November 2003 Progress Report

Gary and Pauline traveled to Bozeman November 1 through 9 to see the Carriage House in person, to deal with a few details regarding the finishing touches and to consult with the architects on the Main House.

The trip started rather inauspiciously. We left early afternoon on October 31, intending to stay at a friend's home on the eastern side of the Sierra summit and continue from there to Bozeman — basically, a short drive followed by a very long one. We were foiled by an unexpected snow storm that caused so many accidents on I80 in the Sierra that the highway was closed. We wound up calling another friend who lives in the western Sierra foothills and spending the night with him. This added about 1½ hours to our drive the next day. Fortunately, the roads were clear and dry once we got past Reno.

Listening material for the trip out was Zane Grey's Call of the Canyon, a rather maudlin morality play reminiscent of Ayn Rand's The Fountainhead. We'll be more careful in our selections in the future! For the trip back, we listened to Seabiscuit , a much more satisfying selection. Actual reading included Hawk's Rest, an interesting account of a summer in the wilderness just southeast of Yellowstone Park.

(click on pictures below to see a larger version)

One of our "traditions" for winter trips has been to each guess the lowest temperature that will register on the car thermometer. Gary guessed 10°F and Pauline guessed 6°F; the answer was -10°F, so Pauline won. It snowed the night of November 3 and the temperature rarely went over 20°F, but there was no wind and the weather was actually quite pleasant.

We arrived Saturday night and stayed in the MicroTel (they allow dogs). On Sunday, we drove into Bridger Canyon and up our driveway to see the Carriage House. We hiked from there to our northern neighbors to let them know we were in town. They graciously invited us to stay in their Carriage House, so we moved in there Monday evening and spent the rest of the week there. Their house is a ½ mile walk or a 5 mile drive from our Carriage House, so it was quite convenient as well as much more pleasant than the hotel!

At left, Pauline walks down the old road north of the Carriage House with the logger who will be thinning our forest. The logger took us to his own property to show us how it looked after he had been logging it for 40 years; we were impressed to see how good it looked. By the standards expressed in the forestry classes Gary took, his forests are still "overgrown," but that is what people have become accustomed to.

When we drove up to the Carriage House first thing Sunday morning, the large rocks on the drive made the going a bit bumpy, but that was just as well, given the snow and ice.

When we arrived at the Carriage House, there was a large herd of elk walking across the upper drive. Of course, most of them disappeared before Gary could get the camera out, but one continued to munch the grass and some hid in the trees. They all ran once we let Neko out. She is getting too bold about chasing the elk and we hope she does not run into an aggressive bull!

We later spotted the herd while tramping about with the logger and figured there were more than 40 head in the herd.

One of our tasks for the trip was to do a final review of the Main House placement and orientation. We met the contractor and architect at the site and sighted across survey stakes representing the proposed placement. The view is a bit better than what is seen here because there is a much wider panorama.

We decided to rotate the house a bit more to the west, though not quite as far as the picture at left would suggest. The architect was pleased by this because it makes the house fit into the slope better, eliminating the need for a couple of steps up at the end of a hallway and reducing the profile of the house a bit more.

We also worked with the architect on the Main House kitchen arrangement and met with an expert on kitchens to begin selection of the appliances we will need.

We spent some time checking out the interior of the Carriage House and reviewing final details, such as the paint colors for the walls and ceilings.

At left, Pauline considers the view from the (rather dirty) south window of the master bedroom. At right, she stands at the living room window. By the time we left, the walls had been textured and the painters were getting started.

The Carriage House should be ready to move in before Christmas this year, and we're trying to figure out how soon we can get back to try it out.

The Carriage House may appear smaller than it really is because the windows along the bottom are placed quite high. Here, Pauline stands (in a snow storm) under one of the windows to illustrate how high up they are. The windows are placed high because they are not view windows; they just allow light into the garage and stairwell. Placing them high makes them less accessible to humans and animals that might snoop about.

Click here to see a better shot.

Be sure to check out the garage doors in the November pictures of the Carriage House Progress.

Parting Shot

Carriage House from Main House Parking