September, 2005

The Great Leap Forward

Work has accelerated, with so many workers from so many trades showing up that there have been parking problems. Most the of the metal roofing was on and windows started going in immediately after last month's report. The plumbing, HVAC, multimedia and security systems were pretty much wrapped up within two weeks. Most of the timbers outside and inside were cleaned and finish applied; timbers remaining to be installed will be dealt with as they go up. Things got hectic as the date for insulation approached, since quite a bit of the electrical, multimedia, security, and plumbing systems would get sealed in foam. Gary and Pauline spent a couple of full days verifying, reverifying and helping the workmen with all the details leading up to the foam installation. Things got hectic again as we prepared for drywall to be put on the walls and ceilings.

The stone work at the "back" of the house moved along; the masons are artistes — it seems to take them hours to place a single stone. But they are paid by the square foot, not by the hour, so we appreciate the quality of the work they are doing. The stone work makes the house blend into the slope better.

Other progress includes:
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The slab for the Garage entrance was poured (not visible in picture).

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Stone work in front was started (see the wall at the right of the picture); as in the back, the stone will help the house blend in, especially since the stone will wrap around to form a cirque.

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Drywall was put up on most of the interior walls and finish work started; the front door is boarded up and a heater kept running to help dry it out.

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Excavations were started to establish the rough grade; we can't cover up the garage yet, though.

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The septic system was installed.

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Skirting was applied to much of the exterior; bats remain to be installed.

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The west balcony was roughed in.

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The forms were set up for the Entry slab; note the blue styrofoam insulation that will underlay the heating pipes in the slab to melt the snow.

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We passed the test of the fire suppression system.

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The stucco contractor got set up to start work.

This was a month for visitors. We spent a day in Yellowstone Park with John and Pat from British Columbia, and a day hiking the property with Dale and Kathy from California, then Kendal spent some time here with friend Kris. Dale and Kathy were treated to a bear sighting as they arrived and came up the drive. The next day, we discovered several deposits of bear scat in the area they had seen the bear.

At left, visitor John and contractor Ken help select rocks for landscaping.

The day Kendal and friend Kris arrived it was 94° in Bozeman; the next day the high was 54° and there was snow 1,000' above on the mountains. After a couple of warm days, K&K accompanied Gary on a hike up Sacagawea Peak (9,665', highest in the Bridger Range). Bridger Canyon can be seen as a light green strip across the middle background. There are two mountain goats in the picture, too far away to make out by the time it was taken. The August 13 race mentioned last month goes over this peak, up the trail on the mountain at left and over Saddle Peak and the other summits extending off the right of the picture.


Wildlife

It's the time of year for animals to start moving out of the high country. We put our bear-proof waste can at the Main House for the workers to dispose of their food. This had little effect until a couple of them spotted a bear on the way up the drive and excitedly told everyone. We also enjoyed watching two bull elk have a test of strength in the large meadow across the canyon. Coyotes have been yipping at night; fortunately, Neko and Pumpkin just bark back and keep their distance.


Be sure to check out the Main House Progress