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Published: October 16th 2008
I arrived at Alexis Lake this fall on September 9. It was my third time there this year, which must be a record. I was there for a while in the spring (see earlier blog), on my way home from my Alaska trip (another blog), and this trip. I stayed for a month, leaving on October 9th in a snowstorm. For the most part, the weather was great. A few cool mornings with a bit of frost, and lots of days up in the 20's, with the warmest day I had (October 1) was 28 degrees (Celsius of course).
The first week I updated my solar energy system by adding two more panels, and I put up a pole (peeled log) as a mount for my amateur radio antenna. My other project planned for this trip was to take down a bunch of dead pine trees that had been killed by the pine beetle. My brother Ben arrived on the 18th of September to help me take down some trees. I wanted to drop all of the trees that could threaten the cabin and other out=buildings if they were blown over. I walked around the property with a staple gun
and bits of pink tape to mark the trees I wanted down; by the time I was done I had marked about 40 trees.
As it turned out, Ben only had one day with me, so the bugger left me to clean up the mess. It took me most of the next three weeks. The biggest job was simply taking all the branches off of the trees and getting rid of them. The lake has a community burn pile at the south end of the lake, so I borrowed a big trailer from a neighbour and took about 15 big loads of brush away. I bucked up the trees into lengths to fit the wood stove, and I split about half of the rounds at least in half to help prevent rotting. I have big piles of wood all over the property now.
I had a fairly active social life up there. I guess my neighbours took pity on me as a single guy and several of them invited me over for supper, which was very nice of them.
I usually do a lot of reading at the lake, but didn't do much this trip. I was
so bonked at the end of every day from working in the wood lot that I usually fell asleep shortly after picking up a book in the evening. After the first week of work I had a real crash. One afternoon while splitting wood I got to the point where I could barely push myself up after bending over to pick up a piece of wood. I stumbled back to the cabin, opened a beer, then sat on my porch staring vacantly at the lake for about two hours before regaining enough energy to get undressed and have a shower. I went to bed about 9 PM and slept to about 9 AM, but didn't get out of bed until 10. I lit a fire in the stove, and was just about to make breakfast when some neighbours arrived to see what all the noise had been about the past few days. We sat around and talked until about noon when they left. I then had something to eat, and promptly went back to bed and slept to about 2:30 when I awoke and decided to take the day off. I went down to the lake and went for a
canoe ride down to the end of the lake and back. The next day I went back to work on the wood pile, but decided only to work for 3-4 hours a day instead of the 5-6 I had been to that point.
I never did get all of the trees cleaned up, I ran out of time and so I left three trees down by the lake to clean up in the spring when I go back there. The rest of the yard looks pretty good with the trees and brush all cleaned up. I now have close to a lifetime supply of wood for burning, and there are probably another 50 or 60 trees left to take down - but I think I will let the wind take them down and I will clean them up as this happens.
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