PART 2 – FLATHEAD CAV BUILD
Sunday, August 31
West Glacier to Columbia Falls
Today is a transition day! From the ‘play’ week to a ‘work’ week! (or two!) And it appears to be a good day for moving – cool and perhaps a little damp at times. Not a great day for anything else!
|Backwoods Bistro - suspended fireplace!|
|Kitchen area is all enclosed.|
But first, we decide to try out the little Backwoods Bistro for breakfast. We walk down around 9 to the open air shelter near the camp headquarters. The bistro is open 5 days a week for breakfast from 8-noon and dinner from 5 to 9. When they run out of food or an entree, they are done! The cook must be Cajun and vegan because the offerings are eclectic and spicy! Rick is entranced with what a Vegan Flapjack would be, but finally opts for a big breakfast taco filled with all sorts of different flavors. I have the Goat Scramble, which is scrambled eggs with goat cheese and spinach along with potatoes and English muffin. The potatoes were too heavily peppered for me, which I know is a trademark of southern cooking. Rick ate most of them! I took a few pictures of the quaint light fixtures, fireplace, etc. Outhouse out back and a little bandstand stage. It was fun.
|Old potting station is drink stand|
Then time to fold things up and roll on down the hill! We pull out around 10:30, figuring to stop in Columbia Falls for groceries. I suggested we check out the Huckleberry Shop in Hungry Horse as well. That was an expensive stop! But I found a new little purse (my old one was breaking apart and too small to hold the Smartphone AND camera and wallet. We picked up some gifts as well. Everything huckleberry and cherry you could wish for!
We arrive at LaSalle RV around 12:30 and quickly get set up in a spot four rows back from the highway (yeah – less traffic noise this time around!) Shortly after Carl and Arletta arrive, CAVs we met down in Hobbs. Good little reunion there.
Afternoon of set up, time in the laundry with some internet, and then Happy Hour to meet everyone. The group numbers are 16 – 7 couples and a couple of singles. It is fun to see the interconnections between people as they reminisce of other builds and common CAVs they know. Once again, a fair amount of experience in the group. Other than Kathy’s friend, Gayle, no first-timers. I forgot to take pictures! Too busy talking probably!
As Happy Hour was breaking up, Diane invited us up to their ‘house’ for dinner along with Clint and Kathy and Gayle. We went, offering up a small bowl of salad I had on hand. Wow. Tom and Diane’s RV even has a little gas fireplace! What a homey feel! It got warm after abit, however with 7 people packed in the main room. Home around 9:30.
our Wal-Mart shopping and then up 93 (New highway!!) to Whitefish. We wandered the shops of downtown for
awhile. I got some ideas in a quilt
shop, and we picked up ‘lunch’ at the ice cream shop! Then a walk along the Whitefish Bike Path
around the edge of downtown and along the Whitefish River. Saw
some wild turkey and a deer along the way.
We drove back to Columbia Falls by a ‘northern route’ (Edgewater Road) through
some beautiful ranch and farm lands.
Came out at Half Moon Road, right at the big bend of US 2, just north of
our RV park.
an Orange Fluffy Salad for the potluck, and Rick and I went up to the book
exchange in the office to pick out some new reading material.
visit tonight during Happy Hour from one of the local affiliate board
members. This has been nice! Good discussion and they seem to appreciate
some of the wisdom the CAVs have from traveling and exposure to so many
Monday, September 1 Labor Day
Today is REALLY an off day! We have no commitments until 4:30 this afternoon when the Habitat CAV meeting starts. So after a lazy morning (I drew a picture and had decent internet for awhile!), Rick and I headed south on US 2 toward Kalispell. We were looking for Reserve Road so we could cut across to Hwy 93 and all the ‘box stores’ – namely Wal-Mart! I was trying to find a source for PB2, the peanut butter powder and I wanted to make a few scribble copies for my devotion time.
|A random fence design along the bike path|
|Deer along bike path|
|The bike path cuts under the RR.|
A lively CAV meeting (again….no pictures! Agh!) and then dinner with Erin, Affiliate director, Megan, volunteer coordinator, and Dave, President of the Board joining us. Great meal and good conversation. We probably have the experience of over 75 CAV builds among the group – Charlene and Dick recording the most at 25 builds. We SHOULD be able to get something done here! Steve, our construction supervisor, will join us in the morning, coming off a two week vacation to take his daughter back to college.
caravan to the build site, gather, and welcome Steve back to town after his
vacation back East. After a devotion by
Clint and introduction and safety chat by Steve, we divide into our work groups
for the day. Rick and Carl, along with
Clint and Gayle on the saw, are up on the ‘lift’ to put more siding on the
front of the house. I join Barbara, Ove,
and Diane to work on ‘air penetration’ sealing – trimming the foam around the
windows, applying a gray caulk GUNK on all the outlet box openings on the
exterior walls, and using the spray foam to fill all the stud openings where
wires are going through. We are in the
duplex that we started last spring belonging to Nikki and Lexie.
