Beakster Bash 2019-Pt 2-Franklin, WV

Once I arrived at Bash Central, which was the Thompson’s Motel, I managed to get checked in, took a look around to see who else might have arrived, and unpacked in my smelly room. A warm soothing shower was in order and after getting on some street walking attire, I hobbled my way up the hill to a small grocery and bought some provisions and cool drinks to last me a while.

Other attendees had indeed arrived but were either out riding or ensconced in their cool motel rooms taking naps. That was my cue to do the same and after fixing a turkey and cheese sandwich for lunch I turned on the cooler and slept for a while. When I woke up, it was to some noisy activity outside where local workers of some sort had come in from a days work and were busy unloading and settling in for the evening.

At about the same time, other Bash attendees came out of hibernation or made it back from a ride and once greeting everyone, we decided to ride up the road to a nifty little ice cream place for a dinner meal.

The meal was good and the ice cream treats were even better.

After dinner, we all simply gathered back at the motel for a traditional motorcycle discussion on the motel balcony.

Even though my room was on the bottom floor, most of the guys were housed on the 2nd floor with a back door which opened to the parking lot behind the building. So the balcony was the obvious location for nightly meetings for this Bash. And, of course, we discussed randomly all those who were not present…yet.

Friday morning brought rain, so most everyone decided to take a leisurely morning breakfast at the local diner downtown.

Once we were all fed we straggled back up to the motel and just kind of waited til the rain subsided a bit before assembling a group ride to points north. There was about 10 of us on this day’s ride and the lunch goal was Elkins, via Seneca Rocks and Highway 72 north of us. The rear riders only lost track of the main group twice, but both times managed to get back together before we arrived at Elkins to gas up and find a lunch spot. Eating together plays a very large part of this gettogether’s main plan.

During lunch, two more of our Bash attendees sauntered in after having planned to meet at the very same restaurant on their trip to the Bash that Friday. One came from Ohio and the other from the D.C. area. It was quite comical seeing them pull in and join us like the rendezvous was planned beforehand. It was NOT!

After lunch we simply followed the leader back south through Bartow and back over to US 220 and again north to Franklin. A tiring day, but lots of fun! Most of the guys assembled later at the Star Motel downtown for dinner but I stayed in and made a small sandwich with chips. Once out of the gear I was in no mood to get geared up again for the short ride downtown…just to eat one more time. When they all returned we assembled on the upstairs porch as usual for another evening of robust discussions and outright lies.


Beakster Bash 2019-Pt 1-Atmore to Franklin, WV

I’m writing this now from the comfort of my office room chair in front of my desktop computer. I returned to Atmore on Monday, May 20th, at about 5:30 in the afternoon after a very long day of slabbing down from Cruso, NC where I had camped the night before at Blue Ridge Motorcycle Campground. I rode about 500 miles on Monday. The previous day I left Franklin, WV early in the morning and rode somewhere around 450 miles to Cruso. It was an exhausting two days of riding Lil Chubb…and today, Wednesday, I am just about to feel human again and somewhat rested from that blast down the highway in 90 degree heat.

But let’s back up a bit and start from the beginning. May 13th. Monday morning bright and early, after weeks of planning and getting Lil Chubb ready I pulled out of my driveway and headed up I-65 to Montgomery. From there it was another slab ride up I-85 to LaGrange, Georgia where I picked US 27 north. That took me by Carrollton and then GA Hwy 61 and 92 took me through Villa Rica, Dallas, Acworth and Woodstock which is where I picked up I-575 and then GA Hwy 20 east to work my way up the hill country through Dawsonville, Dahlonega and on to Suches on GA Hwy 60, where I camped for the night at Two Wheels of Suches, another motorcycle campground. 350 miles that first day.

