Monday, July 23, 2012


It was a bit crazy this go-round.  We left Denver at 2am on Saturday to get an early start, ensuring that we'd be plenty tired by the end of the day.

We watched one of the wildfires to the East of us as it blew smoke way up into the clouds.  Awesome.  It was far enough away that we were in no danger and the wind was blowing towards where the fire was rather than in our direction.

Then came the rain...  While we were plastering the wall, we watched a storm roll in from the West, with attendant thunder and lightning.  We were just at the end of one batch of cement and we decided to finish that and then if it started raining we'd head into town to get supplies.  No sooner did we get done and the first drops started coming down and the wind kicked up.

We got in the van just as it really started coming down.  Good timing!

We drove down the driveway as the rain increased and just as we got to the gate I realized that our fence is supported by two large metal poles, and the lightning was only about 3 miles away and getting closer... within 5 minutes, it was striking the hill on our neighbor's property less than 1 mile from us and while we were sitting there watching, sure as anything: BOOM! Less than 100ft from us it struck the boundary marker of our property line.  Smoke and steam outside and two very jumpy people sitting in a van.  I'm just glad we weren't out in it.  I'm also glad I had decided to not get out and mess with opening the gate.  Best not to taunt the Gods and dare them to not strike you down with lightning.

So here's what we actually did in between all the fun:

First thing we did was move the firepit (again). 
It sort of worked, but I need to alter the design to make it more efficient.

We brougt up a crate that Jeff got from work to hold the firewood: 

Also built a sink, using only slotted panels.  No screws or any attaching hardware required. 
 Simple and awesome.

Next we got down to the real business at hand:

We put up a doorway...
...and got the berm wall up to height. (5')...

 Then we plastered the outer wall with the first coat.  
 Further adding to the camoflage and making us less visible from the road.

Can you see me now?

We've got a ways to go, but we're getting there!

By the end of the day Sunday, we were overheated and tired, but feeling very satisfied with the amount of work we had accomplished. 

More to come!

Monday, July 2, 2012

An Excuse for Grown-ups to Play in the MUD!

Trip #26 was a smashing success! 

We rock 'n stuff.

It was 100F+ with no wind, no shade and little cloud cover, but we got busy.  Bitey flies be damned.

Here's where we started on Saturday morning:

 Penta-corral full of bottles and cans

Almost totally empty!!!

Berm Wall


Almost 5 Feet high!

Great success!

By the numbers, we used:
200 pounds of portland cement
45 gallons of water in the wall (plus 5 gallons for drinking)
3 pair kitchen gloves
and a boatload of bottles!

Other stuff:

The wife got to handpaint the hexapod :)

We took a walk up to the promitory for some nature and perspective.
That's the domestead:


We also took a peek at the neighbors for a moment:  

We seem to do much better when we have a specific goal and decide to only work on that one goal while we're out there.  We get more done, and we feel more accomplished in the end, making our Wa much happier.  Lesson learned.

Still a lot to be done, but we're finally making visible progress.