May 2004

Ground is Broken!

Gary made a quick trip to Bozeman May 21 through 24 to ferry more wine and to check out the initial excavations for the Main House.

Most of the wine is now safely stored in an air conditioned closet in the Carriage House. Arthur and I will take the remainder when we head off to our new home in mid-June. Our Mountain View home has been sold, so Pauline will move into an apartment to serve out the remaining term of her employment, then join us in late October.

Listening for this trip included The Five People You Meet in Heaven and The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency. Both are rather lightweight, but are good antidotes for Nevada and I-80.

This is a telephoto shot of the Main House site taken from about one mile away — up Kelly Canyon Road, from the same spot many earlier shots have been taken.

Clearly, a lot of rock and dirt has been moved around. At the left of the site are a couple of pieces of heavy equipment and on the right is a port-a-potty.

The day had started off with clouds, fog and rain, but it cleared up enough in the afternoon to get this shot.

This is a close-up taken from about the same direction as the above picture. The pieces of heavy equipment at top are parked at the end of the "guest" driveway. Contractor Kevin is posing in what will be the garage. For those who haven't paid close attention: the garage will be underground and will be accessed by a small "private" driveway that forks off the main drive shortly before getting to the house.

The excavation has revealed some of the rock strata underlying much of the Bridger Mountains.

This picture was taken while fog was still shrouding the lower mountain.

The following day (Sunday) was effectively the one year anniversary of the day I car camped in the van at the Carriage House site, spending a chilly night followed by an exciting ride down the (not yet finished) driveway in the snow and mud.

This time it snowed again. However, I was comfy in the Carriage House and the driveway was no problem at all.

This picture of the Carriage House is taken from the "private" drive; previous similar photos have been taken from the "guest" drive.

The snow continued through the day, but it melted quickly when it stopped in the late afternoon. A couple of deer came out to graze on the grass and bushes just outside the Carriage House.

This picture was taken through the Dining Room window of the Carriage House, looking west up the gully.

When I got up Monday morning, I found that it had snowed again, and a herd of about 20 elk were grazing where the deer had been the afternoon before. Actually, there were likely more than 20, as I could make out a number up in the trees and suspect there were more I could not see.

The snow and rain has been welcomed by the local farmers, since the area has had below average precipitation for the past 6 years. Unfortunately, the wet weather makes it too dangerous to proceed with excavation at the Main House site, so the date for putting in a foundation is being delayed.