Waterfall Shelter – 10/15/2016

Today is the big day!  Last night, I took the first half of lumber out to waterfall. It was questionable how fast I would be able to drive. I had the truck loaded in a way that could make me famous for stupidity. If this worked, I would repeat the same drive with a similar load (and it did work) as today was drive 2!

The long boards are 16 feet and the short one is just 10 feet!

Danelle drove the van out with other supplies.  Since I was going so slow, she had already unloaded everything before I arrived.  I was able to back straight up and had help unloading this time.  Right after unloading, I set up the time lapse camera so we could have footage of the whole thing!

The process started out very slow while we figured out what we were doing.  There was lots of measuring and double checking before the first poles went up. 

On the back side of the shelter, the posts were 8 feet high. In order to have a good view of the river and have the roof drain, we had a slightly higher set of posts in the front. 16 foot tall posts in the front. It all made sense on paper and in the hardware store, but seeing and erecting the first 16 foot section had me second guessing the idea.

Just after this photo, we stopped for lunch. Danelle and the kids went into town to get food and I stayed behind since all of our gear and tools were out and about. I used this time to start a fire and burn stuff cause its fun!

In order to reach the top of the posts, we ended up having to put the ladder on top of the truck bed and use straps to keep the ladder from sliding off down the hill!

Eventually we slid the roof support beams across to link the two together and start building stability.

I was getting to be a pro at the crooked ladder game towards the end going up and down with little care!

There were several sketchy parts, but the video below made it all seem so easy, I wish it was so!

Danelle and I worked tirelessly on this project with the kids pitching in. But they did have some extra time on their hands…



Hogan Haake and Sonora (guest typing)


Waterfall Preparation – 10/9/2016

We want to put up a shelter at Waterfall and figured it was a nice day to go and get some work done. We would start by getting rid of the junk at the property. We needed the truck for this, so Danelle and Sonora rode out in the truck while Corvin and I took the motorcycle.

Once there, we went to the old shed to clear it out as much as we could. We got the serious trash packed up and put into the truck to dispose of at home.

The shed will have to come down in the next year or two as its a safety hazard for sure! We took the things that may be useful and moved them towards where we would be building our shelter.

Eventually we ran out of room in the truck for the junk and decided to call it a day and head home. Our goal of a nice easy visit to improve the property was complete.

Hogan Haake

Dad Returns Truck – 9/17/2016

Last year about this time, I lent my brother Herman my truck. I didn’t know how long he would have it, but I was willing to help him out of a bind. About a year later, he got his own truck and didn’t need mine anymore. I was quite excited to pick it up. Instead, dad surprised me by driving it to a meeting half way across the state. Then coming the rest of the way across to St. Louis to drop it off and have a weekend with us. Unfortunately for Sonora, she was at a Girl Scout camping trip and didn’t get to see Grandpa Monster at all.

After dad came in and got settled, he and Corvin played some music together! img_20160917_095628 img_20160917_095650

Saturday night, dad and I went out to hang out. Come Sunday, we had a very busy schedule. We started off going out to check out Waterfall, dad had never seen it before. On the way out, I though it would be need to show him some of the sites. Rockford beach park has a neat water feature that I though he would like.  On the way into the park, we found a nice turtle in the road.

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I didn’t realize till we got closer that it was a snapping turtle! They not only look vicious, but it was fast and nearly jumped at us if we got too close. After a few moments, we drove away leaving it to do whatever they do all day long. The Big River was up, nearly flooding out the park, but it was still cool to see.


Eventually, Dad, Corvin, and I got to Waterfall and walked around. Dad even walked down the large hill to see it all!

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After we left Waterfall, we went to another bridge to look around and then headed home. Dad saw the signs for Lone Elk Park and we ended up taking a driving detour of the park. All this time, Corvin slept in the back seat.


Somehow we ended up at the Kirkwood Greentree festival next. We walked around and got food which made Corvin quite happy. Eventually we met up with Grandpa Henry and gave him a ride home, but not before eating a deep fried Twinkie!

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Unfortunately, Sunday came too quickly and we dropped dad off at the Amtrak station to ride back to Kansas City. We had a fantastic time and already miss him!

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Hogan Haake

Piers at Waterfall – 9/3/2016

We’ve decided to put up a picnic type shelter at Waterfall. We figure we’re more likely to go out and visit if we have a home base out there that is ready and waiting for us to use. The first step of this process is to go out and lay the foundation. The plan is to place 6 concrete piers in the ground to hold posts for the shelter.

Danelle and I started off in the morning with a visit to Home Depot to pick up a large auger to help make the job easier. I looked at a goofy tool when we pulled up and laughed cause I couldn’t figure out what it was for. Little did I know we would end up renting it. Its a large tow behind auger that is easier and larger to operate. Any large power tool is good in my book!

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We also purchased the rest of the supplies like concrete and tubes while we were there. Now we set out to do some digging. What took the longest for this project was Danelle constantly measuring and leveling. While I appreciate this, it was frustrating for a guy that just wanted to play with the large power tool!

It didn’t take long and we were digging and sweating with more than we bargained for. We arrived at Waterfall around 11am and left around 5pm. A few breaks were taken, but we mostly worked. I’ll let the photos speak for the rest.


The whole family got into the auger.


Girl Power


Sometimes the rocks had to be broken up the hard way. This was not fun or easy!


Boy do I look fresh in this photo!


Did I mention the holes were deep?

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Once the holes were dug, we had a huge sigh of relief. The concrete was going to be easy. I brought our generator along with the power drill and a long paddle to mix the concrete with. Unfortunately the drill burned out not even partway through mixing the first batch and it was hand mixing all of the concrete!

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Eventually we were all done. Due to the wet concrete, we got creative to ensure that none of the hardware would sink down.

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The best part about this project was being done and going home after a hard day’s work!

Hogan Haake