Wednesday, June 10, 2009

What a Nice Day for an Outing!

Yesterday was a glorious day. The Interns, David, Robert Riversong (a local and teacher at Yestermorrow) and I drove out to Vergennes, on Lake Champlain to pick up two large logs (red oak, I believe) from a kind older woman named Mary. The plan is to cut these logs into boards, store them for a few years, and have about $1000 worth of wood.

But, first, we had to get the logs out of Mary's yard.

We used a pee-vee to roll the logs up to the trailor.

We wrapped a chain around the log and used a come-along to pull it up. It needed some help on the ramp (we had rollers underneath it, but after a while, the log was being lifted off of them and scraping on the ramp.) We used bars to lift and scooch the logs along.

Once both logs were on the trailer, we stuck shimmies underneath them so we could pull them over the mountain back to campus without them rolling.

After picking up our logs, we went to the Lake Champlain Merritime Museum. The museum had everything lake-related, with many buildings to walk between - each having its own focus.

Some of my favorite exhibits were items that were excavated from Lake Champlain's bottom.

The picture in the bottom right corner is the drawer right after excavation, before being cleaned. The items are what came out of the drawer.

Kendall and I spoke to one of the fellows in the lab who was in charge of cleaning found items. I was impressed by the ability to revert items back to their original stage. The picture above shows two pieces of wood, both waterlogged, one before treatment and the other after. The difference is amazing.

They also pulled up giant anchors. Taller than Karie.

Kendal and I wished we were scuba divers.
Karie is a way better at pretending to be a scuba diver.

There was a very large, very cool tent full of different boats that were donated to the museum. Each one had a label and description, some describing awesome details. I've never been a boat enthusiast before, but I really loved some of these paddle-boats.

And the bigger boats. I got to go on both of these boats.

The boat in the front is a replica of a war ship from the revolutionary war. Forty men, plus war supplies would go on the boat. The boat is small. It must have been hellish.

The one in the back, a replica of a shipping boat, travels around Lake Champlain (see map below to see how big the lake is) giving tours. The fellow who led me around lives on the boat all year.

The boats are no longer used for commerce on this lake, although it's a perfect opportunity.

Some boats used horses to paddle. Karie, ignoring the "wait for museum staff to operate" sign, pushed the floor in front of her, which made several gears turn and spun the paddle in front of Kendal. Interesting mechanics, cool exhibit.
I learned a bit about pulleys.
The more times the rope went through the pulley, the easier it was to lift the blocks.

This replicated how cargo could be lifted onto ships. By pulling one of the ropes to the side, the post would lift and move to that side. The middle rope would raise and lower the cargo. Simple, but fun to see in action.

The blacksmithing room was impressive. There was a strong Revolutionary war focus to the museum. At the time, blacksmiths would have been incredibly valuable for making tools.

If they had to make their own iron, they went through a LOT of material.

Karie tried out the pump, with success. This pump makes me want to research pumps that are used in very dry countries for irrigation. I'm wondering how similar the mechanisms are.

Today was less fun. There's a board meeting this morning, so all interns were doing grunt duty to clean up the campus. I was back on mowing and weed-whacking. It was very warm (ha! Really, only in the 70's) and pretty humid (nothing compared to all my friends in the south, I'm sure) and overcast. The weed-whacker was not working appropriately. I was feeling pretty negatively about the day, but then Stephanie asked me to help her plant some fruit trees. After getting my hands dirty and planting and apricot tree, I felt much better. I am amazed at the power of gardening to make people feel better - relaxed and rejuvinated.

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