After an evening of socializing with some other guests from Connecticut and having my dinner from Taco Bell, I retired and slept soundly with the sounds of the small stream all night long right by my tent. It was around 45 degrees when I woke so once I had my breakfast and such, I geared up in some warmer clothing and packed the mesh gear away. Pointing Lil Chubb north once again we followed GA 180 (better known as Wolf Pen Gap Road) across to US 19/129 which took us out to US 76/515 in Blairsville and from there it was a short hop over the state line into N.C. . I followed US 64 all the way through Franklin, NC and stopped in Dillsboro for a water and pee break. Out of Dillsboro I followed US 19/23 then US 74 until it intersected with I-40. Slab again was necessary through Asheville and up to Johnson City, TN area where I picked up US 321 through Elizabethton and TN 91 through Shady Valley.

Normally I would have stopped for a break in Shady Valley since there is a store and small cafe with souvenirs and a nice bathroom on the premises. I chose to pass right on by and followed TN 133 up to Backbone Rock before stopping for a break and to take a few photos.

Once back on the road it was a short jaunt on over into Virginia at Damascus, where I followed US 58 east to Volney.

Some weeks earlier I had arranged to stay a night at the home of a fellow Adventure Rider, another social motorcycling forum on the internet. I used a feature of that forum for planning trips called “Tent Space”, where fellow members share the yard, or even a guest bedroom, with fellow travelers. His home is right along VA 16 just north of Grayson Highlands State Park and I found it handily fairly early in the afternoon. In fact when I arrived nobody was home yet and I just waited around for a few minutes before the missus got home and greeted me. This couple was just about the friendliest and most generous people I have ever met to welcome a complete stranger the way they welcomed me. I was given the spare guest bedroom for the night as well as a great dinner and then breakfast the next morning. I was glad too, because the temps went down to 34 degrees fahrenheit that night and I had frost on the bike in the morning.

Wednesday morning took me further north on 16 up to Hungry Mother State Park where I stopped for a morning break and to revisit the park office for a minute before continuing my journey. Once back on 16 I rode on and connected with VA 42, a beautiful valley road taking me in a northeasterly direction to Bland, VA where I hopped on I-77 north for a few miles then getting off again at Rocky Gap to take VA 61 up to the Narrows where I connected with the big US 460 highway then US 219 north on up into West Virginia.

My ride plan included staying one night at Watoga State Park, where I had spent some times before. It’s a beautifully scenic park with 2 campsites, one on each of the far sides of the vast park area. On the way north along 219 I got to a point where I needed to stop for a bathroom really bad…and I was also getting hungry. As I went through Ronceverte, WV I spied a little restaurant on a corner, made a quick right, looped around and parked right across from City Hall.

Once I got all the gear off I walked down to the restaurant only to discover that it was closed for renovations! I quickly donned my gear again and proceeded to the closest gas station for much needed relief and a Honeybun cake. I approached Watoga from US 219 turning right onto WV 27 which winds through the park along the Island Lick Run, a tributary stream of the Greenbrier River. I was headed for the Beaver Creek campground all the way on the other side, but when I found it, I was told it was closed for repairs and I had to go all the way back to the Riverside Campground right beside the Greenbrier River. Lots of campers at Riverside, and it didn’t take me long to set up and go exploring.

Watoga is only about an hour south of Franklin, my destination for the Bash, so I slept in late and took my time leaving the campsite well after the sun came up and burned off the river fog.

I exited the state park and rode up to Marlinton where we held the bash a few years earlier at the Old Clark Inn. A quaint place with a lot of good memories.

Once I rested my butt a bit I got back on the bike and headed on over the mountain on WV 39 picking up US 220 north back into Virginia. In Monterey, VA I stopped to fill up with gas and the fried chicken smelled so good, I got a big piece with some potato wedges and rolls and sat down and had a veritable feast at about 10:30 in the morning!

US Highway 220 took me up the valley back into West Virginia and on into Franklin where I found the Thompson’s Motel, Beakster Bash Central, right where it was supposed to be. This was on Thursday.


Helmets and Heads

I always loved motorcycling, since I was about 15 and acquired a small Honda for my paper route on Pensacola Beach. I have owned and ridden quite a few different bikes over the years since then and during those early years I adored Harleys and wanted one SO bad, but could never afford one. I actually bought a used one while in the Air Force in 1976 but was not very happy with the way it ran so I sold it after 6 months of riding and one long distance ride from North Carolina to Atmore. I’ve owned Japanese metric bikes both used and new off the “shelf”, as it were, but developed a desire to own a BMW after seeing several in action through the years.

