Need another vacation to recover

So I got back from my 2 weeks of vacation on Monday. It almost felt like I needed (and still need) another vacation to recooperate from that one.

So to start things out, I spent the first weekend (August 9th) pouring concrete. I'm building a deck and had to pour the foundations. I had 80 bags of concrete from Menards at 60 lbs each. Not a huge amount, but quite a bit anyways. I'm just glad that I rented the 6 cubic foot cement mixer instead of the 1 cubic foot one like Dad said to get.

Monday, my wife and I headed out on a camping trip up to the UP of Michigan. (Had to let the concrete set!) We did 2 days up at Porcupine Mountains. We had a very nice campsite (Number 11) which is right next to Lake Superior. It was excellent. We took a hike for about an hour or so when we got there on Monday evening.

About the time that I lit the campfire to do the traditional hot dog roasting and sacrificing of marshmallows to the camping gods, it decided to rain. I rained for the next two days!

Even though it was raining, it didn't make sense to just stay in the camper all of the time. So we took hikes out to Mirror Lake, the Union Mine Trail and saw the waterfalls on the Preque Isle River as well as the Lake of the Clouds. We got a bit wet, but that's OK. As we had the tent trailer we could always come back to a nice warm and dry camper after the hikes. I still feel sorry for the campers that were in tents.

So from there, we drove up to Copper Harbor and to Fort Wilkins State Park up at the very tip of the Keewenaw Penninsula. This time the sun came out so it was beautiful up there.

Wilkins doesn't have nearly as many trails to follow in the park, but there are ones around the area. We took walks out to Hunter's Point. This was quite exciting for our dog (A year old black lab mix) as he'd never really been to a lake. We found out quickly that he's like every other lab that I've seen and proceeded to spend the time "rescuing" large rocks from the lake.

We also took a hike around Estevant Pines. Its a privately financed nature preserve that's open to the public. Its an old growth pine forest. Quite nice.

We only camped for 4 days total, so Friday was the drive back home. Then it was time to start on the deck.

All I can say about the deck is that I know now what mistakes to avoid next time I build one. We had fun with Beams that were set an inch off (so one side had an inch too long outside the joist and the other an inch too short) as well as anchors set in the concrete that weren't quite in the right places.

In any case, its mostly up. Though it proved to be a cooler week here in MN that normal (maybe 70 for highs), it was perfect weather to do deck work. I could be out in the bright sun without roasting in the heat. I even somehow managed to avoid getting too bad of a sunburn.

Let's also say that I didn't have any problems sleeping during the week.

I never did get to clean out the garage...

So now I'm back at work and in need of another vacation. I started the week to 2700 email messages. (Most of them are email discussion aliases, but its still 300 that I had to read directly.)


Hey, what part of MN? The Twin Cities? Last week was cool, but the day my family picked to go to Renaissance Festival it spiked to 86 degrees (10 hotter than predicted). We all got sunburns and overheated. :-) Keep up the good blog.

Posted by Lance Lavandowska on August 26, 2004 at 01:39 AM CDT #

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Phil is an Area Technical Engineer in the Central Area of Oracle's Field Service in North America. He has 15 years of experience supporting Sun's entire product line.


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