TUESDAY, September 2
CAV Build Day 1
|Sunrise over Columbia Mt.|
We welcome the new day with a beautiful sunrise marking the sky over Columbia Mt. We realize our new site 4 rows back does make sunrise viewing a little tougher. I had to put shoes on to walk out and find the sky. Our site is buried in the trees!
|I found a PINK hardhat!|
|Carl and Rick pause waiting for a board to be cut.|
Rick finds the day somewhat frustrating as it took awhile to get started and then mistakes had to be corrected. But tomorrow should go more smoothly and for all groups the start up time will be much less!
I found the trimming of the foam difficult, due largely to a somewhat dull saw blade. More of a tedious job, but one that must be done well. After lunch I finished up the vaccum task so we could start applying the sealant to the outlet boxes. Barb and I worked on that while Ove finished up the tops of all the windows. (Ove is a tall man – easy for him to reach!) We should be able to finish all the sealant and foam application tomorrow.
|Gray caulk gunk all over my hand!|
But,…tomorrow has even more excitement. The end townhouse belonging to Heather and Lisa is scheduled to be dedicated!! Hurray! We were hoping this might occur while we were here. Wish the weather forecast was better, however, as I think we are going to have a high of 57 degrees and 80% rain ALL DAY!! Things look better later in the week.
|Supervisor Steve explains something!|
Diane stopped at a cherry stand on the way home that advertised $1 lb IF you purchased over 10 pounds. So she brought us all 2 lb bags for $2 each. I am in heaven again! A quick trip in to town for WW (L) and then Happy Hour. We have guests with us, CAVs Pat and Glenn, who are well known by many of the group. They have RV trouble so can’t stay and help. Have been working for Habitat for nearly 15 years.
This is going to be a good group.
WEDNESDAY, September 3
CAV Build Day 2 - WET!
|Carl and Rick get an update|
Raindrops kept falling on my head!! All day long! My saving grace was that I was working inside all day and didn’t really get that wet. Others were soaked! The dedication was postponed until Thursday as the weather was only forecast for miserable today.
|Back in my favorite closets to|
fill a pipe with foam
Rick and Carl moved from the slippery roof to install the siding under the front porch – down low and under a sliver of shelter! The painters had to revamp after about a half hour of work when the rain began in earnest. Our air infiltration crew was back at work filling holes, vaccuming, and preparing for the insulation folks to move in. We should be able to sheetrock midweek next week. Both morning break and lunch were held inside Lexie’s house. Lunch was prepared and donated by a catering company in Kalispell. Pretty nice. We knocked off work a half hour early figuring to go back, clean up, and return for the dedication. But just at that point, Erin called to say it had been postponed until tomorrow. So we got off early for nothing!
|I finally got a foam canister to work|
like it does on This Old House!
|Carl and Rick make progress!|
Since no one wanted Happy Hour in the rain, several of us drove up to Whitehorse to the brewery instead – probably all but four of the crew. We then went down to Jersey Boys Pizza for dinner. A fun evening.
THURSDAY, September 4
CAV Build Day 3 – Home Dedication
|My hat at the first stage - by the end it had|
yellow spikes everywhere!
What a difference a day can make in the weather! While cloudy this morning, the skies soon cleared and by mid-morning break the sun was shining brightly and it was warming up! A BEAUTIFUL day!!
Rick felt like he and Carl made progress today in figuring things out! They don’t have a lot of visual completion to account for the day, but did a great deal of prep work to be ready to install another big section of siding tomorrow. They spent most of the day up on the lift on upper sections of the house front.
|Quick pose from Rick up on the lift.|
At least 6 people were working on the back of the house caulking and painting. Our air infiltration team lost Barbara this morning to the caulk team. By the time Diane went home after break (her leg was bothering her), the air team was down to Ove and myself. Sadly, we did not finish today. Ove got all the orange foam into the upper holes, so we are done with it. I went back to do the second install of the yellow window foam after Diane left. I had been working on the doors earlier. It was slow tedious work and I didn’t feel real good about the quality of work I was ending up with. But….I had some fun with it, crafting a nice hat just before lunch from the strips I was cutting away from the doors.
|Director Erin, Homeowners Heather and Lisa|
|Malachi grabs some cake!|
|Heather and her grandparents|
We voted to work until 3pm today to make up for our early departure yesterday and then just stayed for the dedication ceremony. I was a bit disappointed to be truthful. Both homeowners were present, but didn’t speak, no gifts were presented, only one board member. The Methodist minister was there to bless the house, and a few words from the board. We did have cake and received tours of the homes. I had to check out the closet under the stairs as I did all the mud and tape down there! We enjoyed Malachi, Lisa’s nephew, prior to the dedication as he was sprinkling everyone with ‘pixie dust’ so we could fly. I had to take three trips up the block flapping my wings with Malachi!
