It’s been a long and droughty summer in the Pacific Northwest, almost eerily so. It’s a quirk of PNW weather that one despairs of the rain, but when it gets dry for very long, another distress sets in as forests become tinder dry and all the moisture is sucked from the ground.
Here on San Juan Island, fire danger was high throughout most of the summer and there were strict measures in place to restrict fires of all kinds, from back yard recreational fires to campfires in public parks and lands. We watched in surprise as the fields became parched and brittle and pond levels fell precipitously all around us…it became uncommonly common to hear people say they had never seen local ponds fall so low, regardless of the number of years they’d called the island home.
When rain appeared in the forecast late last week, I originally thought showers, the sorts that have blustered through here and there the last few weeks but amounted to very little and were parched out of remembrance by soaring temps ensuing the very next day. This rain forecast, however, was different.
Rain, and I Mean, RAIN, At Last!
And we were without the most important parts of a roof, the paper membrane and the shingles themselves. Our roofer is busy right now and couldn’t make it out to us before the rain was forecast. We decided to paper the roof ourselves, despite disliking the heights. It seemed only sensible and given the amount of rain we received over the course of the next days and really the last week straight, this was a very good choice. We spent a six hour day, the last hot day of the summer perhaps, papering the entire roof. We used 30# felt and rather than take the huge rolls up with us, we cut off lengths to fit the areas we were working on and slowly rolled and stapled it into place. Because a huge wind storm was predicted for the Saturday after our papering work (which took place on a Thursday), we were concerned about the staples holding. We also used tabbed roofing nails to secure the edges and then hoped for the best as a truly Murphy’s Law inspired storm rolled through last Saturday. Winds were around 30-40 miles per hour and gusts were reported to 50 mph. I am not sure what the accurate wind levels were clocked at here, but it was plenty windy. The storm mellowed out around 2 pm and we headed out to the property to see if our paper had survived. And it had! Hooray!!