December, 2005

Movin' on Up
(apologies to The Jeffersons)

This month's theme song is performed by Talisman A Capella. It is appropriate since the Main House is up the hill and east from the Carriage House. Also, the views make it a "dee-luxe apartment in the sky." After spending many weekends as the cleanup crew it seems like "it took a whole lotta tryin'/ just to get up that hill."

Actually, we're planning to make the transition from the Carriage House to the Main House Dec 16 through 19. There will still be unfinished work, but the conditions should be liveable.

concrete shortage -- stucco and patio

We invited a number of friends for Thanksgiving and crowded around the small table we have in the Carriage House. Thanksgiving week wound down with a major snowstorm. We had done quite a bit of clean up of construction materials in anticipation of the predicted 1-2" of snow, but a lot of stuff got buried by the 3' we actually got. This presented hidden obstacles to plowing — which is why Gary wound up stuck (and, when you have 4WD with chains all around, it takes heavy equipment to get unstuck).

You can only push snow so far, so Gary got a short course in how to operate the multipurpose vehicle used for construction. This machine has a bucket attachment somewhat like a front loader, but it has an extendable boom, enabling one to scoop up about 1,000 pounds of snow, carry it to the edge of the road, extend the boom about 20' and dump it over the side out of the way. With this, Gary and some of the workmen spent about 2 man days clearing snow from around the construction site and knocking down embankments along the road.

It started blowing and snowing Friday, Nov 26, and continued for nearly 72 hours. This was almost comparable to Christmas, 2003, when Bridger Bowl got 100" in 72 hours; this time it was only 50". Gary plowed many times, but snow kept drifting, making plowing counterproductive; it just built up the snow banks on the side of the road and caused even deeper drifts. There was a brief respite Monday morning. The workmen parked at the Carriage House (right of center) and walked up while the upper drive was being cleared. Over 4' of snow was not enough to quench the fire we started two weeks and a day ago (wisps of smoke in the lower left). [Update: now 3 weeks and still traces of smoke!]

Wednesday, Nov 30, we had about 6" more snow and more is forecast for the rest of the week. This is a telephoto shot of the Main House taken from the south east, across the canyon. From this vantage point, one can see that the house is on a minor ridge — not visible with the sky as a background. A closer view without snow from the south south east is here. Trees circling from south west to north east of the house shield it from being viewed from most other angles, and the terrain shields it from being viewed from the canyon floor.

Dec 05: First coat of finish goes on the random plank red oak floor. The translucent balls of light are dust particles in the air. Dust will be very carefully controlled for the third and final coat. Lighting was not very good at this time of day. The flooring changed direction just in front of the fireplace hearth to create an "apron" effect that helps differentiate the hearth area from the rest of the Great Room floor.

Be sure to check out the Main House Progress

Parting Shot
Big Snow

Here, Pauline snowshoes up the road from the Carriage House to the Main House. Gary plowed it the night before, but by morning it had drifted again to over 3' deep in places.
(click on picture to see the dogs play in the snow)