Day #2 This key finally opened the locked well-worn cabin door and now I hold the key to my newest life journey!
Today, I pulled thistles, raked and picked up bags and bags of small tree limbs and dry tall grasses before my son-in-law arrived to help with grass trimming around the 3/4 acre property. He also removed cabinet doors from inside the cabin. We wanted to open up everything so we could set off a Raid Max Deep Reach Fogger before we left for the day. Several unwanted creatures live in old, abandoned mountain cabins. Mice and squirrels have left signs of their visits to my cabin but the most unwanted creatures right now are the black widow spiders; we found two today.
We also found a treasure today: an August 1945 edition of the We The People of North Carolina magazine. In it are some pretty interesting articles. One titled “Teachers’ New Salary Schedule” describes “minimum state salary schedule adopted for payment of all teachers next year, both white and Negro.” A teacher with a graduate degree and two years experience would receive an annual salary of $1,487 which “includ(es) the $120 war bonus.”
Other articles titled “An Overall Picture of War-Time America” and “Federal Spending Down” reflect America’s history back in 1945. The magazine was in good condition and made for fascinating reading at the end of the day.
I didn’t get up to the cabin today but I did attend a gathering of Big Thompson Canyon residents to pick up a permit. The Canyon will be closed October 2nd for winter CDOT construction projects which are necessary to repair damage sustained in the 2013 Big Thompson River flooding. According to CDOT’s press release the permit will “allow canyon residents living within the closure boundaries access” during the “large-scale closure.”
My cabin happens to be on the other side of the road closure but I was able to get a permit so I at least have limited access through the Canyon. I can also access the cabin at other times but by a much further route through Lyons and Estes Park. This closure will cause us to halt most work on the cabin as contractors will charge more to deal with the closure/permit situation.
The Canyon road, Highway 34, will reopen Memorial Day weekend 2018.
Today I worked on cleaning up the cabin grounds. A large tree fell sometime last spring so I removed limbs with a hand saw and drug them to a pile at the base of the hill next to the driveway. The work reminded me of my childhood on the farm when we helped our Dad cut down trees in our timber for winter firewood.
Short day today cutting down small underbrush from around the cabin to make room for debris drop from the second story of the cabin addition which is slated for demolition. I also had a dumpster delivered today as demolition starts on Sunday, Day #7.
It was a beautiful, peaceful drive up the Canyon today. The eight foot ladder and a wheelbarrow in the back of the Jeep Cherokee Sport, with the other tools, offered an occasional noise of metal scraping as I navigated around the switchbacks.
We worked a full day demolishing part of the second story addition today. Tearing down trim, drywall, insulation and a wooden vaulted ceiling. The work required head-to-toe protective suits, respirators and goggles as we were dealing with large amounts of mold. It was a cool day which made it comfortable working in these conditions. Only in the 40’s when we started this morning. Maneuvering up and down the narrow spiral stairs as our only access to the second story was probably our biggest challenge.
We ended the day’s hard work with a sandwich made with homemade bread from the Glen Haven General Store. The Philly Cheesesteak was to die for! I carefully consumed it while navigating the switchbacks back down the Canyon.
What a journey this has been already. Can’t wait for tomorrow!