Major delay in posts, ya'll. I had been doing so well with the regular updates! It's the regular story though: between work, other projects, and like, one or two social things to do, sitting down to write for an hour or so each night ends up taking a backseat, which is unfortunate because I enjoy the reflection time, and it helps frame little setbacks and successess in the larger context of the project or my life.
The delay has also not been for wont of ideas of what to write about. This one's gonna be picture heavy since I actually have a couple of other things I'd like to try and squeeze in today. Who knows though, they made end up getting rambly and disjoint (the topics for them tend to induce those kinds of though patterns) and may never see the light of day. We'll find out!
First off, Jessie and I hiked up Mt. Baldy yesterday which was an amazing day hike, if a bit knee-wobbly what with the knife-edge hiking and sketchy, loose-trail, death-drops. As far as I know, no one died on the trail yesterday, but given the number of people up there, I'm surprised more don't! Sort of kidding, kinda not... There was some snow on the trail, but nothing we needed spikes, crampons or an ice-axe for.
For those who aren't familiar, Mt. Baldy (more formally known as Mt. San Antonio) is the tallest mountain in southern California with the peak just over 10,000 feet (10,066 or something like that). We hiking the 10/11 mile loop heading up to Baldy Notch first, crossing the Devil's Backbone trail, summitting, then ultimately down via the "bowl" and Sierra Club Ski Hut trail.
Anyways, to cut to the chase, the summit views were incredible and totally worth the vertigo inducing sections of the Devil's Backbone trail:
Pictures can't do it justice, but there are sections of this trail where the mountain really does drop off at, like, 60 degree angles on both side of the maybe 4-6 foot wide trail. There are also a couple of sections where the trail has clearly crumbled, or has loose rock and debris spill down onto it from above, and has been repacked to ~12-16 inches wide, with a fall below you that would almost certainly kill you. I, perhaps not very surprisingly, don't have pictures from that particular section since I was more focused on not dying or having a panic attack.
I'm not phobic of heights, but I definitely don't enjoy them in most situations. I have no problems if I have a rope and some sort of redundancy system in place. There were definitely some sections of the backbone trail that pushed the limits of what I was ok with. But hey: I made it through. After the particular section where the trail really kind of felt like it could give way, the hike was beautiful and no longer vertigo-inducing. You're up high, but you could slip or the trail could crumble a bit and you could catch yourself without issue. Anyways, totally worth it! Here are some more photos of the approach.
The desk I've been building is coming along really nicely with the exception of this morning being a total bust since I couldn't find the varnish that I want to use at Home Depot and I found out that even Rockler down in Torrance doesn't stock it. Oh well. I also finally drew the noise complaint I've been waiting for for the last two years due to some sawing. Ugh. I hate living in an apartment. Interestingly, it wasn't from any of our immediate neighbors, but rather folks that live a couple of apartments away. Either our neighbors don't care or there's some weird resonance effects relaying low-frequency sawing noise through the structure.
I've finished the major construction parts of it and just need to do final surface prep and finishing.
I'm thrilled with how the koa dovetail keys came out. These are the first ones that I've ever done and they're as close to perfect as I could have possibly hoped for them to be. Even the little tiny one didn't have any glaring mistakes or errors. When I finally get the finish, the contrast between the walnut and koa should be beautiful (or so I hope!). I can't wait to see what it's going to look like!
Here are a few more shots of the desk and desk construction:
One of the "fun" things about working with walnut is that it dyes your hands purple! I was wearing a glove on my right hand while tapering the legs and ended up with a lovely comparison photo. :-) It's surprisingly stubborn to get out; it usually takes two or three days for my hands to return to a normal color after working with it.
Mr. Kitty also had some fun in the humongous pile of shavings that I managed to produce in the process.
Ah! There are so many more things to talk about, but I'm going to leave it here to go ahead and get this online. Have a great week everyone!