Installing the Floor

4 Jul

Since sealing the floor, a fair amount of time has passed since then. It’s hard to imagine how much planning actually needs to be put in place before you continue moving forward. Not to mention work and other activities getting in the way of construction time. It’s important for us to make sure that we mix in play along with hard work, allows for idea to follow in and out before we settle on something.

This past weekend we decided it was time to install the floor. We trekked to Huntsville and picked Kayley’s step-dad, Dennis’ brain since he’s has well-round knowledge when it comes to building anything (He runs a successful Handyman business), along with lending us his plethora of tools.

After grabbing all the necessary supplies at Home Depot, the afternoon was spent cutting wood, ensuring all our measurements we’re correct and fastening the ribbing to the van floor.

For the ribbing, we decided to use 2 1x12x18 Rough Pine which was ripped into 8 pieces, running widthwise about 16 inches apart from each other, figuring our floor wouldn’t have any room to sag within that spacing. By the side doors where most of our walking traffic will be, we added 3 smaller pieces lengthwise to ensure that area would have no room to give or sag. Pine was our wood of choice due to it’s low cost, strength to weight ratio and doesn’t feature harmful preservatives other treated woods feature.

When it came to securing the ribbing, both 8x Construction Adhesive and 1′ 1/4 metal screws we’re used. I’ve read previously that using metal screws in the floor was sketchy but Dennis advised otherwise and said there is no issue with doing so, they will ensure everything would stay in place and wouldn’t rattle around.

Working on measurements

Working on measurements

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Ribbing is in!

Peter wanted to help out.

Peter wanted to help out.


Insulating the floor was super important for us since a lot of our travels will be in winter, moving from mountain to mountain and most heat loss is through the floor and roof. Through our research, Durofoam EPS Rigid Insulation 96x48x1 came to be the best option. It’s cost effective, very durable, easy to manipulate, holds a great R-Value (3.75) and it’s Eco-Certified. We cut the foam with an exacto-knife a bit bigger than our measurements to ensure it fit in tight and precise, leaving little to no space between the wood and foam.

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Trying not to get foam pieces everywhere.

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The floor top is 2 3/4inchx4ftx8ft Untreated Spruce Ply cut into four pieces to allow them to fit in easier and precise. It’s important to get untreated woods since they don’t contain dangerous chemicals and using spruce is a must since it’s strong, durable and light.

Floor is in!

Floor is in!


Our next step will be to insulate and panel the siding and roof!

-CH

Livin’ The Grotto Life.

1 Jul

Bruce Peninsula National Park was the one place on my list this summer I wanted to check out. Kayley or myself had never experienced the area previously and when we we’re living in Ottawa, the trip always seemed so damn far to travel for a couple days of camping. But now being only 4 hours away, we didn’t have any excuses this time.

We chose to hike out and camp at the Stormhaven Backcountry sites for a quick 3 day trip, the hike in was about 3.5kms North from the Emmett Lake, on what I would say is a fairly labour intensive trail, we we’re feeling pretty worked half way through the hike, most likely due to the fact that we went from siting still for 4hrs in the car to having to carry 65lbs for the next 2hrs. The lookouts and high-bearing cliffs along the way made for some stellar places to have a sip of water and recharge the batteries.

Off we go.

Off we go.

The first real look at the Bay!

The first real look at the Bay.

She isn't sure what to do with her hands here.

She isn’t sure what to do with her hands here.

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Kay’s idea of a break


The site location was well laid out, featuring upper sites above the beach and lower sites which are located just inside the tree-line, essentially on the beach itself. The Park supplies a well-maintained solar-powered washroom and food hangs. Not having to find trees to hang your barrel along with having a nice place to do your business made this camping excursion feel luxurious haha. Our site was the furtherest north (Site 9), the tent pad was perfect for our 2 man tent, giving you enough space to lay out your stuff, to sit, cook food, and to do whatever really.

I had never seen a beach that purely consisted of white, smooth stone, it wasn’t easy on the feet but we found so many damn good skipping rocks!

The remainder of the day was enjoyed stuffing our faces with camp-style pasta, exploring the area, taking pictures and just relaxing.

Our campsite is hiding in there somewhere

Our campsite is hiding in there somewhere

Bringing that body temp down with a quick dip in Bay!

Bringing that body temp down with a quick dip in the Bay!

Homebase views

Homebase views

Dinner Prep

Dinner Prep

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Post-Dinner Exploration

Designated Food Hang Area, pretty key...

Designated Food Hang Area, pretty key!

Goodnight!


Our morning came early, we fuelled up, filled the pack and made our way over to the natural attraction that brings many people to this park, the Grotto. The weather swung in our favour, giving us the perfect weather to enjoy the day ahead.

The Grotto was located about an hour hike from our spot and when we arrived, at first glance, it was fair to say it lived up to its reputation, a real powerful piece of landscape. As we took sight at everything around us, a local informed us of a secret passage, shimmied between two rocks, where a small opening brought us down to the cave. It’s easily the best swimming hole I’ve come across. The water being as cold as it was prevented the thought of jumping in and swimming down to the underwater passage way, but either way it was well worth it to see it up close. We had a few minutes of peace to enjoy this natural wonder before the masses followed us down and took over the area, a signal for us to continue on our way. For the remainder of the afternoon, we hiked to lookouts further north, chilled out at the beach, munched on your typical hikers lunch and took more than enough photos.

Once arriving back at camp, we took off our sweaty shoes, found a good sitting rock, rested our sore legs, grabbed the flask, enjoyed some swigs, gazed upon the blue abyss and took a quiet moment to relax. By the time we had finished our dinner, and cleaned up camp, the sun was beginning to make it’s way down which meant it time to hit the hay. I was able to make it through 3 pages of my book before I was KO’d.

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View from the Grotto.

Too bad the water was arctic cold or else we'd be swimming in there, livin' the grotto life..haha.

Too bad the water was arctic cold or else we’d be swimming in there, livin’ the grotto life..haha.

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Looking out onto the bay from the secret passage way 😉

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“hey babe go stand over there.”

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Kay playing with the local crustaceans

Playing with the local crustaceans

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Trying not laugh while I take this photo while eating, not an easy task.


The following morning, we we’re yet again lucky to experience another rad day, perfect for the hike out. We threw together a quick breakfast, packed up the goods and off we went. The hike out always goes quicker and smoother than the hike in, we only stopped I think once or twice and they we’re for photo purposes haha.

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A beautiful sight!

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Freaking out on the thought of how high I am.

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Mac N' Cheesin' it for lunch

Mac N’ Cheesin’ it for lunch somewhere in central Ontario.


I feel that most of the places we’ve been I would recommend to anyone to go and explore but I really mean it this time. The Bruce Peninsula is surreal, unlike anywhere I’ve explored before, it was hard to believe this was a region within Ontario’s boundary. There is something about getting yourself out in the middle of nowhere and gazing out into what seems to be an endless water body that allows you to truly relax and forget the busyness of everyday life. Between the white rocky beaches, the tourist attraction that is the Grotto and the available views, we’d go back tomorrow if we could. Not only is the park worth seeing but the Peninsula is a wonder within itself, worth the drive from wherever you’re coming from! You just gotta Get Out There!

-Chris