Well day two and I am so tired and sore, but the most evil project in history is complete and there were no fatalities. The Stack is UP! It’s stacked.
The day started off O.K. I was up at around 5:45 and had a real greasy breakfast. I had to drive Ann, Bills girlfriend, to the Sault for some sort of eye appointment. Now when you go up to the Sault there are a number of people who hear this through the grapevine, now you are a pack mule. There are lists of thing to get, things that need to be dropped off and sometime people to pick up.
I am not sure the kind of car I was driving, all identifying featured had rusted off, were painted over of from another vehicle. So before I took D.H.’s Chrysler-Hond-a-Buick on the trip there were a few things that I had to remember.
- Don’t lock the doors
- The key does not come out of the ignition (the main reason for number one)
- The Passenger door does not open, (so hopefully a would be thief will go for that one)
- The trunk latch does not work right (you have to push it back to the closed position)
Some other really fun facts I learned from experience about the vehicle were things like the dog lease holding up the bumper, 3 of the 4 windows worked , no windshield wipers and there was little to no muffler. I was also warned that one of the ball joins was loose and that if I drove it like a racecar the front wheel could fall off. “Don’t worry”, he said, “the Car is old enough to drive itself”. Mostly I just picked up cheep smokes and fireworks.
Once back at the bush we set to work putting the stack together. Now there is a little lid on the top of the stack that has a leaver you can pull in order to shut the top so rain water doesn’t get in. Well after a number of seemingly smart Ideas we broke this lever…production stopped.
“Who do you know that can weld stainless steal on a Thursday afternoon?” after some discussion about the many individuals that could do it they decided on the one who was most likely to be the soberest. By some sort of weird miracle it was welded and back on site within an hour, the cost…. an undisclosed amount of maple syrup that would soon be harvested(it’s as good as cash…well credit anyway).
Now for that stack….that big…..cumbersome…..heavy…. STACK. Here are some pictures.
Notice the rig consists of a ladder fully extended, you would think it was totally inadequate. I thought it was going to break from the moment we started. I have never seen a ladder under that much stress in my life. The roof has such a sharp peek it was unreal so and trying to maneuver this thing into place standing on a rickety old ladder with the boss saying “now careful of some of these runs, they are close to breaking”. We ended up taking one of the 4′ piece off the stack so that we could the the thing on. So instead of an 18′ stack he only has a 14′ stack. Well I lived and I am tired I have to get an early start tomorrow, we SHOULD be boiling.
Tomorrow is also the tree burning ceremony, stay tuned.
Just got off the phone with good ol’ Billy Smith. He told be that the big producer, Gilbersons, just made their first 20 gallons.
So Bill has about 1300 taps out this year, he was complaining about squirrel damage being really bad this year.
The equipment is not completely set up yet which is a bit disconcerting. Bill has all new equipment this year. I am worried most about the stack that goes on the sugar shack, I remember putting up the last one and it was really hairy! 30′ in the air on a steep slippery sheet metal roof with a lack of safety essentials, I am not looking forward to that face of death. Now instead of it being galvanized I am pretty sure it is stainless steal, (shit).
We are burning green beach this year and there is only about 20 cords of wood cut the rest is still in tree form. Looks like half the time is going to be splitting fire wood, thank god for the wood splitter.
Bill also got a new truck this year and the starter is already going on it (shit shit). Well at least I am hearing about this all at the same time. But mark my words I am sure we are going to be stranded somewhere and we are going to have to walk a few KM to get out of the problem.
I can’t wait!