Trip #2:  November 12, 2022 – November 19, 2022

Saturday, November 12, 2022

The early-early departure had served us well, so for our second trip, we followed the same template.  We departed Maine at 0112 and arrived at The Lodge at 1230, after a utility stop in Carlton, gas in Connecticut somewhere (unplanned, but this was our first trip in the Acadia and the fuel use was higher than expected), then the Bedford rest area (dirty and dark this time), and again somewhere in Maryland for gas.  We’d been a bit worried about a rainstorm that could have affected our travel at the onset, but fortunately the rain had mostly passed by, with only moderate rain and spotty during the earlier portions of the trip.  When we arrived, it was sunny, unexpectedly and unseasonably warm at 75, and high tide.    Inside, we found that the furniture had a layer of mildew from the humid summer (we surmised), but fortunately it was pretty easy to clean up.

Our goal for this visit was to get The Lodge to a point where next time, we could actually stay there.  We knew the bathroom and kitchen worked, and if we could clean up the bedroom and get things decent, we’d be able to stay and enjoy the convenience and time-and-money savings.  By this point, we knew that not only was there still a huge amount of cleanup to be done regardless of what we hoped to do with the property, we also were leaning strongly towards keeping the place.

Instead of the grizzly-fisherman motel in Wachapreague, this time we’d found a little cottage rental very close by, in Silver Beach, which was directly across the fields from The Lodge and very convenient.  So after some time getting reacquainted, we drove over to the rental to unpack and check things out.  It was a cute little campy cottage with a view of the bay, filled with “Choogy Chunks”, as we came to call them–you know, those silly signs and wall hangings you see.  (We came to call the cottage “The Choog” as well.)    I made it my business to photograph too the choogy chunks.   We got the heat pump/AC going and cooled off the cottage nicely before heading to town for some basic foodstuffs and some Lodge needs for the morning.  We dropped stuff off at the Lodge, then back to the Choog for a shower, drink, and dinner:  Wild Mike’s frozen pizza.  Bed by 1830 after a long day.

Sunday, November 13, 2022

After a frontal passage, it was much cooler this morning, and I had to try to figure out how to change the heat pump to heat setting.  I had never used one before, and found the controls tough to decipher, particularly since the icon for warmth (a sun) looked very much like the icon for cool (a snowflake); plus, to confuse things further, there was an icon that looked like a flame (should be heat, right?), but turned out to be a water droplet, for some kind of dehumidifying setting.  Anyway, we got it figured out–Heidi did, at least–and moved on.  It got light around 0650, and we headed to The Lodge by 0730 to get right to work.  These videos show things at the beginning, with appropriate discussions.

I got started by washing the walls and ceilings in the master bedroom.  These surfaces were dark with smoke and age.  Washing them was no fun “atoll”, but had to be done.  While I worked on that, Heidi got started tediously removing the forest wallpaper in the master–fortunately, she kind of likes those sorts of mind-numbing jobs that I can’t do, so this works out well.  I also washed most of the windows and storm windows around the house, while Heidi plugged away at the wallpaper.

Meanwhile, I repeated the washing process in the back bedroom.

When I’d finished with that, Heidi had finished the wallpaper, so I finished up by cleaning that final wall in the master as well.  All the walls and ceilings in this house are a sort of rough plaster finish.

This took till nearly 3, after which we went into town to buy paint and supplies for the next day.  I found a supply of ceiling white (also good for primer) and some of the blue trim paint in one of the sheds, so for the moment we planned simply to repeat the same color scheme in all the rooms, to match the living room.  Sometime later, we’d get more intersting with paint schemes, but for now just getting things bright and clean ruled the day.  We returned with more paint, spackle for Heidi to go around and patch some holes in the walls, while I tried to use construction adhesive to re-secure a couple baseboard sections in the master bedroom that had come detached from the concrete.  (This sort of worked.)

Afterwards, we returned to the Choog to clean up and headed out to dinner at El Maguey.

Monday, November 14, 2022

Lots of surf leftover from the wind yesterday, but it was a nice, clear morning.  We left the Choog at 0715, and got right to work at the Lodge.  I started in the master with the remains of the 5 gallon bucket of ceiling white, painting all surfaces (ceiling first, then the walls) with a coat of the flat white.  This made a huge difference.  I used a 3/4″ nap roller since the surfaces were uneven with the rough plaster treatment.  The clean white showed how the existing “white” was really a sort of pale green.  I painted over the dark green door and window trim too.

The paint covered pretty well, considering, but took some time to dry, perhaps because it was cool and the plaster/concrete walls didn’t absorb like drywall might. I turned up the electric baseboard heat to help, but soon enough, I could do a second coat on the ceiling:  no need for two coats elsewhere, since the walls would be getting two coats of wall paint.