In late 2002, after a long hiatus from the motorcycling hobby, I bought a 2003 BMW R1150R Roadster. Along with it I purchased a new helmet from a vendor online; a Nolan flip-up with a horrible paint job. It began peeling so I sent it back to be repainted and when it returned, I could never prove it, but I think they just sent me a different one. That really put me off of Nolan helmets and to this day I won’t even consider one.

I wore that helmet for many, many miles of great riding on that Roadster. Eventually I needed a new helmet so after shopping around I settled on a “fullface” style white helmet, that was purportedly safer. That purchase roughly coincided with my purchase of Lil Chubb, the bike I have now. The white helmet had a high visibility factor and being “fullface” had passed more strenuous crash tests to protect the head in case of an accidental get-off. That was a Shoei RF-1000. At that time the Shoeis did not have a removable head liner, so my profusely sweaty head took it’s toll on the liner foam. The continued soaking with body sweats caused it to just disintegrate after a time. I also started using a head cover under the helmet. I continued to use the RF-1000, because it was so darn comfortable, even though I could not raise the front like with the Nolan. When it got to the point the foam particles began falling down on my shoulders like brown dandruff, I decided to start looking for a new helmet. I had been wearing it for more than 5 years!

I was just about to the point of “pulling the trigger” on a new bike hat in 2015 when I attended a Beakster Bash in Staunton, VA and won a new Shoei GT-Air in a raffle. They only had a medium at the rally so they promised to send me a large size when I got home and gave their parts guy a call. The owner gave me his signed card to prove I won it. When I finally received the new Shoei, the first time I put it on it felt so tight, I could have sworn it was a medium instead of a large! I called the dealer and they assured me it was a large size. I checked the stickers and tags on and inside the helmet and it indeed was labeled as a large. I chalked it up to the fact that it was new and I had been used to wearing a loose worn out helmet for years.

The more I wore it, the worse it got! I even bought thinner cheek pads and switched them out. No help! I got a silk head cover to hold my ears down when donning the helmet because the tight fit literally pinned my ears in place when I put it on. There was no way to adjust folded ear lobes once that thing was on my head, so the only thing to do was put on a head sock to cover my ears before wearing it. To complicate things, I had to wear my glasses too. I found it very difficult to slide my eyeglass arms behind my ears! An all-around irritating experience every time I went for a ride. But being the “tough” guy I am, I just put up with it, hoping the helmet would eventually relax and fit better. Never happened!

So, with riding season upon us and several long rides planned, I resolved to get a better fitting, more comfortable helmet. Earlier this week I did some online research and ended up with the Scorpion EXO AT-950 as my hat of choice, based on weight, price, visual appeal, and the fact that it was a modular. I wanted to return to a modular for the need to lift the chin bar for drinking, or talking or just more air while filling with gas. The Scorpion is styled as a dual sport helmet; meaning it has a hard sun visor on top and a rather large protruding chin bar with a significant air vent. It has a removable liner for cleaning, an internal sun visor that flips down inside the face shield, both features of the much more expensive GT-Air.

I went down to Cycle-Gear in Pensacola yesterday for the final test of trying one on and determining the right size. It indeed fit better, and since they only had black in stock, I had them order me a white one for no extra charge. When I go to pick it up they will change out my Sena bluetooth intercom for free! I got my VA discount, slapped down the charge card and lo and behold, it is less than half the price of a Shoei GT-Air. The REAL test would be how it performs if I need it in a crash. And I hope that I never have to find that out, but in the meantime, my head will be happier, and when my head is happy, I am happy.

Dusting Off The Saddle

Making it to the local motorcycle discussion forum is a major step in the acclimation process after a move to a different area such as I have done! I think I have achieved that milestone after two years of living down here. I discovered the Motorcycle Alabama Forum on the whole world wide web, and after perusing and reading for a while I actually made an introductory post and got to virtually know a few people here in the Lower Alabama contingency. That accomplished, one of the riders arranged a short “meet-n-greet” ride to eat last Saturday. It’s a start.

