The work has continued to finish the rebuild of the Compact Jr before I leave Crescent City in early December. Just last week we thought we were nearing the end, but 7 days later we were still spending most of each day tinkering away… and the finishing touches have made a big difference.
Adding the the decorative support posts, staining the cupboards, and adding the hardware to open and close the cupboard doors, we were finally able to call it quits in that area of the trailer (as if there are multiple areas). Along with a 12v light above the doorway, the changes finished off the kitchen/pantry areas.
Prior owners glued on a cheap panel board to the inside of top and the entire fiberglass top was sagging about 3 inches thanks to thin fiberglass and the added weight of the panel board. Mom spent hours chipping away at the glue and board and I added ribs to the top-outside of the top to lift the fiberglass back into shape. These ribs will double as a place to store a kayak or canoe during the fun travels we see in our future. We also took the time to replace all the aged nuts and bolts associated with mounting the top to the trailer itself. Together with a few drops of lithium grease, it is much easier (and safer) to erect or drop the lid.
We had talked about painting the inside of the top a sky-blue so she could rest in bed and see the sky even with the top down. A quick sponging of white to the hardened glue areas give the impression of clouds in the sky (or islands in a sea depending on your view). A blue tinted rope light was brought in to add to the ambiance.
Finally, to replace the old and mildewed canvas, long since thrown in the dumper, we picked up some canvas of our own and began the two-day job of hemming and then installing the canvas on the pop-top. Instead of small portal windows, we set it up so four feet of the sides can be rolled up to allow massive light and air into the trailer at will.
The view from the couch.
Established in 1929, this predominately old growth coast redwoods park is bisected by the last major free flowing river in California, the Smith River. Almost all of the park land is water shed for the Smith River and Mill Creek, a major tributary – parks.ca.gov
When I stopped at a Ranger station to ask for a good, but small, hike to take some photos the Ranger did not hesitate to direct me to Stout Grove. Accessed by driving down a dirt road that slaloms past 2 miles of large redwoods before reaching the trailhead, the Grove was already worth it and I hadn’t stepped foot out of the truck.
Once I did get out of the truck a half-mile of trail, powdered with redwood pine needles and dead fern leaves, gave me a grand tour of majestic redwoods in a surf of tall ferns. Redwood trees are certainly the most majestic of all pine, standing tall with sturdy footing and thick protective skin. Some showed scars of fires once past while others lay horizontal taking their time to die.
Another 7 miles of dirt road dropped me right at the outskirts of town, where it was a short hop back to the van and this blog post. Continue reading
Moose and I went for our first hike together. Not wanting to kill the little guy, I started small with a 1 mile trail to Dead Lake in the Tolowa Dunes State Park just up the road. One part forest and another part sand dunes, this side of the state park was peaceful and quiet. It was the perfect place to acquaint Moose with the wild outdoors.
We parked Big Blue and strolled along a dirt road through a meadow where we met the forest a quarter-mile out. Another three-quarters of forest brought us near Dead Lake, but we never did find a trail that led anywhere within 100 yards of the water itself. The ferns and grasses were mostly dead for the approaching winter, but this allowed the fungi to make a show. Sprinkled all along the trail were large mushrooms in varying stages of life.
Finally, after a weeks worth of daily-back-n-forth to Home Depot, we are complete with the basic build of the Compact Jr trailer, and it is nothing like the original plan. Yes, my Mother and I both have the same sickness of changing our plans mid stream… numerous times:
Instead of hard wood floor, we have linoleum. Instead of two thin beds that serve as bench seating, we went with one large fold-out bed with storage underneath. Instead of a full-height pantry on one side, we went with two counter tops with cabinets underneath. All of these changes come from my Mothers want for more open floor-space (My Sister jokes about Mother’s wanting to host dances in there), which was achieved.To increase the floor-space the bed compresses back to a couch and the cabinets are only 14 inches deep instead of 20 inches. No walls were put in separating the bed/couch area from the kitchen area making it very open to the eye. Other than some minor trim additions, the interior is complete.
While we originally planned to install a 120v/12v fridge, we have changed that to a 12v powered ice-chest as it can be brought out of the trailer. The same will be done with the cooking range; instead of a permanent fixture, we will use a removable camping stove. This will allow the kitchen to ‘move’ outside of the trailer so we can better enjoy the outdoors while camping.
Luckily, the majority of the work is done… and I couldn’t be happier (I’m sick of it). We still have some minor beatifying to do; adding trim to seal up the corners and edges, replacing the 1X2 supports on top of the counters with decorative posts, adding a larger and more decorative board above the door (will hold a 12v light), adding two kitty-corner shelves in the corners above the bed/couch, and adding cushions and skirts to hide the wheel-humps.
We are almost ready for some camping!
In May I began the rebuild of the little trailer, starting with the flooring and interior paint. Since then I have done nothing though, and I’m happy that I have not. The flooring was not going to hold up, so we have tackled that problem by re-doing the re-do.
This time all new plywood was laid covering the entire floor, leaving no fiberglass exposed at your feet. This fixed one problem we were having with a saggy section of the floor as well as giving us a clean and smooth area to cover and secure new interior fixtures.
On top of the new plywood we considered some nice looking hard wood, but the 100 pounds it would have added to the weight turned us back to linoleum, this time in one large sheet as opposed to 1-foot panels. We decided not to use adhesive to secure it, instead just tacking down the corners and sides so it can be more easily replaced later down the road if we want.
In the image above, you can see what will become the bed (large sheet of wood) and the two dinette bench seats (not yet topped).
On Tuesday Moose went in to the vet for his first checkup and shots. The Vet told me that Moose is about 3 to 3 1/2 months old and that he does not have any ideas on his breed. He also said that based on his “extremely dirty ear canals” he was left outside for a long period of time and possibly malnourished. It is quite possible that Moose was lost, and all alone, for multiple days (or even weeks) before he found me in Oregon. Lastly we found out that he was not micro-chipped.
Luckily, the lack of traveling this month saves me a good portion of gasoline money. So far, the majority of that savings has gone into Moose; Roughly $100 in supplies and food, and now another $170 in his first vet visit. In three weeks, another visit will finish up his puppy-shots and by late December we can start on his adult-fixings (rabies, neutering, etc).
He is 90% crate-trained and well on his way to being fully potty-trained. Another week and he should be good to go in that area. He sits on command, is learning his name well, and has almost gotten “come” 100% of the time… he has it when I have a treat in hand of course. Luckily he really likes the treats so he has been very easy to work with.