Opening the Cottage, 2015

Fugawee is open for 2015.

I took a few days last week to drive up in my new Jetta and open the cottage. This trip was both a necessity and a test.

I had bought the diesel Jetta in anticipation of the bad roads and steep hills leading up to the cottage. While the Saturn endured the trip, it laboured over the hills and through the wet and muddy roads. I had hoped that the Jetta, with it's more robust diesel engine, would give me a more robust ride. And, I was correct; the Jetta powered it's way over the hills, and through the mud, as if it were driving on level paved road. What a joy to have a car that I can depend on to get me in and out of the remote location that is the cottage.

Once in, it took me only a few hours to get the cottage cleaned up and ready for use. I swept up the bedrooms and great room, put the mattresses back on the bedframes and made up the master bedroom for use. Four mice had spent the fall last year, and all had reaped the consequences; I disposed of four corpses and reset all the mousetraps. It's still too early for the mice to venture out of their nests; the cottage remained mouse-free for my entire three-night visit.

I took the second (and part of the third) day to demolish the stone back step, and rebuild it in wood. Originally, we had a wooden step at the back door, but Bob replaced it with a stone one more than five years ago. The problem with the stone step was that it directed the snow and rain water against the beam that supports the back of the house, causing it to rot. Only the wood directly beneath the door was affected; the rest of the beam is sound and rot-free. So, the stone step had to go, to be replaced with something that would direct water away from the house.

So, I spent time breaking out the stone step, clearing the rot down to good solid wood, adding a ledger (to support the new steps, and to give the beam a bit of reinforcement), and, finally, building steps. The weather intervened, stretching an afternoon's work into two days. But, it's done, and there's a new, solid, step to the back door.

Finally, after the weather cleared and my chores were done, I packed up and returned home. The Jetta made easy work of the increasingly muddy road and got me safely back home. Now, I can plan for the next trip up.