FALL HABITAT FOR HUMANITY TRIP
Part 3: Week Two in Pagosa Springs
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Sunday, August 19:
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|View from Fourmile Road north of Pagosa.|
Pagosa Peak in the middle.
Two of the Habitat couples were going down to Chama and taking the train right today. Rick offered to Mike and Barb to take their dog Penny with us, rather than have her spend the day in the trailer. It was fun having her along and she certainly wasn’t any problem. She rode on the floor of the back seat comfortably (we brought her pad from their trailer) and hiked on leash like a champ. She is a large golden retriever, five years old, but not overly energetic. We wore her out!
|Aspen groves were thick!|
By 9:30 or so we are on our way up Fourmile Road to Plumtaw Road. The former travels up one of the valleys north of Pagosa downtown – open fields, wooded areas, and great mountain vistas. The latter road heads to higher elevations and wound in and around a ridge covered with aspen groves. It is reputed to be a great scenic drive in the fall! Was pretty nice in August too! We saw lots of purple aster like flowers along the road, but also some gilia, as well as wild sunflower types. Only a few other cars or trucks and most of those appeared to be wood cutting dead aspens. Occasionally we would catch views to the north of the jagged divide of the Rockies, including some huge rocky cliffs and Pagosa Peak at 12,000 something.
We finally wound down to the main Piedra Road, turned north, crossed the Piedra River and went through a little settlement that reminded me of Sumpter. Here we turned off to follow another road 10 miles up to the Piedra Falls trailhead. The falls are located on the East Fork River. The hike was only a mile round trip through forest and along the river. Huge rock cliffs on the north side. The falls is two tiered as the water gushes through a narrow notch in the volcanic rock. There were lots of people taking the short hike – families, etc. out for a Sunday adventure.
|Piedra River gorge with Penny swimming!|
We then stopped at the Piedra River trailhead to hike about ¾ of a mile down into the Piedra Gorge. The canyon narrows considerably in this area and a number of lush box canyons fill the side channels. It was also busy with plenty of hikers (and dogs!), but at one point we hiked down to the river itself and Penny got a chance for a good swim! I thought about joining her!
The Piedra valley north of the Pagosa Lakes region is hard to describe. It is a cattle ranchers paradise of huge expanses of grassland, creeks, and mountain vistas. Scattered amidst the grass are little knolls of Ponderosa pine forests. We ended our drive dropping down into the lakes region near where JB Smith’s house was located.
|Open rangeland of the Piedra Valley|
Quick shopping for some groceries at the City Market (we picked up some cooked chicken for dinner!), then a stop at the Thrift store to pick up some old cotton shirts (buttondown) to use for staining this week. While at the thrift store we both made cell calls, Rick to his Mom and I to Luke (I talked with Mom yesterday!) It started raining while we were there and as we drove out to Elk Meadows we passed through some really wet roads. But once at the campground, all is dry!!The sun is warm! We cooked up our corn and I made a salad to go with the chicken. Our first really “cooked” meal since we’ve been gone.
Rick got an invite to watch the Steelers game down at the McHugh trailer - Jerry can get one station and it is the right one! I finish up here and keep an eye on Penny, but when we hear gunshots down by the river (someone must be target shooting) Penny is scared, so I take her back to her own trailer. Soon after Mike and Barb return which will make her happier!
Another day off tomorrow, but it will be a lazier day. Maybe even some rain!
Monday, August 20:
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|Methodist Church in Pagosa Springs|
|After the storm!|
I did get three drawings done today, plus a number of post cards ready for mailing. All caught up and ready for another week of work!
|This scribble was for Sunday's scripture.|
|I included everyone on the team in this scribble|
of our work at JB's house. Rick is in the porch with the
hammer, and I am in light pink at bottom taking out screws!
|The Habitat 'mantra' each morning following devotions.|
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|Front of Patty's house|
Our new job is at Patty Brown's house. Patty is the volunteer coordinator for Archuleta County Habitat. She lives about 10 miles west of town in the Aspen Springs area, a network maze of winding roads in a scrub oak, pine forest. This area is definitely NOT controlled by a homeowner's association! Patty's mobile home is badly in need of new skirting and some insulation to help with her winter heat bills. She also has an add-on room that is sinking due to poor foundation work. We will be painting the house and trim. We were to also stain the outbuildings and trim them, but Terry said today that another group will PAY Habitat for that privilege, so we will allow them to do so!!
|I found some old foam insulation to protect my knees|
from the hot metal as I sanded.
|Rick and Mike check out the options|
to fix the sinking floor.