Back to the trailer around 5, shower, and then we cooked up one of the venison sausage packages. I put a little BBQ sauce on it and took some over to Happy Hour. Rick stayed to watch a little football and went over to chat around the campfire later. I came back and made up a huge load of salad.
FRIDAY, September 5
CAV Build Day 4
What a BEAUTIFUL morning – crystal clear day and COLD!! There was a frost warning this morning and the temp was in the high 30’s as we got up. Trailer was a toasty 46 degrees!! We did have the heater on low during the night.
|My Habi-Art for this week:|
A digital rendition of Orange foam sealant!
Started out our departure giving Mike H a jump as his battery was dead. He took the truck down to Kalispell to get a new battery, getting a ride back up to Columbia Falls with someone heading that direction. I have devotions today, using one from my book on having a child-like approach. Handed out small pictures to everyone of the appropriate scribble.
|Kathy plays with the nail gun!|
It was a busy day at the job site. Steve seemed to be everywhere at once with inspectors, exterior wall insulation crew arriving in the afternoon, questions always, and an attempt to get some of the layout in the trenches ready for the concrete pad due to arrive next Wednesday. Rick and Carl FINISHED the peak section of the front wall siding, and they caulked while they were up there!
|I caught a picture of Rick from the|
stairwell upper window!
I spent the day roaming from one job to another. Most of the morning was finishing up the window trim work, cleaning up the mess. Then, with Diane and Megan, we attempted to clean out both sides of the unit to prepare for the insulators. So much had been left inside from Wednesday when it rained – tools, chairs, bottles, etc. We put most of it into one of the wagon carts pending ownership. We swept, we vacuumed, we removed stuff that Steve2 and Chris needed to finish some walls they were building. Time out to help unload the siding when it arrived. After lunch I moved the scaffolding bases, moved woods as needed, kept cleaning up from behind Steve2 and Chris, emptied trash cans, and finally offered to clean some of the paint brushes. Tomorrow I will be looking for a specific task!! A day spent mostly cleaning is tough work!!
Lazy evening – I spent some time reading my book, downloading pictures. We went over to Happy Hour for awhile finally taking some dried fruit as Diane had requested it! Had a visit from one of the Habitat board members! That was nice.
SATURDAY, September 6
CAV Build Day 5
Brrr and then….wipe the sweat off! Typical mountain weather at mid elevations! SO LIKE BAKER CITY! It was again in the high 30’s as we arose at 6:30am and then hot in the sunshine later in the day as it hit 80 or so. But…another clear, blue sky day!!
|Cutting the paint blocks|
|Rick checks out the|
west side soffets.
Diane and I quickly declared our lack of a job this morning (after a rather touchy discussion of safety seminars, etc. during devotions) . Steve put us to work, but again, it was a day of variety! What did I do today? I moved 60 some foundation stakes to make concrete forms, built a ‘ramp cover’ for an electric cord to cross the road, moved sawhorses and boards, cut over 100 little wooden blocks with the chop saw (to separate siding boards during painting), set up a paint area for next Tuesday, took pictures, helped mount some porch siding, started to caulk, and then washed brushes! Rick, on the other hand, again spent most of his day at the upper levels of the building – installing soffet material along the roof eaves. He and Carl are a mean machine working together now!
|Rich, NP volunteer, |
talks to the group during lunch
We had a local volunteer come today who is also a volunteer backcountry ranger for Glacier. He talked during lunch about his role at the national park, bear etiquette, and how the job of the park is to protect both people and bears. Gave some wonderful background information from a historical perspective and also shared some of his favorite hikes. It was great!
After work a few of us stuck around to discuss our plans for tomorrow with Steve. We have been invited out on Steve’s sailboat for the day on Flathead Lake. Steve can’t take the whole group, so opted to invite those who he calls ‘old friends’ – those of us who have been here before. Rick has opted not to go – enjoying a totally laid back day instead. But I cannot pass up the opportunity to go out on a boat! We got our information and then raced back to the RV park so we could help Arletta and Carl do their Ice Bucket Challenge! They had been challenged by their 2 and 4 year old grandkids. We all helped!
|Ice Bucket Challenge for Carl and Arletta|
The group is dispersing all over for the weekend – some on the boat, some in Whitefish at the Ski Lift and Zip Line, some up to the park to hike or fish….some to do their laundry! Rick will choose one of those options!