Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Low Energy

    Good morning! A beautiful day, yesterday, for choppin'! I'm, certainly, still in "recovery mode." My energy just isn't there. The air is filled with allergens. The cottonwoods, in particular, are dumping seeds everywhere. The ground is covered with "cotton." My breathing suffered for it. I was constantly "winded," as I chopped.
    I worked on the baggage hanging off her stern. It was VERY slow-going, as I had to keep catching my breath. It's more than a little annoying. Indio's kids, and their pit bull, "Max," were the only signs of life at the house. They were playing by the canoe, when I arrived. They came out a few times, throughout the day. That dog loves them! The three of them were running around, playing with a stick, in the tall grass. Beautiful.
    Anyway, I got a fair amount of wood moved, all things considered. The stern is still impressing me! I'm finding good wood, as I chop. Today, I'll try and finish that area.
    Canoe! Canoe!


Monday, June 9, 2014

Ready To Chop!

    Good morning! It's been a week since I've seen Tess! Though the allergens are still in the air, and I was up, most of the night, coughing, I'm gettin' my happy arse to Wheat Ridge Canoe Camp!
    This will be the last week of camp. I'm leaving for Montana next week, to paddle Knotty! There are quite a few adventurers out on the Mighty Mo'! My buddy, Norm Miller, is keeping quite busy, as a "river angel." The river has a lot to say, and she's teaching everyone what they need to learn. (there have been "issues") All of the Facecrook posts have only whetted my appetite for this incredible journey!
    My goal for the week... lighten Tesla as much as I can, and get her in the museum. If I don't have a Craigslist ride, by then, I'll take the bus... if I must. It's TIME.
    Canoe! Canoe!

Saturday, June 7, 2014


    Good morning! I failed to post, yesterday... sorry! I've had a rough week, with the fever and all. Allergens are rockin' me, right now, and I hadn't really had that problem, since I was a kid. Most annoying.
    I'm getting ride offers, to get up North. For some reason, most of the drivers hit me up with 1-3 day's notice. Too much to do, here. I anticipate moving Tesla into the museum next weekend. I still have time to chop!
    On that note, I'm gonna give it a "go," today. Hopefully I'm ready for it. Canoe! Canoe!

Thursday, June 5, 2014


    Good morning! I'm a bit frustrated, today. What I thought was some sort of allergic reaction, has turned out to be something worse. I've had a fever come and go three times now, over the past few days. Coughing uncontrollably, my throat has gotten extremely raw, as well. I've been very tired, and confined myself to bed for the past few days. Whole-body aches, itchy, watery eyes. It's been awful. I hadn't been sick, since 2010!
    Though I'm feeling a little better, I'm going to rest for one more day. I need to be sure I kick this thing.
    I miss Tess. Canoe! Canoe!

Wednesday, June 4, 2014


    Good morning! I did, in fact, take the day off, yesterday. There's something in the air, out here, and it kicked-in my allergic reaction. I haven't had mush trouble with them, since I was a kid. This stuff... whatever it is, is hitting me hard. Itchy, watery eyes, uncontrollable cough, sneezing, and almost flu-like aches. My back is toast, but that's from carving. 
    I'm attempting to wake up, and get rolling. I slept (stayed in bed is more accurate) for about 12 hours. My head still hurts. I thought that was from the coughing. I'm wondering if I'm not sinking into a little depression, here. 
    The canoe isn't getting finished, yet. The Missouri seems to be slipping away. I'm broke as a joke. Something's gotta give.
    Maybe Tess can help... Canoe! Canoe!

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Long Day

    Good morning! Good day of choppin', yesterday! I anticipated digging down, but Tess wanted me to work on the gunwales. I cleaned-up the bow end, on both sides. She also was thirsty, so I gave her a good coat of oil, afterwards.
    I couldn't stop. I went pretty late, and knew it, by the position of the sun. The buses alter their schedules, in the evening. I should have known. It took me 'til after 10pm to get home.
    I'm STILL tired, and very sore. Trying to motivate, but may take another day off. I've got plenty to do, anyway, between my preparation for the big paddle, and preparation for Tesla's big move. Public Relations stuff, among other things.
    We'll see... Canoe! Canoe!

Monday, June 2, 2014

When In Doubt... CHOP!

    Good morning! Day off, yesterday, of course... bus system issues. RTD... "Reason To Drive"(Regional Transportation District). Buses run once an hour, if at all, generally, on Sunday. 
    I'm not having much luck finding a ride, yet. My friends in Washington are encouraging me to head up there. That IS the "ideal scenario," as much of my camping gear is up that way! My funds are EXTREMELY LIMITED, and I can't even grab a train ticket for a few more weeks! If I go up there, I still have to get back... to Montana! Any "moves" I make eat-up my money faster! 
    I still need some gear I haven't bought yet, like a solar charger for my camera. I don't really need one for the phone. I DO, however, want to take a bazillion pictures, along with video, on this journey! I have a fair camera, though not what I'd like to have. It's hard to work with the camera while you paddle. The "GoPro" set-up I had was DESIGNED for this journey. It grew legs. Town is bad.
    The journey feels like it's slipping away, at times. I try to "brush it off," focusing on Tess. Throwing out the good "vibe," everything seems to fall into place, as I've learned. Though I still have doubts, I proceed on. Chop CHOP!
    Canoe! Canoe!


