Sunday, August 19, 2012

H4H FALL TRIP: Week 2 in Pagosa Springs

Part 3:  Week Two in Pagosa Springs
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Sunday, August 19:
Click HERE for today's album of pictures
View from Fourmile Road north of Pagosa.
Pagosa Peak in the middle. 
     Our plan for today was to go to the Methodist Church downtown, then explore the downtown area of Pagosa a little, visit the thrift store and grocery store, and in general take it easy.  On Monday – to explore and hike.  Then we checked the Weather Underground.  Monday did not look good for hiking, so we bagged our original plan!
     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. 
Piedra Falls
     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: 
Click HERE for today's pictures 
Methodist Church in Pagosa Springs
     This will be short for today!  We were lazy early, went to town for breakfast at The Rose (where we get ice each day), wandered around downtown looking at shops, etc., made a few purchases (a mini bear nativity!), investigated the "Overlook" Hot Springs (a rooftop soak) but ultimately decided it was too warm today to be in hot water!  Visited the Visitor Center for more information, found the Methodist Church, and decided that was enough!  We were back at the campground around 2:30 to do laundry!  
After the storm! 
     The new gal arrived this afternoon and we had a Happy Hour meeting to get to know her and make plans for the week.  Kinda threw a wrench in our plans to BBQ tuna tonight, but oh well!  I cut up the bag of carrots and took out the rest of the ranch dip.  It rained before and after Happy Hour, but we got it in!  Rained this morning in town, and we had a great storm around 6:30 tonight, complete with rainbow at the end.  Guess the weatherman was right for the 70% chance for today!  
     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.  
Tuesday, August 21:
Click HERE for today's pictures     
Front of Patty's house
      A new job for today!  Part of our group heads to The Rose Cafe early to grab breakfast, but some of us (having just eaten there yesterday) declined.  We drove the truck today with Lori and Jerry as passengers. Everyone met at JB's house to pick up the painting supplies, the ladders, and other Habitat supplies (such as chairs for lunch, water coolers, etc. )  
      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.  
     Today I learned the difference between T1-11 and Pro panel.  One is wood siding, the other metal roofing!  But both can be painted with the red trim!  A bunch of pro panel was donated to Habitat that we are using, but it all has to be washed off, sanded roughly, primed, and then painted red.  It took two coats of the red to cover, but when we were done, it looked new!  Lori and I tackled that job for most of the day.  We still have a little more to go, but with the help of Rick and Jerry for a while this afternoon we got much of it ready to use.  
Rick and Mike check out the options
to fix the sinking floor. 
     Rick worked much of the morning on the foundation of the small add-on.  Eventually they raised the floor nearly 4 inches to level things back up (necessary because the outside door to the room was unusable due to the shift).  Jimmy tore the old roof off that portion of the home, and it will be redone.  Others worked to provide a framework for the skirting, while Colbs spent the day UNDER the house....not sure what he was doing, but it was messy work that involved the blueboard adhesive.  Terry went through three cans of wasp killer trying to get rid of the hives that filled the eaves of the add-on.  He will need to bring more tomorrow!  
     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:
Click HERE for today's pictures
     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
     After leading devotions, Rick spent most of the day helping Jimmy finish the roofing on the add-on and then they worked on the soffits and eaves (working around the wasps that keep trying to come back!)  Jimmy did get stung once, but I had the Stingeez in my pocket ready for the rescue!  
     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. 
     Since we finished the pro panel early, we went searching for something else to paint.  The entire mobile home is on the slate, so we pulled everything back from the front porch and started in with the light lemon color for the house itself.  Got about halfway across the front when the "find a quitting point" call rang out!  We'll finish in the morning! 
     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.  
     Rick and I take a walk of a few laps around the park and turn in for the night.  Only three more work days in Pagosa Springs!  
     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:
Click HERE for today's pictures
     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.  
     Everyone got right back to work this morning after devotions, Lori and I continuing to paint the light yellow on the front of the mobile home; the skirting crew hoping to complete their job today; Mark, Barb, and Peggy caulking all gaps on every side of the trailer except the front porch side.  Rick and Jimmy finished their soffit work and around 11am left to work on another roofing project closer in to town.  That meant Rick missed out on the enchiladas for lunch, but I took him some leftovers to have for dinner, complete with extra jalapenos.   (Like all the ones I pulled off mine!)
     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!!!  
The hummingbirds! 
     One highlight of the day was the hummingbird that kept coming to the feeder on the north side of the house, in spite of our painting right around it.  It wasn't real happy when my shoulder was literally touching the feeder, but I kept hearing the wings buzzing around.  Reminded me to suggest to Rick that we walk back down to the river tonight which takes us past the four feeders on the lower loop.  I took a little video of them while it was still light enough, even though the owner said that at dusk you can see up to 4 dozen in his yard.  
     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
     Wow!  Where did the last two days go?  I got behind in my posting because I spent most of Friday night trying to get the drawings done for this second week.  I ended up with two of them to summarize our work at Patty Brown's mobile home.  Was hoping to get them printed out, but Peggy's computer glitched on us and she was the one with the color printer!  
At the roofing project 
     Rick spent Friday and Saturday at the roofing project, working with Jimmy and Terry and two other men.  They ALMOST finished, but will go back on Monday morning and finish up the job.  That is the advantage of both Jimmy and us sticking around next week!  I met the homeowner briefly on Saturday when Mike and Barb dropped me off at the site.  
     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
Brown's house
     Saturday morning we were hoping to be finished by noonish.  We made it by 1:30 instead!  The crew really hit the high spots, limited only by the number of extension ladders we had.  Others painted the picnic table, the steps, anything available!  By the time we finished, the house looked wonderful. 
     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.  
     Saturday night we all gathered at the Pagosa Brewing Company, which has a beautiful outside seating area in the pine trees, for drinks and dinner.  Terry brought his wife, Cindy her kids (husband working), Patty and son Christopher, plus Luke and Buzz and wife from the roofing crew.  We all wore our Habitat shirts and therefore "advertised" to everyone else at the restaurant.  Cindy had certificates and letters of hours for all, Terry brought some golden caulk awards (I received one!), we celebrated all, and also presented Patty with an envelope to help with the repairs of her water pump which went out just as we were going to lunch on Saturday.  It could be the pump, it could be she just ran out of water with the amount we consumed during the week!  Hopefully the latter!  
     Rick and I stopped enroute back to the trailer Saturday afternoon at the Pagosa Mountain Green Chili Salsa Festival down at the park.  A chili competition and tasting which we didn't participate in, but also the band Nosotros from New Mexico was playing.  We heard them last summer down in Taos.  A fun group.  They have just stopped for a break when we arrived, so we got something to drink and checked out the crowd while we waited.  Listened to the music for about 45 minutes after they announced the chili winners and then headed out to clean up for dinner.  Fun watching all the different ages dancing and enjoying the music.  People were hula hooping too!  
     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!  

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