June 1-15

Before this diary begins, we've already gotten the well drilled and a driveway graded and covered with quarry fines. The well was drilled by Loyd Ingram. His rig below may not be the prettiest, but Loyd gave us a great well (at a great price).

Robert Bridge handled the road and setting the pad for the house. The road required 140 cubic yards of quarry fines to provide a year-round base. 

Elaine's nephew James (that's James B to distinguish him from Elaine's other nephew, James E) has come west to supervise the construction of the house. We bought a 29' travel trailer for him to live in at the site (and for us to squat in when we're up there).  We hauled the trailer up the last week of May. The actual towing was done by Wayne, a neighbor of Jack, who we bought the trailer from.

 

left to right - James, Marshall (friend), Jack (sold the trailer), Wayne (towed the trailer), Wayne's son

Although all the neighbors (as much as you can call the closest people ~10 miles away) have all been very friendly and helpful, there is a lot of vandalism and theft from outside visitors to the forest, lots of whom drive big pickups. Rather than take a chance, we take off the wheels and leave the trailer up on jack stands.

On Saturday, June 12, David and James spend the day laying out the batter boards for the house. Hot, dry, and dusty, but the first visible signs of what the house will be.

Lucky comes along for the day, but gets bored with us, since we're not much fun to play with.

 On our way back home we finally connect with "Little Joe" Casados, who says he can start digging the footings the next day. James bites the bullet and drives back up the on Sunday to show Joe where to dig, help clear the trenches, and in general get hot, sweaty, and dirty. By the end of the day, the footings are about 80% excavated.

This shot, taken from the cliff overlooking the house, gives a sense of the site. The meadow continues to the left (south) for another 100 yards or so and about 50 yards to the north. The cluster of trees next to the trailer is about 75' from the closest point to the house, well outside the recommended "fire-wise" zone.