Monday, September 15, 2008


When we bought the land we affectionately refer to as the Proper "D" it had upon it a failed structure originally built to hold the elements at bay for an old RV. At 9,000ft the word elements includes anywhere from 24" to 5o+" of snow and though we all like our snow light and dry, it becomes quite destructive when it's wet & heavy. Having bought the land in late fall of 2006 we didn't have any time to shore up the damaged building and after one more winter it was beyond repair.

Beginning in summer of 2008 we began removing the failed structure with the intention of converting it to a usable bowery type structure. Big Al and I worked a day cutting all the poles too the new desired height, installing over 75 metal brackets specially designed to tie these pipes into one ridgid structure.

Afterwards, Teag and I, and later Brian Manecke would haul nearly 8,000lbs of rock by hand to form a partial retention wall on the uphill side. To the right is a shot of Teag and I next to 2 of our 2,000lb stacks of rock.

We then set four 250lb beams across each set of 5 poles. Attached 16 triangulation brackets and drilled over 90 half inch bolt holes through the beam. We broke 4 drill bits in the process and ended up drilling the last 15 holes with a broken bit.

Following the truing of the beam we began setting 18 trusses across the length of the beam. One by one the building began taking shape.
After sheathing the structure on the following weekend, Mike Landheim takes a well deserved break in a hammock. (Far Right)

A few weekends Later the whole family headed up for a marathon work weekend to try and get the structure ready for winter. Hammers we flying, compressors were umm compressing I guess it was a lot of fun. We roofed, trimmed, welded, painted, and stained until we were tired, sore, and in need of a shower.

It was especially nice to have Nate back home. Nate had never seen the property except in pictures. He left just before we bought it in 2006. It was great to see him back in the saddle again. The final product was something we can all be proud of, especially if it's still standing next summer! We've all decided to do less next year as we'd like to have more of a leisure summer. I'm sure we'll still sneak in a few projects, I don't think Big Al and I will be able to sit still the entire summer knowing there is work to be done.
Below is our group shot taken at completion. (well sort of, we have to go up in a week or so to install triangulation cables for the winter) From Left to Right, Steve, Nate, Teag, Me & Pa. This is our "Hero Shot" I guess. We pickled the beast.

We'll keep you posted on the future developments of our mountain getaway. Until then, let it snow, and knock on wood.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Mr. McSill & His Organic Loot

Henry has had multiple nicknames over the years. He used to be Sill which was short for silly. Then we churched it up a bit and called him Mr. Sill. Now, because he was born on St. Patricks Day we threw a "Mc" into the mix for the most recent Mr. McSill.

Mr. McSill digs plants, especially the ones that produce fruit or vegetables. From a very young age he has been up to his knees in gardening. Every morning he wakes up and askes if he can "check the mato's". This year, he has had a bumper crop of home grown organic veggies which he is so proudly posing next to. Strangely enough he digs eating most of them too.
He shares his hard work with the neighbors and gets just as much joy out of watching others eat as he does eating the veggies himself. You will oft hear him say "these are sooo delicious!" before popping one into his mouth.
Here's to Mr. McSill, & the harvest season. We all hope there will be many more to come.