129: Windows and good luck

This weekend, I spent some time cutting Lexan and installing it over the screens in our cabin.  It's not super tight -- there'll be draftiness for sure.  But not so much that we'll feel a breeze, and a bit of air flow and ventilation will be necessary anyway once there's any source of heat in such a small space.

I also hung a couple of old cow bells from the door and some chimes from the antlers overhead.  For a final touch, I hung two large horseshoes over the door.  In August, at Burning Pig Festival, my co-cook and old friend, Taylor Watts, brought one for each boy, for fun and good luck.  Taylor raises and uses massive draft horses on his farm in Stateboro and in his carriage tour business in Savannah.  So the shoes are real, and used!  Sloan reminded me to hang them open-end-up, so the luck won't fall out onto the floor...

Helping a little brother along a leafy trail...
Angus like the door bells!

Wow -- horseshoes!
Dad, we can feel the good luck!

Taking the high road home.  Where'd all these leaves come from?

128: Water is life...

Last year, I talked about the prevalence of water in Coldholler.  The cabin sits on a uniquely dry spot though, the gently sloping crest of a ridge, relatively high above where all of our springs surface and flow.  So naturally, I built a collection device and clamped it to the downstream end of a culvert upslope but just on my property -- it delivers a permanent spring from the other side of a logging road.  I'm pretty sure that the spring would disappear but for the culvert, because its flow used to soak fully into the ground just downhill from where I plumbed it.

Now, it travels several hundred feet downhill to emerge from a well-pipe next to the cabin, dropping an additional 8 feet through the air to land in a 5 gallon galvanized washtub, splashing the surrounding leaves and trees, filling the site with sound.  It's nice to have a place to wash up or just enjoy the zen of falling water.

127: Sharpening accouterments...

I've written lots about tools and sharpening...
For example, HereHereHereHereHere, and Here.

And I mentioned my water stones here, a sequence of finer gritted wet stones used to hone chisels, drawknives, and other tools to a razor sharp but durable edge.

Here's a new toy:

See the grooved stone? That's my new toy. It's a flattening stone, used to restore the even faces of the finer stones sitting next to it. See the green stone? That's a 60-grit grind stone. I'm pretty sure my flattening stone shouldn't be used on that, not if the flattening stone itself can be doctored by 220-grit water paper on glass. Anybody know how I can flatten a green stone? I scooped it a tad while fixing a rounded bevel on an adze.

126: New trail!

Last weekend, Abel helped me build a new trail.  Cutting a trail in these woods isn't really hard, although I'm guilty of taking shortcuts.  The science of installing water bars, deadmen, proper steps, and crowned pathways isn't beyond me, it just isn't necessary for low-traffic places like our holler, where our foot paths see easy use and little exposure.  For real trail work, look no further than Tobias Miller and his crews in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

Abel and I selected a nice connecting route connecting the cabin with the nice, wide trail that travels down from the treehouse to the depths of a shady, hidden mini gorge on the other side of our Coldholler ridge and the cabin and around to meet the cabin trail on a small saddle.  We cut it diagonally with only a slight gradient, so that it could be walked with little effort.  Abel impressed me with his tenacity and focus.  Not many 6-year-olds will wield a yard tool and work for 90 minutes without complaining.  He made it his job to follow my rougher work with a stiff rake, pulling the loosened dirt more evenly across our trail.

Abel, standing on new trail!

After we finished our trail (about 300 meters long), Sloan and Angus brought a snack.  Actually, she brought beverages and a full spaghetti dinner!  Life is good in Coldholler...

About Me

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