St Croix River Road Ramblings

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Monday, April 14, 2014

Automobiles and Maple Sap

Picked up the 99 Hyundai at Jensen's garage in Cushing.  Dale put on a new flex coupler in the exhaust to quiet it down so I can hear the radio or Margo talking.  "Engines mounted sideways in a car twist back and forth as you accelerate and break off the exhaust pipes without a flexible joint somewhere in the line," Dale explained, "some have it where they connect to the engine--hard to get to, and some, like yours, have it under the car easily accessible." 
I swapped Scott's car for the Hyundai, as I had borrowed it to drive to Luck to spend my Monday pm volunteering for the Polk Genealogy society as I have for a year now.  Scott told me, "you can hear the high pitched sound of metal on metal when you turn, probably the front break disk pads worn down."  Most disk break pads have a metal tang in the pad that gets exposed when the pads wear down giving the metal on metal sound that is a warning to replace them before long.  They get noisier and noisier and eventually, if you have any high frequency hearing left, you have to have a hole in the muffler or a loud radio to cover it up.
 "Would you balance the front tires too," I asked Dale, "I noticed at 65 mph the front right one seems to shake a little."  I had an appointment for the Hyundai Monday and the Acclaim for Tuesday, and if nothing else is wrong, Scott and I will pick up his car Tuesday at closing time.  Dale is pretty quick with brakes and exhaust problems and does a good work at a decent price.  Grandpa took his cars to Harold (Dale's grandfather) as did Dad (Dad bought his 51 Chev from Harold back when Jensen's had the Chev dealership).  I took my 1967 Rambler Rogue to Bud (Dale's dad), back in those days, and so it seams reasonable for Scott to have Dale fix his car nowadays. 
   After getting the cars swapped, I joined Scott at the cabin to collect sap.  It ran a little, about 60 gallons of sap in about 75 buckets.  Some ran good and many didn't run at all.  This week looks like our best chance of getting some syrup.  Instead of putting out the 200 buckets (we have 400) we did last year, we got discouraged and only put out 75 this year.  In a normal year, 75 buckets means 75 quarts of syrup--18 gallons of syrup--plenty for what we use and give away and sell.  

    Photos today from the Orr Lake Sugarbush. 
Didn't get warm enough today to melt the ice in the bucket.  The wind blew in some bark and leaves

Scott and the 1947 Ford 2N

Crack/wound in a maple oozes sap that freezes in icicles on the side of the tree or on broken limbs

Every low spot has a pond.  On Saturday with the warm temperatures, the frogs were chirping in the bigger ponds. 

What happens when you forget to remove a spile (tap) from the tree.  About 10 years and the 1.5 inch spile has almost disappeared.  I left it as a lesson to Margo to be more careful!

Took Grandpa's 1970s Cub Cadet for its first drive this year -- back into the woods.  It purred along wonderfully.  I took an old set of car chains from the 1938 Chev (replaced by the 1951 Chev) and cut them down for the back.  On our farm, everything is in a shed somewhere including the fender skirts for the 51 Chev and the chains for the 1933 Chevrolet.