily the best part of riding. You are in remote locations that are often inaccessible any other time of the year. 4-wheelers are not always allowed on the same trails which makes it difficult to cover a lot of the ground. I would love to take a snowmobile trip into remote sections of Canada. Maybe next year we’ll take a week and head up to the big country.

Littl Blue and Horseshoe

View From Little Blue MountainAfter the battle of the skags and a great hearty breakfast by my aunt Pauline we headed out for the day at about 11am. We got lucky lucky with fresh groomed trails and absolutely beautiful snowmobiling conditions. First stop for the day was Littl Blue Mountain which is a short mile or so jaunt up a steep non groomed trail filled with switchbacks. The Scenery was stunningly beautiful from the top. It was such a clear day we could see all the way to White Face Mountain and Big Tupper’s Ski trails.

Horseshoe LakeFor our next stop we headed on to the most southern point in the St Lawrence County Snowmobile trail system, Horseshoe Lake. The last 5-10 miles of the trail to Horseshoe is on state land and the 4 big storms from this year have put their toll on the trail. Unfortunately because it’s on the ‘forever wild’ state land the trees criss crossing the trail can’t be cut until approval is given from the state. This made for a rough few miles getting to Horseshoe but the view is always worth it. The Lake is still frozen and a few people have ventured out on it. We were not among them. We had a quick snack in the blistering cold wind and then headed for home.

Overall we had a great ride today. We covered approximately 100 miles and met about 15 sleds. That’s what its always like up here. Beautiful and practically void of people.