After gathering all the gear from various places it had been stored, and checking out Lil Chubb’s never faltering ability to flash properly when asked to, and having the night before attached the Battery Tender, I got out early and fired her up! She cranked smoothly and quickly as ever to my sigh of pleasure and admitted relief.

My personal gear took a few more minutes. And imagine my chagrin when I realized my Aerostich over pants had shrunk a bit in the waist since last fall. Blast it all! Oh well, I managed to squeeze into them anyway and finished gearing up. Did I mention it was about 38 degrees at 9am? That’s when I left; 9am. We were scheduled to meet at the Rouse’s Market in Spanish Fort, a cool 45 minute casual ride to the west for me, down Hwy 31.

At Rouse’s I found Chuck and Susan waiting for me on their luxury liner Gold Wing in the parking lot. Not long after we had introduced ourselves and were deep into motorcycle related discussions, another rider pulled in on a 2002 R1150RT. I love those 1150s! It was Terrell and he rode down 225 from Stockton to meet us. Greetings ensued once again and we were ready to roll. Helmets on! Jackets resnapped! Mounted up! Oops! Terrell dismounted and sadly related that his battery was dead and the bike wouldn’t turn over! Okay…helmets off! Jackets unsnapped, dismounted…but not in that order. We proceeded to assess the situation and Chuck pulled out of his “Felix the Cat” bag a battery booster box! Then after Steve got his seat off and we figured out where the battery connections were, he got the booster box hooked up. Then my bladder told me I needed to find a private space somewhere! I walked quickly into the market, found the restroom in the back of the store, relieved myself and returned to the parking lot. All mechanical work had been done and tools stowed. Once again we donned jackets, helmets, gloves, and mounted up. You see, we couldn’t just “phase 3” Steve because he was supposed to lead us to lunch, and…well… that would not have been very nice for a first meeting.

Once under way our little caravan headed north on AL 225. It only took us about 30 minutes to mosey up to where AL 59 intersects with 225…and that is the location of the famous country buffet known as the Stagecoach Cafe. Most motorcycle riders here back east know this cafe as the destination of the “Last Ride Of The Year” ride. Very close to December 31st every year bikers converge here from all over the place to celebrate the last ride of the year and have a big plate of country fried chicken, beans, fried okra, pork chops, collard greens and lots of other tasty fare. The parking lot is packed with bikes most of the day.

After doing some parking lot visiting and watching other bikes come and go, we sauntered inside and began our feast. It wasn’t really much of a feast for me. I chose to limit my food intake to one plateful and did not have any desserts. The desserts are fabulous too! After barely squeezing into those over pants I felt I needed to stay away from the sweets. The holidays always take their toll on my weight problem, and its mostly consumption of delicious desserts for 2 or 3 months at the end of the year.

Once we had eaten and talked a lot more about a variety of topics, getting to know each other a little more, we decided to get out of the place and head our separate ways for the day. Steve hustled up to the front and before we knew it, he had paid all our tabs! Nice guy! Whenever we get together over here near my place I will pay for his too.

Not that many miles ridden, but it was a very nice meet-n-greet to become acquainted with some my fellow lower Alabama riders, and I took a nice backroad home after having Steve suggest it; Old Ganey Road was about as curvy as you can get down here in farm country, and with the sun out, the day noticeably warmer, and me feeling good, it was a much needed romp down the little byway to home. And Lil Chubb functioned perfectly as always.

Winter Riding Itches

Recently I’ve been having those riding itches that every rider gets during the winter slow months. It’s a time for maintenance on the bikes and planning for the season’s rallies and events coming up, but we’d really rather be riding. For most it’s just too chilly to enjoy it. Living here in south Alabama I’ve been, sort of, in the riding doldrums for the whole 2 years I’ve been here. I can’t put my finger on the reason, but lately the off-season riding itches I remember are returning. Maybe its the rainy weather the last few weeks or the fact that I have been doing some routine maintenance and cleaning work on Lil Chubb and got a new front tire installed. Whatever it is, I am itching to take a good long ride and camp along the way!

