First Cottage Weekend of 2009

The first long weekend of Spring….Yaa-Hoo!! My lovely partner and I headed out Friday morning for the camp. Of course the roughly one hour drive took about 3 hours because it seems we can’t go past a myriad of stores and places along the way, including a Tim Horton’s Coffee Shop…we’re Canadians…we’re hooked on Tims!

However, we finally got on the road and arrived in the afternoon.

I was relieved to find the place in about the same shape as I left it….that is not to say the cottage is in good shape, just that nothing really bad had happened over the winter.

The lake water level is extremely high…did I say extremely? the water is up in the woods around us, in fact, I was joking that we would soon be an island if we get much more rain.

Here is a picture of the water up in our little woodlot…it is about a foot deep.

Our shoreline, normally a rocky shore that is several feet below the lawn, is now on the lawn, infact, by the look of things it has been on the lawn earlier, the water has dropped a little.

After I was done staring at the lake, and taking pictures, we got the Tracker unloaded and fire lit. Then I went to work on the water pump….now you know I have an old water pump….old….and you know I have been thinking about replacing it….but…I do love tradition and tradition says I hook up the old Southern Piston Water Pump and work on it all day.

But things were a little different this time…it went fairly well. I had two rust holes in the bottom of the water tank, which is not good, but a little ingenuity, a couple of sheet metal screws, some plastic and some glue and I had those patched and holding water. I was surprised at how well it worked….then the hose hooked up, foot valve replaced, and the pump primed and in no time we had water!

I was a hero…a super star pump installer….then the water pressure dropped off and the hotwater tank wouldn’t fill…for hours I tried, screwing around with it. Finally it was too dark to be under the camp, so I shut it down and went to bed.

The next morning, I was up early, pump on and under the camp trying to figure out what was wrong, everything seemed in order…until….I heard water running…gushing…crawling further under the cottage I discovered a pipe joint had let go.

It was hidden behind a post and from my vantage point at the pump, I couldn’t see it. Well that was my problem. I dug out one of my favorite ‘push-n-turn’ plastic fittings, copper pipe cutters and crawled under to do battle with my pipes. About 10 minutes and I was done.

I crawled out, put the pump back on, and by the time Wendy got up….we had water! The hot water took another couple of hours, but by midday we had hot and cold running water.

Next I took the plastic tarps and plywood off the veranda. We close it in for the winter, to keep the snow and rain out and keep vandals from throwing rocks through the picture window, which they did a few years back. I got the old stuff off and cleaned up and the place was starting to look more like it should.

Then it was off to rake the gravel lane coming in to the camp. The ruts were deep enough from winter use that the van was scrapping, getting high centered, so I raked and shoveled the crest off and made the road look like new….or new to me….it really needs gravel.

Then…well…let’s see…oh yes, I got out my new Solar Landscape Lights with LED, that my Mom had bought for me, and set to work assembling them.

They are the LED light variety, seem much improved over the old solar lights we used to have, these ones actually throw a little bit of light. Easy to assemble. She had gotten my quite a few of them so it took me about 30 minutes to get them set up. Then I had to find someplace to put them. Never realized how hard it is to find a place to put solar lights….so I put some here…some there….some to mark the driveway…some to mark the entrance to the camp…some to mark the garden and some to mark the garage….

I’ll probably move them all come summer.

And…I also had time to sit on the steps and watch the moon come up over the lake on Friday night. This picture doesn’t do it justice but it was the best I could do with my little camera.

We came home a day early, because my Mom was having the family in for supper, which was great, would have loved to have stayed one more day, but it was good to have my daughters and sons and boyfriends etc together.

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2 thoughts on “First Cottage Weekend of 2009”

  1. I always loved opening our cabin for the season. Now that falls to my grown children. I used to walk in about this time of year before the road was dried out,… backpack, shovel in one hand and gallon of water in the other,… ahhh those were the days!

  2. We were up two weekends ago and then again this past weekend.

    The snow was back and the ice had actually filled in a bit (east of Bracebridge).

    I’m nervous to put the water in, but I’m thinking I’m in for a similar adventure, although my pump doesn’t seem as old as yours.

    It’s funny checking out the place… the crib dock was pushed in a bit and threw a plank off the top… got the chainsaw going on the trees that had fallen across our road over the winter (and I spent Sunday on the deck splitting them with a foot splitter from Crappy Tire)… and the water (still ice) is very high at my place, too. Must be runoff from AlGore’s glaciers?

    I think we saw the same moon. Went outside for a moment and saw it coming up through the trees… and sprinted for my camera. I need to get a tripod, but you get the idea:

    Oh yeah, I need gravel, too! Bought one of those half-price car shelters at CT a few weeks back and am planning to park my little converible up north for the summer as it doesn’t get much action in the city (with a kid). Might not be great for the oil pan to drag it on the high-centre.

    Keep up the good work and enjoy your cottage.

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