So this weekend we came to see if our little Maple tree tapping
project netted any result. It did. We got about five gallons of pure
tree juice. It tasted like wonderful spring water with just a hint
of sweetness and fresh clean soil. Lovely refreshment. A couple of the
pails fell over the week because they were too heavy. Some of the
tubing was too long, got covered in snow and the sap froze, We
sorted that out on Sunday.
So eager we were to start the evaporation that in spite of the late
hour on Saturday I fired up the stove we put together last fall and
we began to boil. The first effort was a disaster. Everything
was going well until about 1am then the fire got too hot and
everything burned. Our syrup looked like bad motor oil. Tasted a bit
like the stuff they pour over crème caramel. I brought a quart
of the water home and boiled it on the stove. This time it was
reduced to perfect syrup. Quite sweet and not unlike honey.
Unfortunately only a teaspoon came out of that entire quart. We try again next
The pink insulation was badly infested with field mice. I did not
think it was a good idea just to cover everything with drywall so we
ripped all of the insulation out and tossed it. Good idea as it was
disgusting. The idea now is to wait until the place warms up a bit
and spray closed cell foam insulation. That should seal up the entry
points and add to the structural integrity of the building.
On Sunday morning I walked to the river. There I found a set of
snowshoe tracks headed down stream towards the trailer. I thought
that was our tracks from last weekend. I felt like Robinson Caruso
upon discovering the stranger's footprint when I noticed the tracks
did not head to the trailer. Instead they continued downstream
towards Needles Eye. They were not ours! I followed the tracks which
wisely veered away from the river when they approached the rapids.
Needle eye this time of the year is a frightening, unforgiving roar.
To fall in would probably be fatal. I headed back to the cabin with
Old Soldier is a solar patio light.
We put this solar light in last summer.
It steadily gives off light every night even though it was
sometimes covered in snow and suffered many nights where the
thermometer dropped colder than minus 30 degrees C.
Sometimes technology is amazing.
Cabin March 22, 2015
(note the pink insulation on the left)
Shadow in the Morning
Tracks on the River
Mysterious Bump in the Ice
View from the Trailer
Needle Eye Rapids March 22, 2015
Maple Syrup Evaporator Stove
(Click on image - Ranger Mike takes a little tour of the Maple
Boiling the Sap
Joi Light in the Snow
Made by the same Canadian company that makes the Ecofan.
Click on image to see the video of Ranger Javier discovering
the only thing better than an Ecofan.
Walls after the insulation was removed.
Click image to see Ranger Javier explaining work ethic.
(Still in his space suit he was slightly disoriented having
so recently arrived on earth from the Moon)