Bridgestone Battle Wing BW-501 front and BW-502 rear.

A good riding buddy from Ohio sent me a link to a ride report in RoadRunner magazine a few weeks ago and I took a look. It was touted as the “Ohio’s Windy9” out of Athens, Ohio and was made up of several routes in that area. Now that’s “windy” as in “winding roads”, not “windy” as in “windy day”. The headline reads, ‘9Thrilling Routes, 1 Great Destination’. At the bottom of the report and video was a link to order the Windy 9 maps. My map came today in the mail! So now I have at least one plan for the spring/summer 2019 riding season. In June I want to ride up to Virginia Beach to attend my twin grandchildren’s high school graduation.

That thing on my wrist is a carpal tunnel splint that the good doctor told me to wear after spraining my wrist in a recent fall while out walking. I slipped on wet, muddy grass and took a dive landing on my right wrist/arm in the process. I really thought I had broken it, but exrays didn’t show any cracks so he just told me to wear this thing for a couple of weeks to let the wrist heal properly. I have one more week.

Christmas Time Again

2018 has been a year of building. I contracted to build the workshop/studio building in the back yard back in January. The main building took about 8 months to get completely erected and since then I’ve been working on building it out inside with stud walls, a bathroom enclosure with shower, toilet, etc., epoxy finish on the floor, and constructing work tables inside. The outside landscaping and yard drainage plans have been a problem as well, due in large part to the incessant rain we have had throughout hurricane season plus some. In fact it was raining the night I wrote this paragraph and we are almost done with December! One thing for sure, it has given me an almost weekly visual of what I need to do in the yard to accommodate all that excess rain water.

Lil Chubb has a nice inside resting place now but I would like to take her out more often and the coming new year will hopefully bring that resolution to reality. In addition to her I have a renewed “hankering” for a Ural sidecar hack for a slower paced, more locally centered riding experience primarily focused on back roads, i.e. dirt roads and trails through the woods. I just think it would provide a totally different and new way of enjoying the adventure of motorcycling.

Okay, its December 26th and I’m still writing this post. Christmas 2018 is in the bag and now we all wind down to the New Year activities and football games. I will try to gather a few hardy souls to help me install my studio bathroom rafter assembly above the bathroom walls, and with some luck we can accomplish that by Saturday. I’m still building…and designing…wall configurations inside around the perimeter of the workshop. As I go I think of other ways to do it, so I’m constantly altering my plans. Good thing I’m slow. But it is fun and it gives me time to think about all the different things I can do inside once I have it all built in and organized with electricity and running water, etc.

It is fast approaching lunch time so I suppose I need to cut this short and get it posted up before I drag it out several more days! Happy New Year!

Studio Progress at Thanksgiving 2018

Here it is nearing the end of November and progress on the studio/workshop continues to move slowly. Thousands of green bean casseroles are being prepared as I write this and traditional roasted turkeys are browning in ovens all over America.

A couple of weeks ago I built the form for my ramps going down from the carport and up into the workshop [same form since both ramps will be the same]. Lloyd, my brother, came over one Saturday and we mixed and poured 7 1/2 bags of Quikrete for the one ramp going up into the shop. See below.

The project went pretty smoothly so I moved the form around and am now awaiting a nice “pouring” day so I can get my helper back over here to get the 2nd ramp done. The pic below shows the form in place in relation to the ramp already done. These two ramps will facilitate moving the bike, lawnmowers, pressure washer, and anything else that is on wheels, back and forth out of the workshop.

The last few weeks have been another waiting game on a contractor. This time it is the electrician that has not shown back up after agreeing to do a project. He was supposed to refurbish my main house 200 amp electric box outside and run an underground line to the workshop installing a panel inside the shop with 5 breakers. He came out to the house and looked at what I had, and needed, gave me a price for his work, and awaited my call to begin. I called him about 2 days later and he said he would be out in a few days and that the entire project would not take more than a couple of days to complete. Haven’t seen or heard from him since. Its been several weeks. In the meantime I have been moving “stuff” from other locations around my house that need to be in the workshop building. The house is much neater now and my shop is beginning to look like a cluttered studio.

