Improvements to Base Camp are so much more scenic than improvements we make to the soil of the Would-Be Farm.
Last I checked, almost nobody likes to look at pictures of well-aged manure or leaf mould. And frankly, the process of lopping and shaping the old apple trees is worth about two whole sentences...not that I limit myself...
So, back to Base Camp: a worn, dented, bargain-basement camper, regardless the fresh paint, is wont to crumple under the weight of snow if given the opportunity. And –– situated as it is at the business end of the Great Lakes, our Would-Be Farm provides month after month of snow opportunity.
What's a sensible and interesting solution? Lacking a time-machine and a money-tree with which to re-write history, we decided to put a lid on it. A roof, to be exact.
A variety of creative but perhaps over-ambitious or overly-complicated options floated by. Since I kind of sold the idea of the farm to Mr. Linton as an excellent source of new neural pathways (see also: Adventure! Fresh air! Wildlife!), Base Camp has succeeded. It has certainly given us some cool intellectual puzzles to ponder.
The question of materials -- reclaimed or new, for instance, kept us busy for a chunk of time. I'd like to say we have the moral satisfaction and savings of reusing lumber, but it's obvious we did not use used. The logistical challenge of locating the square footage of metal roofing -- and getting it to the Farm? And recycling that many 2x4's? Uh, not on our schedule.
I can take some small satisfaction in supporting a locally-owned business that cheerfully delivered on time.
With the help of some of the best carpentering minds of our acquaintance –– including my sister Sarah, Jeff's brother John, bright North Country all-rounder Kurt –– we set our minds on a pole-barn constructed around the camper. The walls to be be left open (it's kind of a temporary building ––for now) and the sheltering metal roof to include transparent panels for light. Add a sizable wooden deck to cut down on the mud, and poof! Base Camp suddenly looks a LOT sturdier.
Of course, we had to move the fire pit, and we learned that the Empire apple-tree we planted is just a scoochy-bitty-bit too close to the camper, and who knows what the squirrels and field-mice and voles think about this little slice of heaven come snow-time, but that's a neural challenge for another season.
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