29: Friends and hard labor

This evening, friends and colleagues John and Jeremy came up the holler to help. Actually, Jeremy is a neighbor and walked over, using my system of mountain bike trails, one on which the cabin sits. I'll have to re-route that one.

I needed help bringing all the logs we cut and debarked to the actual cabin site. Most of it was easy, but the log I'm notching in this short video is the one that slid down the hill, the first one that Tom cut, the one that was too large for big Tom and I to lift, the one that started fifteen feet from the cabin and landed 100 feet away and maybe that far vertically below. We later agreed that it weighed over 300 pounds. We used rope slings as handles and inched the thing, step-by-step, up the steep slope through wet leaves, briars, and poison ivy on a humid evening in late June, smoky clouds and weak sun rays hitting us from over the Westerly ridge, backs bent, boots slipping, gnats in our eyes, an elusive destination high at the top of our steep ascent punctuated by my "1, 2, 3, lift!" that began to feel like a countdown on a 100-pitch, big-wall climb. Each pitch gained us less than a foot and cost massive effort. Thanks for the help, guys!

Jeremy with the bark spud and John with the hatchet.

Above: John notching a log; John and Jeremy with Logzilla.
Below: Short film of the author notching a log with the hatchet.


  1. Damnit. What has my life come to that I:
    1) visited this blog....yet again
    2) watched a video of you notching a log
    3) noted that you did not change John and Jeremy's name
    4) posted on this blog.

    Seriously though, looks like it's coming together nicely.

  2. Thanks Cooper!

    Since Bill told me that using pseudonyms was "kind of lame," I changed them all back, throughout the blog. My wife, Peaches, and my boys Nate and Sophus Bocephus and I have abandoned any remnant of anonymity.


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I use this blog to chronicle certain aspects of my life near the Smokies. I'm building a cabin. I kayak. Sometimes I bike.