Sunday, June 1, 2014


    Good morning! A great day of choppin', yesterday! I had some kids in camp, as well. There was even a CANOE DOG! Most of the kids had seen the canoe already, but all were excited about it. Max, one of the pit bulls that resides there, hopped in the canoe... when he wasn't chasing chips!
    I got DOWN & DIRTY again, opening her up. It's starting to get to "knuckle-cruncher" depth. Great. As you get deeper, there is less room to swing the adze. Your knuckles start hitting the gunwales and seats, from time to time. Fun stuff! She's getting DEEP! My feet can rest, comfortably, INSIDE the canoe! 
    It was a big day in Canoe Camp, for another reason... she's MOVING! As I was chopping, I noticed a little movement! When the kids were jumping in and out of the canoe, I could feel it, as well! This is always a big deal, since I need heavy equipment to move the trees at all, in the beginning! Signs of progress...
     Canoe! Canoe!

Saturday, May 31, 2014

Good Tool, Good News, Good Day!

    Good morning! Started out my day, yesterday, by going the opposite direction of Canoe Camp. Lucky for me, there's a Woodcraft store in the Denver Tech Center. I bought my first adze there, and it's not a very common tool! 
    The journey took far longer than I had hoped. I almost turned around, and headed for home, willing to write the day off... but I couldn't. I had to, at least, go SEE Tess. Walking down the street from the last bus, I saw lights on, in the museum. It's a nice little "historic park," with an old sod house. I pass by it, twice, every day. I ventured in, and introduced myself to three nice ladies. 
    They were excited about Tesla, and offered to display the canoe, while I paddle the Missouri! There's a Cider Festival here, in early October. It looks like I'll be back to finish Tess, at that point. We practically have a PLAN, here! There's a neighbor, across the street, who has a flatbed. The ladies will see if we can use it. If not, Jake has a big truck, right down the street. All we need, now, is some man-power... AFTER I move some wood!
    I tried-out the new adze... NICE! I barely got any choppin' in, before it rained HARD. That's okay... we had a good day. Today, I'm gonna help her shed some pounds!
                                     Canoe! Canoe!


Friday, May 30, 2014

Tess Says No... Again

    Good morning! After sleeping on it, I decided to go ahead, and get a cordless grinder. I needed it to finish the canoe, anyway, and it's pretty close to that point.
    I went to Sears for the "Craftsman" model. I was always impressed, in the past, with the performance of their tools. and their warranty. When I got to camp, I took a long look at Tesla, before I got grinding. She looked like she was ready for it, so I opened the box, and charged the two lithium ion batteries... the best they had. 
    I waited, impatiently, for the first battery to charge. It was the bigger, of the two. When it was done, I put the smaller battery in the charger, and got to it. Not for long...
    To my GREAT disappointment, this tool FAILED, miserably! The grinder came with a disc... a metal-cutter. I wasn't aware of this, and had bought a masonry disc. They didn't have much of a selection, at the store. I tried the one that came with it, on the bow... no good. It was hardly grinding the cottonwood, and the disc wore-down, IMMEDIATELY, like I was grinding BRICKS or something. Frustrated, I through the other masonry disc on. It was working a little better, and I started into the area in front of the stern seat. Hardly digging, I STARTED to smooth her out. Then, suddenly... nothing. It just stopped. I had used it for 10 or 15 minutes, and it was DONE! This was SUPPOSED to be the "good" battery!
    With virtually NO confidence, at this point, I grabbed the other battery, when charged. I tried again. I don't think it lasted FIVE MINUTES! I tried smoothing the bow, and the starboard gunwales (inside). Then, suddenly... NOTHING... again. I didn't even get a half-hour's work done, for the day. Man, was I PISSED!
    In the end, I realized what I already knew... Tesla doesn't LIKE electricity (must be the whole "struck-by-lightning thing)! This is the second electric tool that she rejected. I should have known better. I took the tool back, with no problems. Sears is good about that, as I mentioned. I just wish it had worked.
    I'm up early, to go get my new ADZE! One thing's for sure... TODAY, I'll be CHOPPIN'!
                                           Canoe! Canoe!


Thursday, May 29, 2014

Tesla: Tougher Than My Adze!

    Good morning! A good day of choppin', yesterday... for a while! I dug DOWN & DIRTY, opening her up a little more. As I was digging in front of the bow seat, the impossible happened. Tesla ate my adze! 
    The adze actually broke in half! Not the handle, but the steel blade! I didn't think this was possible! That adze was just over three years-old. I bought it for Knotty, and continued to use it on Mauka, Charlie, Ol' Red, The Big Pine, and  The Barter Faire Canoe. I believe I used a different adze on the Voyages of Rediscovery dugout canoes.
    All said, I've been very happy with this adze. The price is going up about ten bucks-per-year! Gotta grab a new one, this morning. Luckily, there's one store in town to go to. Woodcraft.
                                        Canoe! Canoe!


Wednesday, May 28, 2014

The Starboard

    Good morning! Another good day of choppin', yesterday! I started on the starboard... and stayed there, all day. We're starting to see her curves, now! 
    I brought the bow and stern in, and defined the gunwales a little better. This is a slow process, at this point, as I get near her finished lines. I'm just talking about the outside of the canoe, of course. There's plenty of good choppin' to do, INSIDE! Again... I'll SLOWLY carve outward, until we have her actual dimensions. 
    Her stern is very interesting. I still have to lay some "hero chops" on her, to whack the end off. I started to do that, cleaning up the starboard stern area. So far... so good!
    I'm really trying for some symmetry, here. I wasn't able to use this trees curves, as I did with Knotty The Dugout Canoe. Though I like to do that, symmetry can be good, when carving watercraft. I'm half-blind, and "eyeballin" it," but she'll look pretty good, I'm guessing.
                                            Canoe! Canoe!