Tuesday, September 9, 2014

ROCKY MT. FALL 3: Cav Build 2 and More!

Sunday, Sept 7
By Land and by Lake…

            So many options for today!  Rick and I had been invited out, along with two others couples, to spend the day sailing with Steve and his wife Gina on Flathead Lake.  But Rick also wanted to get out and hike a little more so he opted out of the water and headed for the hills (No big surprise there!)  I, on the other hand, who love boats and hadn’t been on a sailing ‘ship’ since Uncle Jack’s yacht on Long Island Sound in 1970, said Yes! 
            So…two parts to today’s blog!  (That’s a lot of too’s!)

By Land….
Up near Swiftcurrent Pass
            Rick left at 7:15am and got home at 6:45p – a FULL DAY of hiking and riding the shuttle (last day it operates) at Glacier.  He retraced our Highline Hike route, only backwards and added two segments to it:  The Swiftcurrent Pass trail which travels from Granite Park Chalet up to the pass and over into Many Glaciers area (1.4 mi RT) AND the short but difficult scramble UP to Grinnell Overlook right on top of the Continental Divide (1.2 mi RT).  The second is also a view down into the Grinnell side of the Many Glaciers area.  One ranger reported,  “It is only .6 miles, but it will seem like the longest .6 miles you’ve ever done!”  It climbed 900’ in that short distance.   His total day clocked in at about 14 miles and at least 4000’ elevation gain.  Yes, his uphill legs were beat by the end of it! 
Fall colors!
Final stretch - