Sunday, October 25, 2015

Doesn't look like a boat to me

Well, okay, it's not a boat. But the temporary bridge to the house that I built in about twelve minutes seven years ago was failing badly. Oriented Strand Board is not really an all-weather material. I'm pretty sure someone was going to fall through any day--probably me. So we took a few days off from the boatshop to replace it with something a bit more substantial.

Okay, way more substantial. A gigantic arched stone and concrete bridge.

When barnyard chickens feel threatened, they peck nervously at their feet. It's called displacement activity. When I have a big boat build ahead of me I always find something that I really must do first. Like a giant stone bridge. Before I built the Edith, I suddenly needed to build thirty tool drawers and sort every tool and piece of hardware I had piled up for two decades. But I do love those drawers. And I did finally build Edith

Anyhow, we are ready to pour concrete as soon as I get back from a trip to Moab to go bicycling with old pals. Then we're building a dory. Really.

Except my other bridge is on the verge of collapse also...

Sunday, October 18, 2015

And the season begins

This week brought a huge procrastinatory breakthrough. The dozen oars that have been awaiting my attention in the shop--some of them for nearly a year, finally came down off the wall. Four of them needed those nasty rope wraps removed (ack, what a chore.).

And then a major trim job. They each lost about three pounds, all off the outboard end. They should be quite nice to row with now.

Cricket came for her first day of work today and is learning faster than I can teach and working quicker than I can keep up with.This bodes well for the fall season. Ten oars got their final sanding today.

And new leathers. Cricket punched nearly one thousand holes for the stitching. Trial by fire.

And on they go.

And a dozen oars are getting tips. Side one went on this evening.

And it's quitting time.

But Cricket won't let me quit. So we fired up the blaster and cast six feet of lead slug to add a bit of weight to the inboard ends of the oars.

Now it's really quitting time.

The season ends

I got off my last trip of the season a few days ago and have been struggling to get out of my big chair long enough to catch up on business and my poor neglected blog. Here are a few highlights. Thunder River had a very exciting first trip and a prompt return to the boatshop for a new piece of side panel. And Surprise Canyon came to visit the same week for her owwie from Westwater this summer. Quick fixes both.

River trips have been great this summer and fall. Lots of big storms, beaches cascading into the river, rapids re-arranged... The earth is moving. 

David Zickl rode in my front footwell and got this fun shot in Sockdolager.

Fortunately I had a calm end to a sublime summer on the river. No more boat repairs... until next year.