Peak of the Summer

This is what we wait for all winter long and here it is. Hot (25°-30°C) and sunny with a light breeze form the south west. Quite a glorious day at the lake.

Up at 6am for a few cups of coffee and some reading in the quiet of the dawning day before easing into a bacon and waffles breakfast. A little yard work before the day gets too hot and I’ve satisfied my need to accomplish something useful for the day. Now it’s time to goof off, relax, adventure, and perhaps a siesta.

We take a scenic boat ride through the Hades and over to Scotties Island before turning back home.

After some dock time and a light lunch its on to reading a book which will inevitably lead to that siesta.

Rainy Day

A rainy day at the lake is still a great day.

I woke up to the sound of gentle rain and a light breeze rustling through the trees. It had been calm all night and as I drifted in and out of a dreamy sleep, I drank in the nature sounds.

Shortly, there was thunder in the distance and then closer as the wind picked up and a small storm rolled through our location. I went upstairs to check on the windows and then just sat watching the raindrops on the patio door form rivulets running down to the deck.

Time for that 1st cup of coffee and more gazing out at the magnificents of creation. It seemed like I was trying to lock it all into my memory, to preserve the feeling for as long as possible.

After a breakfast of corned beef hash with poached eggs on top, it was time to get busy with a small maintenance project.

So thankful to have this place to relax, rejuvenate and let the cares of life drift away for a time.

Cottage Projects

This last week on vacation I tackles a few cottage maintenance projects. Some required by the passage of time, some required by this years unusually high water levels.

Post Replacement
Post Replacement

The first was to replace a post that had floated away. At the shore end of the newer dock section I suspect that some serious wave action lifted one of the beams and washed out the post. When I built the dock, the post was very far our of the water and with the weight of the beam and deck boards I never thought this would happen and neglected to physically attach the post to the beam. It’s only 9″ long and is a 6×6 so it didn’t need any bracing. So, today it’s cut a new post, jack up the beam,  insert and attach the post to the beam.

The next project is to replace a section of joists that support the walkway from the driveway to the upper deck at the back of the cottage. Apparently we didn’t use pressure treated lumber on this project originally, over 30 years ago, and time has caught up with us.

Walkway Repair
Out with the old and ready for the new

Wood rot has claimed a good section of two 2x10s at the driveway end.  I put in a temporary 2×8 to support one side of the walkway and then unbolt the railing posts and the 2×6 extension boards that support the initial step. Then two offset cuts to remove the bad 2x10s and form a splice for the new pressure treated 2x10s.  Bolt it all back together, remove the temporary support and voilá, good for another 30 years, at least this section anyway.

The next project is a little more challenging. The old section of the dock is tilting down on the shoreward side, quite a bit.

It seems that the crib under the dock has shifted/compressed over time dropping down 4-6 inches. Since the upper deck rests on this edge, it has inherited a bit of a downward slant as well.  After pulling up a few deck boards it seems I did a great construction job here and toe nailed all the deck joists to the top of the old dock section. This will make it very difficult to separate from the dock which was Plan A. Plan A was to lift up the deck, then raise up the joists on the crib to level the dock and then lower the deck back onto the dock. Oh well, Plan B.

Hard at work fixing up the dock.
Hard at work fixing up the dock.

Plan B, after swimming around end checking out the crib is to jack up each end of a crib timber and raise both the dock and the deck at the same time. This required cutting out several dock boards to get access, but is successful in the end.

It was a fairly warm day and the water was about 74°F so it was quite enjoyable to work in a bathing suit and be in and out of the water. Plus with the high water levels boat wakes were keeping the top of the dock pretty wet most of the time.

Part way through the day my super-duper cheerleader and awesome wife delivers a dockside lunch that is just fantastic and we take a break to enjoy the sunshine & view.

The whole thing turned out to be pretty much an all day job with many trips up to the cottage for more tools, lumber etc. Once the repair is completed, boards replaces and everything is cleaned up it’s time to call it a day.


A Perfect Day

First off, I’m at the lake, so how sweet is that! Next, it’s not raining and I got in a ride with Arthur Fast instead of the usual solo effort.  I did flat on the way out to our 9am rendezvous at Tim’s East in Kenora but still made it on time after donating a pint to the mosquitos on the side of the road. We did an all over the place route that was lots of fun.

After we split up in downtown Kenora it was the traditional stop at Starbucks Safeway for a beverage. Then it was an attempt to improve on the Starbucks to Storm Bay Road Strava segment. I gave it a good shot, but there was a strong head wind all the way. Once at the cottage a dip in the lake to cool off, a nice chicken sandwich made by Shirley and a beverage all while soaking up some beautiful sunshine. Then a “nap” followed by steak, baked potato, mushrooms, Caesar salad and likely a movie. Awesome longest day of the year.

Weekend #4

This is the 4th weekend in a row at the lake. It’s quiet, just Shirley and I. The lake is calm with a high overcast and about 10°C. A fishing boat went out at day break (~5:30am) and other that that, very still, very quiet, peaceful. This is the “bug” weekend. The May flies that are normally closer to the May long weekend have arrived and are swarming around the water’s edge. Fairly thick with bugs, but not as bad as some years. I don’t think there will be much hanging out at the dock this weekend. The good thing is they will all likely be gone by next weekend as they have a very short life cycle.

First highway trip for the new Santa Fe. Enjoyed the ride but now there are bugs on the front and some serious washing up to do when we’re back in the city. Still no XM radio service so that might get checked into when we’re back at the dealer. I think it’s likely an XM setup issue, but it is strange that the radio id is not showing up and the free preview channels are not available. Other that that the Santa Fe is great. Enjoying the extra space, and all the toy that come with the Limited edition.

I’m thinking about a bike ride later today or tomorrow morning but for now it’s coffee in the new recliner and some surfing & thinking.