It was a foggy morning. A very foggy morning. We almost didn’t leave the house. But if we hadn’t left, we never would have had the adventures we had – and if we had known what we were in for, we probably would have stayed home.

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We arrived at the beach under thick overcast and occasional wisps of ground fog. Sophia wondered what manner of day this would be.IMG 0824
Like a scene from an Edward Gorey book, we trudged out onto the wild beach.

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Hayden was very unsure about the need for a handsaw at the beach, but seemed happy to have it nonetheless.

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Then the tinkerers realized just what manner of beach we had arrived at – one literally covered with driftwood!

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Jared decides to work on an “unfinished” fort. Who would leave the thing half-built?

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It turns out that having a saw at a beach that is covered with wood is very fine thing indeed. Lauren cannot resist the urge to shorten a long log.

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The sea-serpent sculpture grows rapidly as Sophia and Gretchen add perfect sticks from all over the beach.

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Alonzo works on the new clubhouse from the inside.

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This place needs a bar you can swing on, and Blake has a plan.

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It works!

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Whittling is a traditional activity at Tinkering School, and any time you need to take a whittling break you can. Connor seems to be getting the knack.

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Sophia and Josie discover some “fairly fresh” sea palm that they think might be great as spines on the sea serpent.

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Chane and Gretchen take a break in the serpent’s gaping mouth.

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Sophia and Josie have joined the mining operation, and are so engrossed that Ana has to bring them their lunches.

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Hayden relaxes under the driftwood canopy that he helped assemble.

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The new Surf Simulator quickly becomes a favorite.

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The bar is now open at the Smoking Tiger club. Bartender Alonzo is mixing up delicious tangerine halves.

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That’s a hand-carved bar-top thanks to the ever-industrious Blake and his handy hand-saw.

The plan for the day was to pick up some building supplies on the way home from the beach… little did we know what was waiting for us in the forest.

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As is our habit at Tinkering School these days, if we need wood, we go out and cut it ourselves. A local grove of eucalyptus trees seems to provide and endless supply of saplings and Connor sets himself to fell one.

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Timber!

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Trees that are felled have to be cut up into lengths that we can carry on the truck. Josie cuts one down to size.

This was our last happy moment in the woods, because just moments later we were set upon by yellow jackets. “Back to the cars!” yelled Gever, “No questions, just GO!”

Gever took the brunt of the assault as he helped get the kids into the truck and pulled the vicious insects off the tinkerers. With 7 stings, he got to eat the most cake after dinner, Sophia and Lauren each got a sting as well, and Hayden narrowly avoided getting stung on the knee, but Gever grabbed the angry yellow jacket before it could sting him.

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While Gever and the dinner crew got things going in the kitchen, some of the tinkerers went up to the barn to work on the “secrect” go-cart project.

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Missy (not her real name) keeps a wary eye on the go-cart builders.

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Brave test-pilots try out the finicky vehicle, both off-road…

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…and on.

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Hayden tries out the Flintstone-style brakes.

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“Jared did awesome!” said Hayden.