Thursday, October 25, 2012

Wrapping up for winter

Sadly, trip # 33 was the last building trip of the season - the weather isn't going to hold much longer.  Even this time, the wind on the drive up was consistently over 30mph and gusting at over 50mph at times.  Gas mileage was abysmal.  (Lucky us - we had a tail wind on the way home - used less than a half tank!)

All told, we spent about 4 hours finishing up a few concreting projects and making sure the whole domestead was secure for winter. 
  • We reinforced the top of the bern and kitchen walls.  We didn't want to leave exposed cans for months on end - we've had a few blow away over just a few weeks.  
  • We also straightened up the interior of the courtyard, stacking and moving a lot of stuff out of the "flood zone" that will become the garden area in the future.

  • With the last of the concrete mix, we made a handful of new hexagonal and rectangular bricks - they're so much heavier than the papercrete bricks we've been working with! 
  • In preparation for next year's shoring-up work on the culvert, we reloaded the penta-corral with larger sized bottles and containers. (Many thanks to the lady on FreeCycle who gave us her huge supply of empty wine bottles!)

  • Boxed up and corralled the beer bottles for the bathroom - I think there's enough to finish it next year!  (And Jeff's already got the roof staged at home :)

Before we headed home, the wife shot a set of comparison photos and a video so that we can really show how much we got done this building season.  Then we went home, showered, had a snack and went to bed!

(We couldn't figure out at first why we woke up sore the next morning - until it dawned on us that we drove for 5 hours, did hard labor in heavy wind for 4 hours without breaks and then drove another 5 hours....)
Stay tuned for a 2011 to 2012 pictorial
and probably video progress report! 

Sunday, October 7, 2012

End of season...

As the weather cools we're winding down for the Winter.  Each trip we've been taking as much stuff up as the van will carry; partially to get stuff out of the house, but also to get stuff staged up North so we can jump right in next Spring.
Any time the roof leaks at work, the accoustic ceiling tiles have to get changed out, and rather than throwing them away, we keep them and soak them and grind 'em up to add to our "crete" mix.  Here's the stack we brought up this time.  There's still more at work .  We're bringing them up next trip.
We left at 3:00am Saturday morning and hauled ass for the border, got up there around 8:00am and got right to work. This time the weather was cool enough that we managed to get a lot done in a short amout of time.  Got the arch done:
And we started to wall up the inside of the bottle wall with Hexagons. 
And we managed to plaster over the earthbags before we do the same thing on that wall: 
 That's A LOT of plaster!
(Our hands, arms and shoulders were *sore* the next day!)
We also took up another couple of hundred bottles, giving us another row on the interior wall:
We got so much done in such a short amout of time that when we were headed into town to get dinner we decided just to head all the way home.  It was 6:45 PM.  We were both still awake despite a hard day's work with a really early start, so we just said "To hell with it!" and got back on the road.
We made it home at Midnight, totally exhausted but satisfied with what we had accomplished.  Our next few trips will probably be "drop and go", but if we can get stuff done, we'll try to take pics.  We've got a bunch of stuff planned for next year, and now that we've managed to pick up some steam it will be interesting to see how much we can do when building season starts again!