Slowly, the work continues

Since I installed the "Dock In A Box" dock, I've continued working on the cottage, cleaning up fifty years of cruft and making repairs. The last few trips have been rewarding, and have resulted in some significant improvements around Fugawee.

Terry's sister and her husband came to visit. While the ladies were otherwise occupied, Serge and I escaped to the cottage for a couple of days. This trip, we tackled the rotting rafter in the kitchen. Over the years, leaks and carpenter ants had weakened the lower two feet of one of the rafters in the kitchen area, to the point that it needed to be replaced. To replace it properly, I would have to remove some of the roof (shingles and boards) and pull the entire rafter out, and this would take a lot of work. Instead, I had decided to cut out the damaged part of the rafter, between the underpurlin and the log wall, and replace it with two pressure-treated 2x4s, sistered to the remnants of the old rafter.

Serge and I worked for most of an afternoon, cutting out the rotted portion of the rafter, and trying various configurations to replace it. I had originally intended to simply sister a 10 foot 2x4 to the rotted one, but we could not find a way to fit that long a rafter behind the underpurlin. After much experimentation, we managed to fit two tapered 2x4s into the area, and (with the help of some 3" deck screws) secure them in place. With a bit of brown paint, this new rafter will blend in well, and I won't have to worry about it until time comes to replace the whole roof.

Of course, with the rotted and ant-eaten rafter came other damage. I now have a 3 foot section of roof board to replace, as the part that was directly in contact with the old rafter also became infested with carpenter ants. They did their damage and moved on, leaving me with a roof board that barely holds itself together, and has troubling holes through to the shingles showing. But, that's a problem for another time.

Serge and I took a well-deserved day off, afterwords, and fished the whole day. I know now why they call the sport "fishing" and not "catching": after 8 hours of sitting in a boat, fishing with lures and live bait, casting over water where fish were "taking off the top", we came up with nothing.

A week later, I returned to the cottage, determined to catch something. Needless to say, I never got out on the lake to fish. Instead, I spent several hours relaxing with our neighbours, Steve and Terri Ingram, and then worked for a few hours removing some of the cruft around the cottage. This time, it was a dead and rusting snow machine. Bob had, in the early '80s, purchased a used snowmobile. One season, he and a couple of friends took their snowmobiles to the cottage. Bob's machine died en-route, about halfway across Kimball Lake. Bob's friends towed the dead machine to the cottage, and they stowed it in the boat house, to be repaired at a later date. Needless to say, that later date never came, and the snowmobile sat in the boathouse for about fourty years.

And now, the machine is mine. It lacks a windshield and an engine, has become the nesting ground for many generations of deer mouse, and has taken up too much room in the boathouse for too long. Between coffees, I got out a block and tackle, and hauled the dead machine out of the boathouse. That's not as easy as it sounds; this hunk of heavy metal hadn't moved in decades, and was very reluctant to move now. But, move it did, and I got it out and around to the side of the boathouse. I used the sawzall on it to cut off the steering and start dissecting it for transport, but after an hour or so hacking away at it, I called it a day.

The next trip up, Terry relaxed on the beach, and I spend several hours dissecting the snowmobile for disposal. Now, I've got several chunks that I can take to the dump with little difficulty.

And, I've got room in the boathouse to start cleaning up, putting away tools and actually storing boats in the winter.

That last trip up afforded us some leisure time as well; I took Terry out to the natural swimming pool on Bear Lake; the first time she's been out of Kimball Lake, and the first trip to this pool since she's been coming up with me. The day was great, and we relaxed on the rocks by the pool, and swam in it's waters. Now, that's what cottage life is all about!


I spent a couple more days up at the cottage this week, and finally got rid of the Skidoo chassis. Using tin snips and a bit of brute force, I completed the division of the chassis into two manageable parts, which (when I left for home) I delivered to the Dorset landfill, along with some other metal scraps.

But, that's not all.

I also

  • cast (from concrete) a new anchor for the haul-out, which I will install on the next trip up,
  • put up additional shelving and hangers in the boathouse, and hung all the axes, etc out there,
  • cut up more firewood with the chainsaw,
  • installed the boat bumpers on the dock (they were missing from the original delivery), and
  • brought up a new fridge to replace the old one