PNW Cabin Building Adventure!

Discussion in 'Off Grid Living' started by Tyler Danann, Nov 7, 2015.


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  1. Tyler Danann

    Tyler Danann Monkey

    Well, it’s that time of the year again and it was with a buzzy heart I boarded the great plane west for the Americas! [​IMG]

    On the flight there were no dramas, on the ground at Chicago it was business as usual. The Customs folks read my declarations, checked my lithium batteries and all was well. Apart from my hand-baggage the main bulk of my gear was not searched. Nearby my position a Lebanese dude was having the full search done as multiple food packages were inspected. I think they were ok with him in the end though.

    As I passed through the airport into the main area with my bags I thought it was going well, until the weather turned…

    Great thunderous rain and clouds drenched mid-west America. Nearly all American Airlines flights were grounded and mine was no exception, 'cancelled' read the flight to Denver, as were nearly every other airline flight to the mid-west.

    After taking my turn to queue at the 'rebookings' telephone quad I got talking to a woman about what to do next. I ended being routed onto a Miami-Denver flight the following morning, there was nothing to do but wait it out and people-watch until sleep claimed me for a few hours. As I drifted into sleep I wondered how my little Cabin Shed from last year fared over the hostile-winter.

    I woke up at midnight and wandered around, in the main area lots of people had been given cots and blankets, but not the Ryder. They’d all be handed out already!

    As I was about to head back to the fringes an older woman saw my wanderings and let me share hers instead so it wasn’t all bad. [​IMG] We slept tail to tail on a four seat bench against the wall so it wasn’t exactly side by side action for those that wonder. [​IMG]

    In the morning she had gone and a New Jersey Jew-dude was sat nearby instead. As I roused myself from sleep and bundled up the blanket he was talking on his phone loudly about business back east and the delays, he mentioned about how some people had been stuck at the airport for a WEEK!
    I hoped I would not be there that long and headed over to my departure gate before it was too late.

    The good news was I was now booked onto a direct Denver flight. Apart from some frizzy-attitude from the growling check-in woman (she was a bit over-worked) all was well.

    The bad news soon became apparent on landing. I was fine with the lack of altitude sickness, but the delayed baggage had me a bit on-edge. No trace was showing up and it was a case of wait-and-see.
    I had no spare clothing nor my Ram Pump project gear and of course my scout unit.

    I headed to the base to the north hoping the White Baron and the other expensive gear was unmolested.
    Mountain Mike was there at city-base and we set up the usual tent for me to crash out in. Mike let me borrow a tent and some old sleeping bags for mattressing. My other Canadian sleeping bag was swiftly washed and dried.

    0600hrs next morning I heard an apparition tapping on my tent. It was MM Mike.

    “Emergency sorta,” he said and I got dressed to see what the fuss was about.

    To my relief the baggage had arrived, but it had been dumped on the doorstep of Mike’s house without even the courtesy of a doorbell or knock at the door. No phone-call had been made either. Still nothing had been taken, although a TSA card inside my backpack said that ‘for the security of America’ my bag had been searched.

    That drama over with it was time to get prepared for the expedition. This time I have to scout out a niche in the PNW and do some work on my land in Wyoming! It’ll be a buzzy busy time but should be fruitful!

    First stop was mundane things like insurance and tags for the number plates. Then came the big project work – My Ram Pump! This would really get things going on the Hold, I could move water uphill with it! Then there's the build itself!
     
  2. Tyler Danann

    Tyler Danann Monkey

    The Hold is fine. Mike's new Cabin is fine, no damage.

    My Cabin Shed is fine, roof held up well, it held up so well that a small family of mice took up residence!

    Got all the boxes out of it, let the place air out. Apart from an old airbed and fleece hat I had to trash the contents were unscathed from the winter blasts!

    The old Ram-Pipes at the spring had snapped thanks to the force of wintery snowpack.
    However, this year I have big plans to fix the water once and for all!

    The Great Gates of Rohan still stand true BUT one side has sagged ever so slightly. Hopefully it won't get any worse (a third hinge may be needed). I'll have to redrill and align the locking bolt lugs for that.

    I've completed the work there and the place is ready for work again. I've taken pictures but like a dolt forgot my camera so it's just text this time alas.

