The pictures show a little of how we got the lumber we needed. The big old log is about 50 inches in diameter and is solid. They take these logs and saw them into lumber of various sizes. We needed one inch and two inch pieces, the latter for the headblock and the stern board and the “timbers” (ribs). They feed the rough-cut boards through an ancient 30 inch planer, and it is awesomely effective! The rough wood is one inch thick and Edward wants it to be 5/8s for the boat. The mountains of shavings from this reduction make you want to take them away too, so as not to waste the wood. The planed wood is about as pretty as cypress gets, I think. I have mentioned chain dogs before, but I had never seen one until today. It was explained to me that this device was usually used to attach a log to the cross piece that spanned across the boom of logs, attaching each log in this way in fact joined each one to the whole raft/boom. Both Edward and I came away with a chain dog as a gift from the Anslums. Some of the logs on the property still have the chain dogs attached (by one end). I wonder when they were hammered into the wood. And by whom?
What a day! It turns out that the Anslum brothers were actually raised in a houseboat in the Basin. And there are pictures! It’s wonderful that they will share these memories with the rest of us, and the pictures too, for scanning. Being that they are only in their 50s and have the stories they have, they are a rare find for an oral history seeker like me.
Yes, and the river is at 5.0 on the Butte La Rose gauge, going to 5.7 by Wednesday, but the raft is free! Some joy riders in pretty big boats passed several times today and their large wakes rocked the big log free of whatever it was stuck on. Blessings sometimes come in unexpected packages. And it’s a good thing too; the Ohio and Mississippi are falling hard again after giving us a very modest rise.
Rise and Shine, Jim