Heck of a summer; seven weeks camping and building.

This project has been a few years in the making. About three years ago I approached Chris Klempt, a Toronto architect, and asked him if he would design my honey and me a cottage. I gave him a sketch of what I thought a cottage should look like, told him I wanted to build post and beam structure, and that since I was the cook & my honey the dishwasher, the kitchen sink needed to have the best view in the place. brought him and his family up for a summer day and waited for him to come back to us with some ideas.

That he did. Of the four he included in the study, I think we picked his favourite. Certainly it was ours and, I might add, nothing like I thought a cottage should be. Unfortunately for us and tragically for his family Chris died a bit over a year ago at far too young an age. I think were he still with us, nothwithstanding a few minor design changes, he would have been most pleased to see how we have carried through on his vision.

Two winters ago we took down a big maple, that would have been right in the middle of the new cottage, plus several ash trees a little too close to the new buiding especially as they have a habit of just up and falling over on you. The same spring my brother Dave and my buddy Gano and I dragged our existing cabin - Pathfinder, pickup truck, some straps, logs and leverage - about twenty five feet to get it out of the way of the new cottage. At the beginning of the summer we had the foundation pit dug, mid-way through we spent a week on the footings and block wall. It was quite a sight to see the pumper truck and concrete trucks at the top of the drive; their drivers had to back up a couple of hundred feet on a hilly, twisty and narrow driveway. In August we were back for a week to frame in the floor, run some wiring, plumbing, insulate, vapour barrier, and lay the floor.

We tarped and pollied it all up and left it for the winter.

July 9 -I’m up for the summer.

Over the course of the summer we fluctuated from a crew of three to a crew of ten. Wow, I now realize what my ma went through feeding us all.

Three squares a day, coffee truck at 10:00 - thanks, mud, and a hot cooked campfire meal every night of the week. We started with five, three of our nephews came up to try their hands at manual labour. I think they enjoyed it. We then dropped down to three for two weeks and then tent city exploded as five new dwellings made an appearance. We were then running a crew of eight. This was augmented towards the end of week five by a boom truck and backhoe that stayed with us for a few days. Week seven brought two more and Oban, just about the laziest canine you ever met - albeit with a great personality. Week eight, four stayed behind, myself back in town. A couple of trips up since and several more over the next few months should put us in good stead for another season of building next summer.

Through it all, we survived the rain, every day save two twenty-four-hour periods from July 11 to the last week of August. We had set backs - floor, insulation, etc. never survived the winter ( a couple of rookie mistakes - should have paid more attention to the drawings), and we almost had to call off completion of the back end, nevertheless we were able to persevere. Really, it was glorious.

Hope you enjoy the photos.



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