Tuesday, March 1, 2016

In Like a Lion

Not sure what the rest of Southern Ontario is like today, but the Creemore area is white and cold.  Running this time of year is a challenge;  the struggle to don outdoor running gear AGAIN and run in slush along the side of the road.  The alternative - an epic run on the treadmill, is less than inspiring.  Also at this time of year, I have a few too many distractions to focus totally on winter running,  Today, I transported the evaporator up to the sugar bush, hauled it 1K to the sugar shack and assembled it.  Tomorrow, I'm helping to build a deck at my son-in-law's in Toronto.

However I did get a trail run in recently.  It was tough, although I was only sinking about 4 inches into the snow.  Only once did I break through the ice into the Mad river, so it was a fun run (no police reports to fill out).

Hauling the evaporator to the sugar shack was also quite pleasant.  One reason I decided to do so today is because we are expecting about 25 cm of snow, which makes pulling a 2' X 6' drop-flue evaporator on a sled by hand, quite difficult.  Think in terms of pulling a plow for 1K.  Today, the sled was only sinking about 3 inches, so there was no need to hyperventilate.  Building the evaporator went smoothly as well, which is why I'm home by noon and have time to write this post.  To avoid boring people with the build details, assembly requires using nifty little clamps for the drain valve, draw-off valve, anti-backwash coupler and float box.  I'm supposed to level the sap and finishing pans, but I forgot, for the sixth year in a row...  Hopefully I can add a picture to show the end result.

This weekend, the plan is to tap.  With only 1 foot of snow in the bush (yes, I mix up imperial with metric in a most confusing fashion, look!  An eagle!) tapping should be easier than most years, when there is 1.2 meters of snow.  In recent years I've had help tapping, which is wonderful, as drilling 325 tap holes and setting the spiles takes a bit out of me.  Daryl (son-in-law) and Stephan (good friend) both claim they enjoy it.  I guess there are worse things than being out in the bush, tramping through snow and working up a thirst!

Another reason for this post is because I tend to get real busy during maple syrup season.  If you are interested in checking out a small / medium sized operation, feel free to drop by in mid / late March.  Email me for directions and disclaimers.  Note the 1K hike through forest, to get from the road to the sugar shack.  Most years all you need is boots, but snow shoes, a canoe and perhaps a helicopter might come in handy.


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