West Virginia Early Morning Springtime

Driving through North Carolina, Virginia, West Virginia, and Ohio today spring was deafening. The wildflowers were singing everywhere. The buds on the trees were chiming in. The Dogwoods on the edges of the valleys were shouting to be heard. The backbeat was a glazed brick silo, some ramshackle plank sided outbuildings and old barns. Grey, weatherworn wood falling off frames topped with old metal roofs. Every roof was the wine dark burgundy of decades long rust. Cows and goats walked on grass so proud to be back from the long winter that it just shouted green; glowing as if lit from below.

Last weekend, I was driving through Kentucky and Tennesee. All I could hear was the sproing-oing sound of spring springing. The mountains were sprinkled with bursts of color, like a fireworks display. Trees were popping their buds. There were neon green trees and burnt yellow. Trying to read the bark, they were both maples, I think. And a golden brown I think was oak. Near the Kentucky Tennessee border, a bright purplish pink was everywhere. It covered shrubby little saplings and gnarled trunks alike, sumac maybe.

During the week last week, Dad rode with me to Bay City to uncover the boat. We talked about the grey green drab of pre-spring that we passed. Michigan is just behind these lower states, but it's coming! "In A Mist" seemed to weather the winter fine. It was good to walk around her dragging my fingers along the curve of her hull.

Dad helped as I restrung a tarp over her aft half. I had two tarps from stem to stern, covering her decks for the winter. The forward tarp came off for ventilation. Keeping the air moving is important to keep the mildew down. I left the huge tarp over the Main Cabin hatch and the cockpit. These two areas are where I'm getting some water leaking in.

I organized a little down below and pumped the bilge. There was water passed the knuckle on my index finger; maybe 2". That was not as bad as it could have been. It was clean clear water so I don't think I have any rot going on; just a leak, or leaks, somewhere. I'm sure the cockpit coamings are leaking. They need rebed. Then there is all manner of deck hardware from stanchion bases and blocks, to pad eyes and winches that could be leaking.

I have been visualizing the cabin as I drive around. It was good to take a moment in the cabin and reacquaint myself with her proportions. The pilot berth is higher and nearer the center of the main cabin than I thought. This will become a pantry of sorts, I think.

I can't decide if I think there is less work than I thought; probably not. The cockpit floor will be replaced, the holding tank replumbed, and some wiring done. I am looking forward to spending a some quality time in Bay City this summer.

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