Tag Archives: Leelanau County

Up it goes!

Leelanau County, Michigan – Saturday, May 29 – Written by Jim

Our cabin has begun rising from the foundation!

©️2009 Disney/Pixar

Well, not quite like that, but we do have progress to report! Our framers showed up this week and went at it in earnest. Prior to their arrival, I took the opportunity to insulate the lower four feet of the crawl space.

Getting this much done while standing straight up made life a lot easier. The insulation is two pieces of 1-1/2” thick polyiso board. Putting it up was a fairly simple process:

Drill a hole with a 5” long masonry bit.
Insert the 4-1/2” masonry fastener.
Tap it with a rubber mallet until it is tight.

The top part of the insulation will be finished once the floor joists are mounted to the top of the crawl space wall. I will also use aluminum tape to seal the joints in the foam board. Time for me to stand back and watch the framers build!

Ryan, Paul and Richard dove right into it. First thing they did was to assemble the center beam and support it with posts. Then came the treated wood sill plate on top of the foundation walls, along with a foam strip of sill sealer between them. The sill plate is attached to the block wall below with anchor bolts that the mason set into concrete. Follow that with the I-joists that span the entire width of the cabin and the rim joist around the outside.

It was then time for me to get back in the action. With us getting our material weeks earlier, I stored all of that high-priced OSB flooring in the barn. We purchased pallet forks for the front of our tractor last year and I was able to bring out several sheets at a time. They mentioned how it really helped them speed things up. Speaking of high priced lumber: This time last year, a sheet of 3/4” subfloor like this was in the $17 range. We purchased it in March at Menard’s for less that $30 a sheet. We thought that was crazy. Well, it is a good thing we bought it when we did, as we had to purchase two additional sheets to finish the floor. The price? A whopping $72 a sheet!

The crawl space is getting dark down there. Other than whatever comes through the hatch in the center of the cabin, that space hopefully won’t see daylight for a long time! By noon the next day, the floor was complete.

As the framers started building the walls, Adam from Peninsula Excavating started backfilling. He worked all afternoon and an hour the next morning to level things out. We had some steep areas below the cabin that were difficult to mow, so he used the extra dirt to soften them. It really came out nice.

By the end of the day, we had a wall!

The next day, they assembled the opposite wall in two sections. Here is a video of one of those going up. They use an electric wall jack to raise it. You can also see these clamp-on forks on my tractor bucket.

They had me push the button on the second half, as Ryan had to be by the wall joint to finesse the two together. That was fun!

Once they completed that, they framed an end wall until the end of the day and called it a week. They will be back on Tuesday.

Even the beams for our covered entry are in place! They can be seen extending out from the wall on the left side of the photo.

This morning, we had to go to Lowe’s to pick up our flooring. As we were getting in the truck, we heard a roar through the trees:

A hot air balloon! Looks like our cabin isn’t the only thing going up in Leelanau County. 😊

That’s our update for now. Stay tuned to see how much the framers get done next week. Until then, safe and happy travels to all!

Getting into the groove

We are a month and a half into our work camping job, and we feel that we are settling in.  We’ve had a lot going on, as we are having to move Diana’s mom to a higher level of care.  We have been making weekly trips to Grand Rapids, which ends up being 3-1/2 hours each way.  Most times we do it in one day, although there have been a couple of times we have stayed over.  So far it seems to be working well, and allows us plenty of time to enjoy Leelanau County.

  
The park is in full summer bloom.  The lily pads on the pond are blooming and look amazing!

  
The poppies out in front of the office are huge!  I’ve never seen them in bloom before, so it was a treat when they opened up.

  
The lodge looks great with all of the planters full of flowers.  The owners hosted an event last week for a local resident, Joe Herman, who is battling esophageal cancer.  They had a silent auction, dinner and a pancake breakfast the next day.  It appeared that half of Suttons Bay showed up!  Everyone had a wonderful time, and Joe was overwhelmed with the outpouring of support from the community.

The weather hasn’t been ideal for kayaking, as it gets cold up here!  Lake Michigan is slow to warm up in these latitudes.  🙂  We’ve had our fair share of fog lately, also.  That will all change shortly, as the sun is about as high in the sky as it can get.  The next few months should be ideal for getting Ketchup and Mustard out on the water!

  
One nice thing about the cooler weather is that it was ideal for splitting wood.  And, boy did we split wood!  The highlight of my summer was when George, Rex and I spent an entire day splitting and loading up a couple of these racks.  George is our woodsman, and he is a workhorse.  I handled everything he threw at me.  But the best part was that Rex ran the splitter…all day long.  If you remember from our earlier posts, Rex is a 91 year old D-day vet.  He does not have one ounce of ‘quit’ in him.  He was right in there piling wood with us.  The reason he is still able to do this type of work?  He never stopped….that’s why!

Diana has been extremely busy taking care of business in the office.  Only one person staffs the office at a time, so things can get pretty hectic!  At the end of our shift, we are both fairly tired, so we usually go for a drive to unwind and see what’s happening in the area.

  
Last night, we drove past the D. H. Day Farm near Glen Haven. The barns are privately owned, even though the land is within the National Lakeshore. Diana and I both agree that these are our favorite barns ever.  🙂  We will visit Glen Haven and do a post about it, as it is an interesting place.

So, even though we haven’t done a lot of hiking, kayaking or biking, we have definitely experienced the area.  We feel like we are getting to know the locals, breathing the fresh air, drinking the water (and the wine!) and feeling the breeze.  Our motto has always been “Don’t just see it, BE it”… and we really feel this summer has held true to that.

Summer plans revealed and a work camping opportunity

Leelanau County, located north of Traverse City, Michigan has always been one of our favorite destinations.  It is home to Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, many quaint little towns, a few dozen wineries, and miles of Lake Michigan shoreline. The Leelanau Peninsula is a place that has called out to us.

 

 

No matter the season, we have spent a lot of time enjoying this amazing piece of real estate.  In 2011, ABC’s Good Morning America voted Sleeping Bear Dunes the most beautiful place in America.

 

 

While it is difficult to compare the varied landscapes in America, we do feel the area ranks right up there with the best of them.

 

 

In recent years, the area wine industry has become a major player in Michigan’s economy.  Along wih it, the foodies have descended upon the area. Mario Batali spends his summers here.  The food and wine are delightful!

So, you ask…what does that have to do with our summer?  Well, we are going to be work camping at one of our favorite resorts!

  
Wild Cherry Resort is located between Sutton’s Bay and Lake Leelanau.  Besides us, there is one other couple and room for a third (due to a recent cancellation). This will be our first work camping job, so while we know the park well from staying there, we haven’t seen it as workers.  We have spoken with the staff in the past, and all of them have enjoyed the experience.

If you are interested in spending the summer work camping in an amazing part of the world, contact Jim at Wild Cherry through their website wildcherryresort.com.

  
Hopefully, we will get to enjoy the summer together!