Pulled in at 4:00 pm with Hannah and Josh. This is his first solo overnight up here without his big brother and he’s excited. We unloaded the truck and Josh headed to the swing. I opened up the shack and turned on the ceiling fans to help freshen it up. I think I’ll start doing that every trip up to keep mildew at bay.
My next stop was the outhouse. This year, we’ve had several hatches of little black flies in there. I’m surprised it hasn’t happened before, honestly. Between them, the spiders, moths, and crickets, it’s getting a little too crowded in there for my tastes. I brought up a four-pack of bug bomb with me today, so I grabbed one can, tied it to some twine, and lowered it down to just above the, uh, “waterline” in the pit below before tying the line off. I placed another can on the bench next to the seat, raised first can, and activated them both before dropping it back down below. I held my breath and shut the door. I’ll give this a few hours to sort itself out.
Hannah, the boys, and I pulled in at 5:30 towing the ATV trailer full of furniture. I’ve already had a busy weekend shuffling couches and chairs around. My folks got new living room furniture a few weeks ago, so yesterday afternoon, Dad and I headed up to Presque Isle with the old couch, loveseat, chair and recliner from their house. We stayed the night up there and swapped out all four pieces earlier this morning. Back in Oshkosh, we swapped the recliner for the one in Dad’s basement, then headed to my house to swap the couch and loveseat for the ones we had on the front porch. This is the final leg of the journey. The chair from Presque Isle will end up in the keep. The couch and chairs from my porch, along with the recliner from my folks’ basement, are destined for the shack. Finally, the furniture currently in the shack has a date with the burnpit.
For now, that’s all got to wait; we narrowly avoided the rain on our way in, so I backed the ATV trailer into the pole barn to keep everything nice and dry. There wasn’t much to the front and the rain let up within 20 minutes. The boys kept busy with their fort, Power Wheels, and the swing while I headed over to the shack.
The whole family pulled in at 6:15 with some hot, carry-out pizza from Christianos. The boys were still talking about the huge buck we saw along Reetz Rd. on the way in. I couldn’t count points, but given the spread, height, and density of the tines, I’d guess it was in the mid to upper teens. We ate in the keep, then I unloaded the truck in(!) the pole barn. The increased real estate in there is still jarring. The boys showed Lyssa their fort and took turns getting pushed on the swing while I unpacked.
To make it a little more welcoming for my wife, I took the shop-vac out to the outhouse and cleared out the spiderwebs, sand, and other unpleasantness. While I was sucking out the stinkhouse, Jake and Josh walked Lyssa out to the battlement to enjoy the view and Hannah padded along after them.
Rolled in at 5:30 with the boys, the pooch, and a bunch of food from A&W. I set them up at the table in the keep with their dinner and opened all the windows. It’s finally nice enough out to air out the keep! Temps are in the low 70s and there’s no humidity to speak of.
I started up The Goonies while we ate and Jake and Josh wanted to watch the rest of it. They stayed inside while I headed out to the pole barn and towed the pop-up camper out. Walking around the pole barn, I noticed a basketball-sized hornets’ nest on the west wall up near the roof. That thing is gonna have to go.
Hannah and I arrived at 6:30 pm and I pulled up to the pole barn to unload the truck. I opened up the keep and it was wonderfully cool and comfortable. I had turned on the AC remotely a few hours before driving up. It’s only in the upper 70s out but very humid.
I called Hannah inside and then headed to town for some A&W. I brought her back a cheeseburger and we dined in the keep while watching some episodes of Voyager. I turned off the AC briefly so I could take care of something that’s been bothering me for a while.
Pulled in with Hannah and a truck full of tools at 5:45. The pooch ran around while I unloaded the truck by the pole barn and grabbed the two empty gas cans to fill up later. I noticed last trip that the big heating oil tank by the power pole seemed to be dripping at a decent pace so I walked over to check it out. This was nearly empty anyway and probably had more water than oil in it over the last few decades. Today it was completely dry.
For grins, I tried pushing it over. It took a few tries, but I managed to rock three of the four stand legs out of the ground. The remaining leg just bent and the whole thing toppled over. Arrivederci, eyesore! I headed back to the pole barn, returned on the blue ATV, and used a tow strap to tug the tank free and haul it over to the scrap pile. I’ve only been here 20 minutes and already altered the landscape for the better.
This is my second quick trip to Puckaway this week; I was just here on Tuesday to take down the screen tent and grab some accessories for the pop-up camper. Hannah and I drove in around 4:15 pm and I headed straight for the pole barn to start pulling things out of the back corner. We’re meeting a potential buyer today for the old Larson boat.
While I would have loved to restore this thing myself one day, it takes up a ton of room in the pole barn and hasn’t run since before I was born. It would take a lot more time, money, effort, and knowledge than I have right now. Last week, I put the boat on craigslist and got a few non-spam responses, but one person had a lot of interest and said he’d be able to pick up right away if he was going to buy.
The whole family made our way up around 5:00 in sultry conditions. The first thing I did was start up the AC and fans in the keep and shack, as well as the shack fridge as the Voights will be making use of it this weekend. Lyssa started unloading the truck while the boys wandered the grounds and I got out some penetrating grease to address the obnoxiously squeaky hinge on the keep’s screen door.
A little after 5:30, the Voights arrived with the blue utility trailer in tow and full of brush to burn. I got the boys’ Power Wheels out and they were all off exploring. Even Allison got to ride along. I gave Red a hand unhooking the trailer while he and Jenny settled into the shack. Gunner’s excited barking over the Power Wheels prompted a response from Buck next door. Glad Danny was able to find him again.
Pulled in at 4:30 pm with Hannah and got right to work cleaning up the keep’s fridge so I could get it turned on for the year. The goal this weekend is to get everything cleaned and prepped so we can all come up next week for June Dairy Days.
Once the fridge was ready, I unloaded the truck and started a project I’ve been waiting to work on since Christmas. Lyssa gave me a really cool carved owl statue for up here but it needs a few coats of lacquer before it can be left out in the elements. I brushed on the first coat and trained a fan on it to keep the bugs away while it dried.
Hannah and I pulled in a little after 11:00 with the keep’s water tank in the back of the truck. Back home, I had pressure-washed it inside and out, added a spigot to the side of the tank near the bottom, and built and installed a new enclosure for the pump, filter, and pressure tank. I did some testing, and it looks like this is going to solve a lot of the problems we had with air getting into the lines and causing the water heater to cut out.
I wrestled the tank back to the platform behind the keep and hooked up the supply lines, propane, and power cord. Then I headed for the pole barn to fire up the mower. That’s the main reason I’m here today; I want to collect leaves before it’s too late to get any grass to grow. I made a few passes around the keep and brick garden, then gave it a rest so I could start the pump and begin filling the water tank. I sprinkled some pool shock in the bottom and set up the hose. It’ll take several hours to fill.