November, 2006

The Americans will always do the right thing...
after they've exhausted all the alternatives.

— Winston Churchill

It is getting difficult to gauge where we were versus 2 years ago. Some changes in the plan dictate a different order of construction. For example, changes Gary suggested to improve shear strength eliminated most of the (expensive) steel columns, but made more timbers critical to the structural strength and required they be installed earlier in the schedule. Thus, while we did have trusses in place on 02 Nov 2004 (versus 07 Nov 2006), there were no timbers in place two years ago. Other changes in order of construction are because lead carpenter Paul is very good at doing things in a sequence that is most efficient. For example, he has a plan for trimming the eaves that will ultimately save time, but it delays putting the plywood roof layer over the trusses. Overall, we are well ahead of where we were 2 years ago and should gain more time if weather permits.

The cold snap at the end of October culminated in a new record low for November 1st: −6°F. Sunny days and no wind made working outdoors tolerable. Days later, temperatures were unseasonably warm as the tail end of the Pineapple Express passed through, and rain threatened for several days. However, little time was lost toward erecting the first major timbers and the trusses. When the crane arrived to assist with timbers and trusses, the weather over the Bridgers looked very threatening even as we were treated to the odd bit of sunshine. The rain and wind held off until evening and the relatively dangerous work was completed safely. Snow and rain in the week following cost about 2 days of work toward getting remaining timbers and trim up.

November went out the way it came in: cold! Temperatures dipped to −12°F, with highs in the single digits. The cold and snow cost us another 2 to 3 days of work. Before the cold snap, timbers for the Entry were erected – an event corresponding to August, 2005. The reason we could put them up so soon this time is because the troublesome piers that delayed us before were still usable. At right, the last day of November brought a high of 20°F, and the crew returned to work. But it looks like another storm is coming.

Be sure to check out the Main House Progress

Parting Shot

One of the workmen's dogs found a black bear skull while roaming about near the Main House. It was pretty fresh and too gory for a photo, but we put it in a safe spot so we could clean it once warmer weather comes. Hopefully, it will look somewhat like this one . Of course, the question is: who or what killed it? Natural causes are unlikely, since the bear appeared to be young and this was a particularly good year for food. Some candidates are: humans, another bear, mountain lion, or ….

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