    I've finally sold the Wolverine! I was sad in some ways to see it go, but at least it will be going to a local guy who wants it as a project to work on. Better that than it be scrapped.

    I picked up the super-duper grip-hoist from the Trading Post, I think the owner was a bit peeved at the time my Wolverine was in storage, but should cheer up now someone is going to collect it.

    I can't stay too long at the Hold, as the water filters are locked in secure storage so I have to rely on water brought up, boiled or manually filtered. That's no-ones fault though, just the way things panned out.

    I have a lot to do this time. Hopefully it will mean a firm foundation for the future, but only time will tell.

    In the meantime here's recap of last years doings:



    Looking down from the Ryder's Redoubt...

    [​IMG]

    There's not much snow now, just a few patches in the shady areas, all clear on the Golden Hill though.

    I partially remove some stuff from the Cabin Shed. It stood up great to the snow! I wonder how it will fare when the heavy snow years come?

    [​IMG]
     
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  3. Tyler Danann

    Tyler Danann Monkey

    This is part of a trailer project. MMM suggested i get one to help with hauling stuf around.

    It weights in at about 200 lbs and only cost me $270.

    The downside? I have to build it!

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG][/QUOTE]
     
  4. Tyler Danann

    Tyler Danann Monkey

    These two posts haven't moved at all either!

    [​IMG]

    MMM's Cabin stands strong, it would take an Ice Age to crush this thing!

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    Patchy snow but it's hard to see:

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    My view of the world outside...

    [​IMG]
     
  5. Tyler Danann

    Tyler Danann Monkey

    More bad news came when I checked the height measurements for the tree I’d be using for a sky wire. The ladder I’d acquired last year wouldn’t get me the height I’d need for the cabin project. Essentially that puts the Ryder’s Redoubt Project on hold for a while. I did reinforce that latter with battoning on both sides so the thing won't snap apart when I'm up at height. The rungs are a bit worn though.

    [​IMG]

    Just look at the water run-off / snow melt effects on the land here!

    [​IMG]

    After a weather check I see more grim news. The Mountain Hold and area is going to be deluged for 5 days. This will mean mosquito heaven for the next 10 days. Movement is tricky during such conditions too. It was time to redeploy to the south and get the trailer completed at the Greeley Grotto.

    The next morning I make a quick update to MMM and make a hasty bug-out to the White Wolf with all my gear. It was just starting to rain too but with a poncho thrown on I get the tent down, the shed locked-down and I’m out the gates by 0830hrs.

    I outran the storm but by the time I make the Colorado city the rain soon caught up! There was enough time to dry out the tent and hang some gear to dry before the weather front descended.

    Now it’s just time to work on that trailer at the Greeley Grotto.

    The next day it was gloomy clouds and cooler temperatures. Making the most of it I got to work on the trailer. After sourcing all the parts and bits that had been tidied away I soon had the wheel shields,

    This wasn’t difficult but then the rain descended and with Mike’s help it was moved under the shelter of the Greeley Grotto.

    The next stage was securing the leaf-springs to the trailer. The guide was vague but I got the right stuff in the slots!

    Once this was done it was time for the critical axle to be installed and clamped into place onto both leaf-springs with a set of U Bolts and steel plates. Then is was just a case of getting the wheels on.

    Wheel Bearing assembly

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    I took apart one hub assembly to have a good scan about inside. The Oriental Factory beings had pre-greased it but I added some more just to be certain.

    Once the hub assembly was slid in I just had to add the crucial 'castle nut' flush then back it off 1/6 of a turn so the thing could spin freely.

    The tools I used to get the hub cap off. You don’t have to remove the entire hub assembly though, unless you re re-greasing it, or wanting to mount it to the axle easily.

    I almost forgot to put the cotter pin through the axle!

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Next mission is servicing the White Wolf, both myself and G-Man reckon the transmission is a bit worn and could do with a rattle-tattle from the grease-monkeys...
     
  6. Tyler Danann

    Tyler Danann Monkey

    The transmission work cost just over 300 bucks. The annoying noise has faded a bit at least.

    Wiring the Red Mule’s cabling for the brakes and signal lights was a bit niggly but I got it done.

