We could take a big sigh of relief this week when we saw all of the snow piling up in the mountains and knew that we had completed the construction of our new Plummer Canyon Hut deck. Thanks to the help from professional carpenter Mike Cyr, the deck was built in two days with battery powered tools under the warm sunny skies of mid-September. Having already built a deck in the mountains at 8400′ at the end of November in some of the most miserable conditions with cold hands and feet, we knew we did not want to repeat THAT again.
Mike had taken the time to do pre-cuts on the lumber with power tools on the valley floor before the wood was flown into the mountains by the chopper. This made setting the joists easier and more efficient. Before long we had a square and level box that we could fill in with floor joists by the end of the day. Sure, it was a 12-hour day, but we “got’ er done” as everyone likes to say here in Wyoming.
Alaskan fisherman Billy Todd Broadhead joined us on the second day to help lay the decking. If you have ever eaten any salmon on our catered yurt trips, Todd is the man responsible for catching the fish from the cold waters of southeast Alaska and getting it down here to all the landlocked seafood lovers in Wyoming. One of the things we learned from Todd about fishing is that it’s just as much about keeping your boat in good working order as it is about catching the fish. His handyman skills were much appreciated in helping get the last of the juice out of the batteries to run the power tools.
We do not consider ourselves “carpenters” and we are not sponsored by any power tool company nor do we make a habit of endorsing any product outside of our ski/mountain knowledge, but we will say that our lives got much easier when we purchased a Bosch Impact Driver a few years back. The screw gun itself is small and compact and the batteries are small and lightweight. Every ounce counts when you are carrying it all on your back uphill to a yurt.
On the day we put down the decking, we had five screw guns and ten batteries. One battery powered Skill saw and lots of muscle power got the job done. We are not sure if we will be able to stain/seal the deck this fall due to the below normal temperatures and precipitation. We have experienced a few early-season storms followed by warm temperatures that melted all the snow. And we have had a few early season snowstorms where the snow never melted. All we can do is wait and see what the weather brings. We’ll be re-erecting the yurts in the next few weeks so you can guess what kind of weather we are hoping for.