My next step, I suppose, is to continue putting in my stud walls and possibly working on the inside wiring and fixtures and then when the panel is put in I can just connect the wires to the breakers. That’s the plan anyway.

So, at this juncture, it is Happy Thanksgiving time with food to eat and football games to watch over the coming weekend. Work on the studio/workshop can wait until the weekend is over.

Kickstand Rain Ride of 2018

A few of my riding friends up in Georgia organized a weekend ride to our favorite motorcycle campground for this past weekend and it did indeed happen despite the Willa hurricane dampening our fun…or trying to.

Kickstand Motorcycle Lodge and campground is located up in the far west of North Carolina in a small community known as Stecoah, right on Hwy 28. Its not very far at all from Tennessee. In fact, the most notoriously famous motorcycle riding challenge in the known universe…well maybe not the universe…is the Tail Of The Dragon; a stretch of very curvy road on US Hwy 129 going across the mountains from NC into Tennessee. Motorcyclists the world over dream of one day “Taming The Dragon”. Actually that stretch of Hwy 28 from 129 east to Franklin, NC is a far superior riding road in my opinion.

Kickstand-View from the dining pavilion/kitchen area.

Anyway, I prepped the bike and camping gear, and planned to stop at AllPro Tire Shop in Acworth, GA (formerly Ken’s Tires in Woodstock, GA) to get a new rear tire installed on Lil Chubb on my way north. Everything was going fine until hurricane Willa decided to turn across Mexico and keep going east to make our weekend miserable.

I managed to get up Thursday morning and head out at 5AM just as the first rain from Willa began falling. I was soon ahead of it and didn’t really get wet very much at all as I made my way to Atlanta area and stopped about noon to get my tire put on. This took less than an hour and I was on my way again headed up 515 through Jasper, Ellijay, Blue Ridge then 60 and Alt 60 and 129 through Murphy, Andrews and finally Robbinsville, NC. I was pretty pooped by that time so I stopped for a rest at the Post Office shopping center before heading across on NC 143 to Stecoah on Hwy 28. Google says it was 451 miles total for the day.

I pulled into Bobby and Mo’s at Kickstand just before dark but had ample daylight to set up camp and eat my dinner of sardines and crackers. What a life! I was the only one at the campsite that night, Thursday, but Bobby came by and offered some firewood. I was just too tired to make much of a fire and soon just crashed in my sleeping bag for the night. Then the rains came. ALL night long it rained! I slept very well however, and didn’t really feel any discomfort from the wetness until I woke up the next morning.

Our friend Roy has moved from Atlanta to South Carolina and the plan for Friday was for me to get up and ride to Lake’s End Cafe over on Wayah Road to meet Roy for lunch and wait for the other guys to get there from Georgia. Well, I made it to the cafe just as the Georgia group was arriving and Roy didn’t make it there for about another 30 minutes. The food was hot, and I was starving so the chicken strips and fries tasted about as delightful as anything I have ever eaten. The temps outside were falling also, making the dampness even more penetrating, so after lunch we just made our way back to the campsite so the other guys could settle into their little cabins.

Saturday morning it had begun to clear mostly but was still cloudy and wet with light sprinkles off and on. Only a few of us wanted to get out riding in it but we all wanted breakfast so my friends Roy and Tommy took it upon themselves to prepare pancakes and bacon. Later, Bob came up to the kitchen and scrambled some eggs.

Tommy, Marvin and Bob were the 3 brave souls who ventured out riding on Saturday. The rest of us hunkered down at Kickstand central and worked out some world problems, took naps and just rested. Saturday afternoon late, two other young riders from Atlanta came in to stay a couple of nights. Our little camping group then consisted of our 6 plus 2. Bobby and Mo, the owners of the establishment added to the soiree.

This is our group. That’s me in the middle.

All things considered it was a much needed getaway and despite the inclement weather the time spent together was reinvigorating for me. I left Sunday morning about 9:30 and rode home all day long arriving back in my drive way at 7PM local time. 471 miles, one way! Everyone got home safely and we are planning another ride even as I write this!