Back to campground for showers! Happy Hour again with lots of nuts available. People don't have much right now to bring! But we had such a terrific lunch today, we didn't need much! Rick and I take a walk around the park and then ready to unwind soon. Tired tonight!!!
Wednesday, August 22:
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Thanks be to God! Another day of painting pro panel, BUT the sun never broke through the clouds and it was MUCH cooler. The scattered raindrops made painting interesting at times, but overall, everyone appreciated the cooler temperatures!!
|Skirting crew bends a piece of Pro panel for a corner.|
|Rick leads devotions|
Lori and I painted pro panel again all morning, finishing just after lunch. We hope we have enough ready for the skirting crew. The blue foamboard was installed and then the metal skirting on top of it. The mobile home is going to be so much more airtight and insulated this winter! It looks great!
|Barb and Peggy frame in for skirting.|
We rode out to the house today with Mike and Barb and Penny dog. Stopped at City Market enroute home so both families could pick up something for the potluck being held tonight at the RV Park (more on that later!)
Shower and then I get a few drawings ready for the camera before we head down to the shelter for a potluck dinner. Nancy, the RV park owner, had placed a flyer on our steps on Monday announcing the potluck. Meat was provided (and it was peppered pork and turkey - outstanding). A wide array of salads and desserts - way more than we could eat after our great lunch of sloppy joe's at the Brown house. Rick and I brought an artichoke salad we picked up at the deli at City Market, Barb picked up a blueberry pie! We left after eating, but the other residents were gathering for a bon fire as well.
Patty's son Christopher, age 20, has special needs (a form of autism, I think), but he made everything worthwhile today as he constantly exclaimed, "It's like a new house, Mom! It's so pretty!" They put in their sweat equity today and yesterday by hauling all the old skirting out to the trailer, and then Christopher made a run to the dump with Terry.
Last excitement for the day....Patty uncovered a tarantula in the wood pile this morning!
Another scribble finished.... I put myself in tie dye at the request of Nanette so you can recognize me!
Thursday, August 23:
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It rained again during the night and we arise to dark skies and a forecast of 70% chance of significant rain at some point today along with thunderstorms. Not exactly what you want to hear when the plan is for painting and working on metal roofs!
|Painting the kitchen end of the mobile home.|
One good rain storm during lunch, and then another started in around 3pm. We wrapped up our work, glad we were then painting under a good 2 foot overhang on the north side of the home. Got word that Rick and the roofing crew had to quit around 2 when the first of the lightning storm hit.
On the drive back into town, we ran right into the heart of the storm - and it was a doosey. (I don't know how to spell that word). It looked like twilight - the street lights were on, everyone had their headlights on, and still you could hardly see. The rain was coming down so hard. I was riding back with Mike and Barb, since Rick had left with Jimmy. It was still dumping out at the RV Park. The good news is the trailer stayed tight and dry!!!
No happy hour tonight. The rain put a damper on that! I finally finished up some of my salad and Rick had enchilada!
I have devotions again in the morning. Better figure something out! G'night.
Saturday night, August 25:
Click HERE for pictures from Friday and Saturday
|Group picture Saturday am from RV Park|
|At the roofing project|
I spent Friday and Saturday.... painting!!! Two days of red trim work! Peggy and I spent all Friday on the front porch - she painting a second coat of yellow and I applying the red trim behind her. I also got started painting the 9 porch pillars or posts. I thought it took forever until I paced off the length of the mobile home: over 65 feet long! No wonder!! By the end of Friday we had most everything with one coat except the really high fascia boards.
|Group minus Mike (working on water pump!) at Patty|
The roofing crew came out for lunch on Saturday. A good thing because we were brought two HUGE pans of spaghetti, french bread, and watermelon, plus an array of cookie desserts. Friday was beef brisket BBQ, beans, salads, cake, you name it. The amount of food brought was embarrassing. Terry took a huge amount of Saturday's to the youth center.
|Patty and son Christopher with JoAnn as Cindy reads|
Patty's note of thanks to the CAVs.
And so ends our first Habitat build. It has been a great experience: the community formed, the people we helped, skills learned, devotions shared. We will be excited to go to Las Cruces. It is a very established affiliate with a long history of CAVs working. It will be a new build which could be more "clean cut" than repair work! I might get to pound my hammer a little more rather than wield a paint brush. But however, God will use our skills for his good! That is our goal!