    [​IMG]

    This is crimped and heatshrunk. Earlier I had tried soldering it with a Harbor Freight butane torch but it wasn’t fine enough and kept melting the adjacent wiring.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  7. Tyler Danann

    Tyler Danann Monkey

    Caregiving Interlude​


    Before I could do that the next few days were building up for some caregiving duties at the Grotto. Mountain Man Mike was going stir-crazy from being in the city for so long and practically unable to leave his Grotto post! He needed to live free for a while and after some council with the old folksters of the Grotto he had his leave/liberty. As I had to wait around for my trailer inspection date anyway I agreed to help out for a few days by being the .

    So Mike prepared for his own solo trip to the Mountain Hold.

    After unloading the Blue Mule of 4x8 boards Mike loaded it with gear to take up to the mountains.

    [​IMG]

    Then on the 11th Mike set off, happy and glad to be free from the crushing confines of the city. If pickups could be flown by raised spirits that thing would have been floating to the highway let me tell you.

    I was to remain behind and see that the old folks were ok, it was a new world for me, but I owed them for all the support they gave me when I got started in 2012! Both of us could have gone in theory but we/I thought it best to remain behind at the Grotto to help out with the old folks.

    As well as this I made sure to work on the boards and 2x4s for painting and whatnot.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    I was hoping the caregiving wouldn’t be too intrusive but within an hour of Mike departing for the Hold I had my first test! The elderly man of the house had fallen! He’d not injured himself thankfully but needed help getting up. In my military days we’d practiced carrying people on our shoulders (fireman’s lift) but that was with standing upright to the carry, not from the ground.

    Nevertheless I got him under the armpits, kept a straight back and raised myself up with a mighty heave and up he went too! I plonking him down onto the cushioned chair and all was well again. The oldsters of the house were impressed that for such a slender man I was able to pull off the feat!
    Only a few hours later I had to repeat the duty, and the next day, while I was at K. Sooper I got a call, he’d fallen again, so back to the Grotto in the White Wolf it was and another session of lifting duties!

    By this time I considering this caregiving stuff to be quite a workout! Who needs a gym when you have approx. 170 lb of man-weight to lift about! LOL.

    I got a comms message from Mike that the Hold had been drizzly and wet. He managed to get some of the land barriered off with electric wire though.

    I hadn’t noticed also but the garage at the Hold was being held up only by the mega-duty filing cabinet installed last year. If that hadn’t been moved the whole garage would have been flat-packed!

    One of the old folks took another tumble but no injuries thankfully, then Mike returned and it was back to the Grotto routine…
     
  8. Tyler Danann

    Tyler Danann Monkey

    Here's the 4x8 board being matched up for the trailer frame:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    The bottom was already painted with four coats of white gloss paint. This is the side that will be exposed to the road-spray etc.

    Making some notches for it:

    [​IMG]

    The side bracers need to be modified slightly. Here's the tools I used for cutting the notches:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
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  9. Tyler Danann

    Tyler Danann Monkey

    Here’s the trailer ready to roll out for the inspection, I’ve removed the board so the inspecting officer can see the electrical wiring.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    In the background, while all this buzzy work is going on I got a lucky-break with my quest for a battle-rifle. As many of you learned folks will know the UK outlawed semi-automatic rifles (center-fire) back in 1988. I was therefore prevented from owning a piece of history which was the FN FAL L1A1. HOWEVER, look what followed me home one sunny day... :)

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Ammo is expensive for it though, so I could get very much of it. I'll probably get into reloading someday and make it cost efficient that way.
     
  10. Tyler Danann

    Tyler Danann Monkey

    The journey from the Greeley Grotto to the trailer inspection depot complex was uneventful. I have to say that apart from the 'max speed of 55mph' warning on the tires the trailer functioned pretty good.

    On getting there I put my rusty trailer-reversing skills to the test and moseyed on in to the complex.

    The building was like something from Gattaca - all isolated and in stark contrast to the surroundings of high desert plains. An interstate was nearby and I noticed a lot of highway patrol machines. My appointment was with a deputy sheriff no less and out we walked to inspect the trailer.

    He wasn't a nit-picker and gave it the once over, then checked the lights were functioning and operating ok. Then it was a case of filling out paperwork and off I trundled to the registration office!

