I spent most of Sunday building a rack for the three canoes I bought for the Pathfinders. After I bought some pressure treated lumber, I got right to work. Here’s the rack – it’s not done yet, but it’s done enough to hold the boats.

Unfinished Canoe Rack

Unfinished Canoe Rack

The hardest part was digging two post holes for the two main supports. Maybe I should say “the two supports” since there are no others – those two are it.

When our house was being built back in 2004, there was a massive log dump on the property. The builder buried them in a clearing between the yard and the woods. There is a little strip of woods between the clearing and the yard. But that clearing was the ideal place to put the rack – except that it’s very difficult to dig post holes into a log grave yard.

The first hole went pretty OK. It hit a couple of gallon-sized rocks, but I got the hole down to 30″ deep without too much trouble. The second hole had more gallon-sized rocks in it, and when I got it down to the 16-inch mark, I hit the log. You’d think that after eight years of being buried, it would have rotted by now, but you’d be wrong. It was quite solid. It is next to impossible to dig through a log with a post hole digger. So I moved the second hole a little closer to the first.

Then I began milling the posts. A notch at the top to receive the ridge pole, and two dados to receive the cross bars. Halfway through that operation it began to rain. Not that the rain made me any wetter than I already was. The humidity was 96%, and digging post holes and cutting notches in lumber with a handsaw, hammer, and chisel is hard work.

There was also a break for lunch in there around noon time, and a small shopping trip to get more stuff for Jonathan’s “apartment” – which is an ex-dormitory sold by the University to a private interest who runs it as a dormitory – but they call them apartments. But I digress.

By evening, it was together well enough to receive the canoes. So Jonathan and I hauled them over and placed them on the rack. I will put a tarp over the ridge pole to keep the UV off the boats (it’s bad for fiberglass & epoxy). I will also add some ropes to tie the boats down so they stay put in gale force winds.

When I woke up on Monday morning, every muscle in my body (but especially in my arms and hands) was railing at me. Ugh. I figure that was the post hole digger, because my two arms were equally sore. And they were sore when I woke up on Tuesday too. In fact, they are still sore on Tuesday evening as I write this. But none of this has made any sign of reducing my girth.


Changing subjects.

Today I saw for the first time ever, a chicory plant growing in New Hampshire.

Common chicory (Cichorium intybus)

Common chicory (Cichorium intybus)

I have seen this in Vermont and in Massachusetts – within 5 miles of the NH border, and I have even looked for it in NH. A fellow New Hampshire blogger has documented it in the southwest portion of the state, but until today, I had never seen it here.

I’ve never seen it in Maine either, but first things first!