...another frozen cat. We had an unexpected loss last week, the husband's cat went into the closet for a nap and didn't wake up. So, just a few weeks after relocating the wife's kittah from the freezer to Wyoming, we had another cat who took her place in the deep freeze until we could relocate her as well. At least she didn't stay long: 7 day vs 8 months.
So, there we were at 4:30 in the morning on the 4th of July, flying up I-25 and, hoping to get to the property before the cat defrosted. Again.
Neko (a.k.a. The Kitten): safely interred next to her sister.
Then, tired already and a bit sad, we got down to business. We had a list, but as worn out and kind of listless as we were before we even started, we despaired of finishing more than one project, let alone the 4 that we'd hoped to.
They were, optimistically:
- Bury the kittah - non-negotiable - but done.
- Finish skinning the dome. This looked doable, but seemed at first blush like it was going to take both workdays and all of the resources that we'd brought for the whole weekend.
- Add a couple of rows to the bathroom wall and use up all of the beer bottles that have been collecting since last fall. Not super important, except in the "making order from chaos sort of way". The bottles were just piled everywhere and the mess was bugging the wife.
- Start what the wife's been calling the "kickwall" - basically a low wall that will encircle the entire one acre Domestead - using wine bottles and trash cans. Again, making the chaos useful and orderly.
- Straighten up the courtyard again and finish cleaning up/tearing down the mega-hexacorral by moving all of the materials from that into the courtyard. This was more of the husband's bugaboo.
We put every piece of aggregate to soak, then started grinding and prepping the crete. Once the first batch of crete was ready, the wife climbed up into the top of the dome and started adding the bottles and skinning the last few rows. The husband kept on grinding and prepping so that in about 5 hours, the dome was FINISHED! By then, his hands and forearms were cramping. We were also super dehydrated, crabby, tired, starving and absolutely filthy. But we were DONE (at least with the outside)!
Heading into town, we saw one of the local wild mustang herds. Unfortunately, they were blocking the road and showing no signs of moving. Honking the horn got their attention and a couple of them moved off the road. It did nothing for the yearling, who was staying close to his mother. His very pregnant and kind of pissed off mother. At the beep, she turned around, stamped her hooves and gave us a look that pretty much said: "I'm hot, tired, uncomfortable and pregnant. This is MY road. Buzz off." We sat there until she got sick of staring at us and wandered off.
KOA. Shower. Food. Sleep. Wake up!
Day two dawned hot and sunny. It was 80+ at 8am. Picking up 25 gallons of water and 250 pounds of cement, we headed back out to the Basin. The wife's focus was on her wall. The husband's was on disassembling the mega-hexacorral and moving the contents to the courtyard. Both of those went out the window when the wife and the car got swarmed by a - errr - swarm - of tiny little bug things. She was skeeved out and the husband had to spray her down with rubbing alcohol.
Bugs vanquished, it was back to work, except that focus has never been our strong point. We ended up working on the bathroom walls for about 1.5 hours before heading off to our original projects. Then we found a plastic dinosaur that we'd nicknamed "The Guardian". We've been finding and losing him for 4 years, so we had to stop and stick him somewhere:
He's on the wall by the chill dome. The bathroom is in the background.
The wife's wall turned out to be more of a project than anticipated - being resource intensive in both bottles, crete and time. She got about 7 feet of trash cans laid out, the main post settled and filled, and the first row of crete and bottles down in about an hour. Whew! Then it was time for more aggregate grinding and crete mixing. The husband's hands were still trashed from the day before, so he toted dirt and organized. Five hours, 50 bottles and 4 loads of crete later, this is what we had from the back:
|From the front:|
In relation to the driveway and the chill dome:
The wife would have kept plugging along, except for two things: we ran out of water and the husband was STARVING. So we took a few photos and headed back to Rawlins for showers, food and sleep. What we found when we got there was the fact that both of us were sunburned - in spite of lots of reapplications of sunscreen. The wife even burnt the backs of her ears bad enough for them to blister. (Italian sunbaby that she is, this was
a first - and a shock. The redhead in the crowd wasn't impressed. Blisters don't count unless they're on your face, apparently ;)
And finally, a perspective photo from in front of the Domestead, facing North(-ish).
Next trip, maybe August, definitely Labor Day weekend. Lots more to do, including extending the kickwall. Husband is already planning and designing more domes. This time we know how to be efficient and get any new structures up quickly. We learn a little more each time we go up, so no matter what, it's worth it.