Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Catching up!

Here are some (long overdue) photos from our busy spring & summer. Lots has been happening!

In the spring David & Wendy came to visit, which allowed Val and I to take a (fateful?) trip over to Gambier Island for a weekend Bed & Breakfast getaway...

Val & I enjoying the view in Gambier Harbour, with Bowen and Keats Islands in the background

Later on we paid David & Wendy a visit in Canmore...

... and I had a chance to tone up a bit by hiking "David style" - basically straight uphill. Still, the view was worth it!

We also had two opportunities to camp at Alice Lake (near Squamish) his summer - once with Shaun & Sarah, and then again with a large group of friends (our annual group camp - out).

The first trip:

The second trip:

We also decided to purchase a lot on Gambier Island this summer - it's a 1/2 acre lot with access to hydro, telephone service and on a small road network accessible by private barge. We took possession on my birthday (July 5) and, beginning in August, we've been starting to develop the land from scratch. The first order of business was barging a truck loaded with supplies over, then clearing some trees and brush, and now building a small "sleeping cabin" (read: shed) to have a place to sleep while building the actual cabin. The building process will take several years, so this wee cabin is also so we can enjoy the property in the interim.

Loading up the truck and boat for barging over - we really put the truck suspension to the test! The truck was purchased especially for use on the island - for hauling building supplies up from the dock. Gambier has a boat launch on the road system we're connected to, so the truck is used for launching the boat as well. I've already made several trips into Horseshoe Bay for picking up building supplies. It's about a 30-minute trip one way in good weather.

Here we are putting the truck and boat onto the barge (near Langdale on the Sunshine Coast). My friend Alan Randall came along to help, since he was once a faller for Canfor. That first night on Gambier was an uncomfortable one (spent sleeping on the cement floor of the neighbour's unfinished cabin), but the next day Al was hard at work felling trees.

This is a view from part way up the lot looking towards the road, after Al's hard day of work. The (then future) sleeping cabin site is just off to the right in this shot. There will be more clearing to come, but first I need to upgrade the sleeping facilities!

The cabin is only 8 x 12 feet, and stands about 12 feet from floor to peak. It will be enough space for some bunk beds and tool storage. My Dad came over for a day to help (thanks Dad!) but other than that this has been a solo building project. Next up (once the roof is done) is to put on siding, and then build another small structure for a composting toilet. Then it's time to mill some of the trees we took down in preparation for the "big" cabin. We will use what we can from our own trees for timbers (it will be a "post and beam" design).

Now you know why I've been too busy to post anything this summer! These pictures are already a bit out of date - the cabin is now in the process of being shingled, and the fascia boards/ drip edges are on too (so much for the elegant tarp roof). It's been less than one month since we started - and all the (very nice) neighbours are impressed with the speed of the construction. I'm hoping to get as much done as possible before classes start!


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