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It's my birthday!

We hadn't been able to have a family trip up to the property this year; some of this due to Covid, and some due to the business of the year. Josh suggested a month ago that we make a trip the weekend of my birthday and we were all able to go. It is also good to get youngsters up there to help with some of the work we need to get done.

Molly (our daughter), and Nate (her husband) rode up with Lorraine and I. We left on Friday morning and got to the property around 1:00 PM. Josh (our son) and Chelsea (his wife) were heading up later in the afternoon after work.

The plan was to have Josh and Chelsea stay in the camper with Lorraine and I, while Molly and Nate planned to sleep in their tent since they brought their puppy with them. With rain in the forecast, we always held open the option of fitting them in the camper also.

After setting up camp, I got to work sawing up some of the brush from the new trail Ron, Dave and I cut earlier in the year, as we had just piled that up near the clearing. After the Derecho event a few months ago, we have our fair share of debris, and we have to start whittling away at it.

Nate and I then went to the north trail as there was some debris from the Derecho that needed to be cleaned up. Molly also helped carry cut-up tree parts back to the clearing. We ended up with enough fire wood to make it through the weekend. Lorraine worked on clearing the short by-pass trail that was getting over-grown.

Josh and Chelsea arrived around 5:00 PM, and we had a quick supper of tacos. Lorraine, Molly and I headed up to the campground to take showers. A night of campfire and laughs, but things clouded up and we could see lightning flashes in the distance. It was around 10:00 PM when we got things put away and the sky opened up. Our slight chance of showers was turning into a pretty substantial rain event.

We went inside to play a card game and had fun with that until we all turned in around midnight. The rain had let up some but it was still coming down. Around 2:00 AM we had a pretty heavy downpour, so was glad we put things away to keep them dry.

The next morning, Josh was able to find a few embers in the stump we were burning with our campfire the night before, and once we got the fire going well we decided to move the fire to a new stump to burn. This first stump was burned out, and with the heavy rain last night I felt quite comfortable that we needed to take advantage and do some burning of another stump along with some debris.

After Josh cooked us up some bacon and eggs for breakfast, Josh, Nate and I headed down to the water to do some bagging. With our bagging operation, utilizing Envirolok bags, we are attempting to sculpt the land to make it safe at the bottom of the stairway. Moving soil from near the water up to the construction location has been treacherous due to having to carry 80# bags up a slick piece of rock. I wanted to start to build the lower stairs that will allow us to finish the upper stairs without breaking an ankle or leg.

I had taken (20) bags with me, intending to at least get a start on the work. We dug the footing trench and filled/placed all of the (20) bags, but we did not spike them as I had some concerns with how this was going to come together. Good decision, at this point, because I think we need to move the footing row out a full bag-width in order for the treads to allow enough room for the step.

We were surprised when we got back to the camp site to see Molly and Chelsea had done much of the work clearing the large pine tree at the clearing. This tree had been uprooted, and Dave, Bryan and I had worked on only clearing the walking trail for the mowers. The rest of the tree remained, and Molly and Chelsea had cleaned up as much as they were able to do with pruners. So I broke out the chainsaw to cut up the remaining trunk and larger branches. Needless to say, due to their hard work we were able to clean up some debris that I thought we would not be able to get to this year. But the rain really opened up our ability to burn off some of this clutter, and it worked out wonderfully.

I loaded up the truck and did some winter-proofing of kayaks and the Bravo trailer to keep mice at bay as things get colder.

A good night of supper and laughs around the campfire, and all were to bed pretty early.

We had the typical breakfast burritos Sunday morning and were on the road by 9:00 AM to head back home.

I absolutely treasure the time we are able to spend with our children and their spouses up at the property, and the work they supplied is invaluable towards our goals.


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