    Once there, after queueing-up for what seemed like hours and nearly melting the computer which struggled to process my elaborate and diverse picture IDs, I was finally legit with the trailer!

    BUT, the woman dropped the bombshell that there were no proper license plates, only the 60 day temporary ones. The proper ones would have to mailed to my address up at the retreat...

    This was only a sidenote at this stage though as I had to get the actual cargo box built for the great voyage north!

    Completing the Trailer Build.

    Having a simple bed trailer is fine and dandy, but I wanted a real box trailer for cramming in many hundreds of pounds worth of equipment for a long haul to distant lands without messing with tarps and ropes etc.

    [​IMG]

    The bed for the trailer was bolted down. I only used four bolts and thread-locked nuts but it will do the job ok.

    [​IMG]

    The side bracers would take some work, these needed a custom fit and a lag screw going into the base-section of each 2x4.

    [​IMG]

    The sides and the roof were braced from front to rear with 2x4s internally. MMM was a help with this as he'd already built similar boxes for his old pickup truck. He also helped with the roof section.

    [​IMG]

    It's getting there, just need to get the front and rear sections on. MMM advised to get them both screwed on, but I wanted much better. I wanted a door section for the rear piece for better practicality, but I had to build it first!
     
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  11. Tyler Danann

    Tyler Danann Monkey

    [​IMG]

    It was time for measurements and skillsaw moves...

    [​IMG]

    The front is now done, now onto the rear cargo door...

    [​IMG]

    Some small noggins for the hinges and a hasp lock were what the door started with:

    [​IMG]

    This gives you an idea of the interior specifics. The 2x4s brace the sides and allow the 4x8 sections to join together. I'll add some more for added structural strength later.

    [​IMG]

    Additional bolt-locks are added to the cargo-door:

    [​IMG]

    I deliberately made the hasp and bolt locks slightly offset so by lifting the door slightly it seals a lot better to the main-body of the cargo-box.
     
  12. Tyler Danann

    Tyler Danann Monkey

    The trailer is nearly read to roll, both bracers are installed in the internal corners:

    [​IMG]

    Just before I set off MMM advised that I should have the license paper stuck to the rear cargo door. Like a headstrong fool I decided to put the thing in a double poly-sleeve then triple cable-tie the thing...

    After bidding farewell to the city Grotto, wishing Mike well in getting to the Hold in future times I was off in the morning! I took with me some of Mike's gear for storage but the trailer was only at 1/4 capacity. According to the paperwork, it can take a weight of more than 1,000 lbs! We shall soon see...

    The trailer didn't give me any issues, but I kept the speed to 55 mph which meant for a leisurely, but slow progress to the Hold, my first stop-off for cargo-loading.
    The flapping thing that was the license paper seemed to holding too.

    [​IMG]

    BUT, on arriving in Wyoming I saw that Mike's warning ought to have been heeded!

    [​IMG]

    No paper, technically no legality. I still had my little registration slips but no license paper/plate, with nearly 1,000 miles to go meant I had to be a careful Ryder indeed...
     
  13. Tyler Danann

    Tyler Danann Monkey

    I arrived at the Hold without incident though. I slept in the back of the White Wolf just before the start of the private road. I would have slept down in Encampment camping grounds until the morning but it was full of cyclist and rv people.

    Just before 0600 hrs I woke up. There had been some drizzle in the night but it had mostly cleared up. Nevertheless I knew there wasn't much time, I knew the rainy weather came in waves and I didn't want to get soaked during the loading saga that was to commence...

    First thing I did was make a four-point turn so that the trailer was pointing the right way back up the private road, then I proceed to unload the gear Mike had given me to store. This only took a few minutes and was a cinch, although the 50 lb of concrete was a bit tricky to move with.

    It was the long trek up three ascents with broken terrain in between for most of it and a narrow trail to negotiate that would test my balance and hiking skills. I would have to empty out my cabin shed of hundred of lb in equipment too and return down the mountain with it. Thankfully the ground was not too damp or soft.

    I wanted to be off the Hold by 1000 hrs but as the long, near sisiphean task dragged on I had to drink plentiful sugary drinks to keep my relentless pace going.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

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    Eventually all that was in the shed was Mike's stuff. His Lee Enfield rifle, the hallowed Big Berkey water filter and a few odds and ends I could not stuff into the cargo-box nor pickup.