Progress Is Progress

My workshop/studio basic building has been officially completed since last month, however, as stated elsewhere…possibly Facebook, or to my nephew one Wednesday afternoon…The completion of the building is really only the start for me to get the Studio/Workshop to a “workable” state.

I will need inside walls constructed, the bathroom fitted out and plumbed, electricity brought from the main house panel, and then wiring and fixtures placed inside. Also needed, are two cement ramps going down from the big door and from the existing carport slab adjacent to the big door, as well as a small cement porch in front of the small door. All these things take a lot of energy, time and money. I only have an abundance of time…or then again, maybe not.

I began a few weeks ago by enlisting the help of my brothers to paint an epoxy finish on the bare concrete floor. That was only mildly successful, and I will need to recoat it at some point, but for now it will suffice. And since I have used my existing budget for floor finish, that will have to wait til later. The next step was constructing 2×4 stud walls around the bathroom corner and along the walls of the workshop. The inside walls are needed to hang things on, and build some kind of shelving up high to store silkscreens, etc.

I also have been able to re-build my work tables brought from Georgia and mount my silkscreen printing tree. Lil Chubb now has an indoors, secure resting place and I’ve been able to move quite a few of my art supplies into the building, just to get them out of the main house and sunroom. The workshop, however, has taken on the look of a carpentry shop with my mitre saw and sawdust everywhere.

At this point in time, I have hired an electrician to come and update the old and worn, existing panel on the house and to run an underground connection to the workshop, placing a breaker panel inside making it ready for me to do some wiring and fixture installing. I really need some plugs and lights in there to even do the other work. Right now I’m using long extension cords to run saws and drills, etc.

It will all eventually come together, but it seems like it is taking way too much time. Things move a lot slower in Atmore. But on the lighter side, my watch kitty Frida is on the case and keeps an eye on things for me when I’m gone.

Frida Kahtlo

Purple Door Continuing Saga

The building is done! But that’s only the start for me. The first item on a long list of items that will need to be done, was the painting of the floor with an epoxy kit I bought from Home Depot, made by Rust-Oleum. Actually two kits came with the set which together was touted as covering between 600 and 800 square feet of bare concrete. 

My 900 square feet of space was compromised somewhat with the metal walls taking almost a foot of space all around the edge but I was still a little worried, upon starting, that I would not have enough to do the job, minus the area of the bathroom which is about 50 sf. The bathroom floor will get some ceramic tile later in the game.

Yesterday afternoon three of my brothers, Ronnie, Lloyd and Avis, came over to assist me in this floor painting adventure. The preassigned tasks were for me and Lloyd to do the rolling on of the paint and Ronnie and Avis were to sprinkle the little colored flecks in the wet paint as we moved along. As soon as two of them had arrived I mixed up the base and activater for the first kit. The mix then needed to set for 30 minutes before application. Once the appropriate wait time had been accomplished we proceeded according to plan. All went well, but by this time [2:00 PM] in the day things had heated up quite a bit and we all were sweating like pigs. It only took about 30 or 40 minutes to use up the first kit and had done about half the floor. I was then a little more assured we would have ample paint with one more kit to use. We took a break to wait out the 30 minute mix time of the 2nd kit and took in some cold water for rehydration. The epoxy fumes had taken their toll. We were all a little high I think, and my head had begun to ache.

The look of the floor was a little disappointing as it began to soak into the raw concrete and partially dry in spots, plus we did not get the epoxy as well into the cement crack joints as I would have liked. But once you mix this stuff you have limited time to roll it on, so we had to keep going until done and deal with how it looked at a later time. We got the somewhat messy job finished and this time we had about 3/4 of a gallon of paint left over. Which tells me we did not apply it as thick as the first half. At any rate I closed up the doors, turned on the fan, and left it to dry. The instructions say it should be dry enough to start moving stuff onto with in 16-24 hours! Maybe faster in this heat. But possibly slower with the humidity as high as it is. At this writing, it has been 14 hours but I have to take a trip to Foley this morning to shop for gutters so there will be plenty of time to examine the floor and start moving in. My next little project will be those gutters along the two 30 foot eaves.