Sunday, May 15, 2011

We have a Driveway!!!

 So here's what the "driveway" looked like when we bought the property in September:
The culvert was a 6' deep trench that would require a 4WD vehicle just to get across, let alone negotiate the rough road to the build site.

Here's what it looks like today: 
That's 1/4 mile of digging out (VERY) hardy sagebrush and cacti.  With only a shovel, a pickaxe and a wheelbarrow to move the dirt.

We can now get all the way onto the property and to the dome with our little Honda Civic.
It was HARD work.  But it goes to show, that a little ambition, a bit of muscle and a bunch of determination will go a long way.  Now, get off your ass and go do some worth-while work!  (While we rest and have a beer. ; )

Monday, May 9, 2011

Day 2: Sandbags for the WIN (d)!

So after a good night's sleep at the KOA, where they now know us quite well, we got back to it.

We had ordered 1,000 sandbags and made a few more out of old material in preparation for building.  Gotta say AWESOME!

We got more than 30' of the berm built up to about 2-3 feet tall and backfilled.  Plus, in anticipation of our next visit, we sealed the bottom of the dome with two rows of sandbags and covered that with dirt and tamped that down as well.  No more Mr. Mice (guy).  Plus, that dome ain't goin' nowhere until we decide to move it.
Plenty of people have asked how we attached it to the ground and what kind of foundation we've got. Answer: it ain't, and we don't. It's been sitting on top of papercrete bricks with no way of holding it down. Even with the crazy-ass winds of Wyoming (gusts of more than 60mph) it hasn't moved a milimeter. Domes Rock!

Cozy inside:

Got the car on! 

Oh, and we moved the fire pit as well: 

Even though it started out kinda rough, and we got REALLY dirty, we got a lot done and we're starting to actually see our progress, which keeps us motivated and helps us work towards making our dream vision a reality.  One sandbag at a time.

Mice 1, Wife 0


Friday evening after the wife got off work, we made a mad dash for the border.  After a stressful day, she wasn't exactly thrilled with the idea of a 5 hour drive in the dark to the middle of next to nowhere.  I however, was all ramped up ready to head out and get up bright and early and get to work.

We had already packed up all our stuff so it made sense to me just to get on the road and she could unwind on the way or even sleep until we got there.

11:00PM (ish) and we finally get out to the landbridge.  It wasn't too cold or windy, but it was DARK.  I had stopped earlier to get LED headlamps to wear so we could see our way out to the dome, get it unloaded and set up the sleeping apparatus.

Using said headlamps I discovered that in our absence someone had already tested our culvert and had made it across and back successfully.  I figured it was safe enough and actually got the car across without a hitch.  Finally!  We are now able to get the car off the road and onto our property.

All was well with unloading until we found a mouse that had been happily munching on our bacon candles.  We kicked him out and got settled in.  Problem: Mr. Mouse was not to be denied his new home, and since it wasn't sealed, he wanted back in.  A lot.

Wife spent most of the night shaking and unhappy, not relaxing or sleeping.  This kept me awake most of the night as well, trying to scare off Mouse-san, keeping my wife calm and eventually getting kinda chilly.

Don't get the wrong idea; she's not scared of mice, she just didn't like the idea of them crawling on us while we slept.  Not that I was hoping for that either, I've just spent more time in the wilderness under all types of circumstances and with all manner of critters, so I'm kinda hard to freak out.  I was happy just being inside with no rain, bugs or other unpleasantness.

Any way, we made it through the night, but she was less than rested (as was I), but we got right to it and started digging out one of the ruts to the road so we could get the wheelbarrow back and forth easier for lugging stuff in.  Soon that won't be a problem, as we're still working on digging all the sagebrush and cacti off the driveway, but for now it was a good plan.  We did a lot of work on that and filled in another foot or so on the culvert, making it just a bit easier for next time.  Every bit helps.

After a full day's work, we decided it would be better to sleep a the KOA in one of the Kabins and get hot food and a shower before a good night's sleep and heading back out for more work Sunday morning before heading home again.