    [​IMG]

    I had to leave behind my trust studded snow tires, I also accidentally took some of Mike's Enfield ammunition in my ammo box too. One day I'll have to get that back to him.

    Nearly all the other stuff was loaded in fairly neatly though. I was utterly exhausted though, it was just after 1200 hrs when I decided it was time to depart the Mountain Hold. My feet were sore, I was too tired to collapse the failed Ram Pump project (it protudes onto Mike's neighbors land) nor could I re-barrier the gateway area.

    It was a shame to leave the Mountain Hold with the original cabin site only 10% complete. The two posts I erected will have to hold the line for a few years, as will the five purlin logs too. I hope they won't fall down the mountain-side with erosion from the snow-melt.

    As I drove back up the mountain road towards the highway I noticed how quiet it was, perhaps the rainy weather had kept the many cabin people at bay?

    I'll miss many of the cabineers and wonder what the next few years will bring at my new distant destination...

    The Pacific North West!
     
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  14. Tyler Danann

    Tyler Danann Monkey

    It took me two days of traveling to get to the Green Havens. I calculated I'd used $130 for the 800+ mile journey. To do the same thing in the UK would easily cost double that, maybe even triple!

    Driving at 55 mph for nearly all the way was a laborious task after the 500 mile mark
    I passed a few Highway Patrol Enforcers but either my Ryder Luck was smiling, or they understood why I had no trailer number plate.
    Once though an unmarked 'camoflage' pursuit vehicle lingered behind me, then it moved out and drove on ahead.

    I slept at a rest area, with a trailer though I could park with the big rigs which I find are a light blocker and don't tend to move as much. I would have preferred to sleep in the trailer than cramp-sleep in the back of the Wolf, but I wasn't about to unload any of the stuff at the rest area. 12 hours of road time later I got close to my destination. Once I was under 50 miles to go time didn't seem to drag so much anymore.

    Finally though I made it. The long exodus was at an end. The tall, green forests of the All-Forest were everywhere and the sun was blazing down.

    [​IMG]

    The trailer held together, although one of the side bracers was loose and two of the bolts had come partially apart from their wooden noggins! All that had prevented the door from flying open was my trust hasp lock and the chunky padlock I'd used! Minor repairs were needed! Yet I had to unload all my stuff first.

    Then there was where to put it all! I had no shed built yet and only the flimsiest idea for a land-building-plan. After a few hours I had some areas with gear and tarps to protect it all. At the days end my lady-friend called me up! I was on date-time in a few days. These previous and next few days will be most eventful I think...
     
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  15. Tyler Danann

    Tyler Danann Monkey

    Today was log-moving day.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Deploying the Tirfor for the first time allowed the cabin site to have vehicular access.

    [​IMG]

    Cityscape visit tomorrow, I have a few birds to buzz with one Ryder! :)
     
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  16. Yard Dart

    Yard Dart Vigilant Monkey..... Moderator Site Supporter++

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  17. Dunerunner

    Dunerunner Monkey

    Can't wait for more! I am glued to this thread!
     
  18. Altoidfishfins

    Altoidfishfins Monkey++

  19. kellory

    kellory An unemployed Jester, is nobody's fool. Banned

    A joy to read.
    A quick question or two....how high do you want the sky wire, and how straight is the tree?
     
    Tyler Danann likes this.
  20. tacmotusn

    tacmotusn Mosquito Sailor

    Tyler, Love the posts. Thought I would throw out 2 cents about the mice. There are posts here about homemade 5 gallon bucket drowning mice traps. As opposed to poison which doesn't kill quickly and allows the little pests to hide and or do more damage and stink up the place here there and where ever. The 5 gallon bucket trap will work for a long long time, kill many mice, and concentrate the clean up in one place, or a couple if you left 2 such traps ready to go. Bottom line mice and rats are terrible vermin, carry diseases, can do much damage to your stores and redoubt. Don't be soft on these pests. Take the cabin away from them before you regret not doing so. jmho Tac
    .Bucket trap link.
    ****Pest Control | Survival Forums
     
  1. Tyler Danann
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