Now I moved on to the back room and repeated the process–2 coats on the ceiling and one on all the other surfaces.  This made a significant difference here as well.

While I was busy painting, Heidi removed the nasty cabinet doors from the kitchen, leaving open shelving that wasn’t really that bad, along with other odds and ends, cleaning, and some outdoor work.  She made great progress on the fixtured in the bathroom, which were OK but had some bad rust stains, as well as the kitchen sink, which had been extremely stained before.  Neither the kitchen nor the bathroom was great shakes, but both were now serviceable and acceptable for our use on a temporary basis going forward.

 

With the priming and ceilings done, we went to town to return some unused ceiling white (3 gallons), purchase a new doorknob for the cheap bathroom door, took trash to the dump, and bought some other supplies.  A good, successful, day.

Tuesday, November 15, 2022

I painted the walls with satin white paint–one coat covered well, so I left it at that.  I took its time drying, especially in the back room, so again I turned up the heat. In this room, I decided to paint the window trim plain white as well.   When the walls in the master bedroom were dry enough, I painted the baseboards, windows, and door trim with 2 coats of the blue trim paint used elsewhere in the house,  The baseboard was a mess and missing sections where it’d rotted out, but it would be OK for the time being.

Meanwhile, Heidi installed the new doorknob on the bathroom, cleaned the office (Dee’s little room), and other odds and ends.

Back to El Maguey for dinner.

Wednesday, November 11, 2022

We headed out early to buy a new vacuum and some other errands (including a stop at Hardees for our favorite breakfast biscuits).  Back at The Lodge by 0830, where we picked away at some smaller jobs:  Heidi scraped paint from the windows, I measured all the rooms for reference, reglazed the old window in the office, and put the storms back on.  Met with Matthew Freeze, a contractor, at 11 to discuss possibilities for the project we hoped to undertake with the house.  I’ve covered some of our ideas in the varius videos in this series, but as it happened the ideas continued to change and develop with time, as is the norm.

I had another quick look in the attic, thinking about starting to clear some stuff out, but my enthusiasm was dampened by the discovery, at the top of the pull-down stairs, of a snake skin that hadn’t been there in April, plus Heidi made the good point that it made no sense now to traipse or store all this stuff in the just-cleaned-up house, so we pretty much decided we’d hire someone to do this cleanout another time, and when we had a dumpster on site.

After the meeting, we departed around 1300 to go to a nearby furniture store to look at mattresses:  Vance’s furniture up in Melfa.  We found a Serta we liked, and talked with Vance himself–very chatty and flamboyant–and decided we’d order the mattress in a few months so it would be available for our next trip down in the spring.  Afterwards, we amused ourselves with a drive around the Atlantic side of the shore starting at Melfa, down a long dead-end road to a campground at the very end, then eventually back up through Willis Wharf and Nassawadox.  We killed time till it was late enough to order dinner from Little Italy, which we brought back to the Choog to enjoy.  Cold and windy overnight.

Thursday, November 17, 2022

It was windy and chilly in the morning, but cozy in the Choog.  I took the dogs for a long walk down the nearby road to look at the various cottages at Silver Beach.

At the Lodge, we did a few unmemorable things inside, then, with nice–but cool–weather worked outside much of the day, starting by trying to find the well using an old drawing that Dee had made, but it was hard to read and we never did find the well by that drawing.  Moving on, we cut down various small things near the house, and cleared out some underbrush, small trees, and limbs from the waterfront side, greatly opening the view (but just a start).

Afterwards, we took the afternoon off to go back to Melfa to look at an antiques store there that Heidi thought looked interesting; it was right behind Vance’s, but hadn’t been open when we were there the day before.  It was all a little precious for me.  We headed back to the Choog on the early side to relax and prepare a bit for dinner out down in Cape Charles, where we’d be finally meeting Wallace and Debbie Cooley, Dee’s good friends and helpers during his sickness.  Good meal and company.

Friday, November 18, 2022

It was our last day once again, so soon.  We finished off the work list:  some laundry, shut the storm windows, turn on the heat to a minimal–but safe–temperature, turn off anything electrical we could.  We cleaned the house, which looked good overall.  I walked around the property to document the condition of things.  Left around noon to go to the Choog, dump the trash, then had lunch at El Maguey before heading to the antique mall, where we found a few vintage Corningware casseroles for the Lodge.  Then, we had a quiet afternoon at the Choog before some simple egg sandwiches for dinner and an early night.

 

Saturday, November 19, 2022

Departed the Choog at 0112, home 1130.  After a gas stop at a Royal Farms right at the MD border, and another at Gandolfini on the Garden State, I planned to go to Willington, CT for the next stop, but by Hartford we were worryingly low, so we got off at some exit for gas–19.1 gallons (20 gallon tank).  Other than this, it was an easy trip.

1828.3 total miles; 22.3 MPG avg.