The LSW covered the ‘First Night’ weekend pretty well, but I have to weigh in on a couple of thing:
1) Mice. There has been evidence of them in the cabin since the beginning. They are getting in through the basement hatch, and can easily get upstairs through the various plumbing and wiring holes. The basement hatch is going to get a better seal when I finish insulating later this year, and the holes will be filled with spray insulation just as soon as I finish what little remains of the plumbing and wiring. Even then, I suspect they’ll always be a presence – just like they are at home (unfortunately).
2) Spiders. It’s not like they are everywhere, although their numbers are growing in the crawlspace. Which is odd, as I’ve never seen any bugs down there, so what could they possibly be eating except each other? Buddhism be damned, I’m going to start spraying the bastards next time I’m up; I don’t like spiders and I’m not going to have them lurking in the floor joists ready to attack me.
3) The toilet. There is always one job that gives you unforeseen problems and trashes your carefully planned schedule. The toilet was generously donated by my father, and - I've no doubt - was working fine when he removed it. I’m sure it was something we were doing, but after removing the tank for the 5th or 6th time we just snapped. Kudos to the LSW for opting to run to Keene, NH rather than pack it up and go home. The new toilet was less than $90 and took all of 15 minutes to install. We could have wept when the water from the first flush ended up in the bowl rather than on the floor.
4) Orange water. We had been warned that this was likely. The water tests fine and looks clear coming out of a hose, but accumulate some in a white toilet or bath and it is, in fact, rather orange. Quite rather orange, in fact. I’ve been assured that this is just minerals and can be cleared up easily with a well filter. Not wanting it to permanently stain the toilet until the next trip, however, I sourced some clear water from the Saxtons River and poured it in before we left. On the way home, however, it occurred to me that river water probably has microorganisms in it, and I now fear we’ll find a jungle growing in (or out of!) the toilet when we return. Oops.
5) Dog Eat Dog World hot dog truck in North Walpole NH. The LSW and I are in perfect agreement: This place is kick-ass, and I don't even (usually) like hot dogs!
Best part of the weekend: Beer and burgers on the front porch Saturday evening.
Strangest part: The coyotes (Wolves? Unicorns?) we heard Saturday night.
Most unexpected: Where the hell were all the bugs!?! Growing up in Maine I remember black fly season, mosquito season and deathly cold season – something I figured was true everywhere in northern New England. Apparently not in Shangri-La, however, although I was pestered by horseflies whenever I got more than 100 feet away from the cabin…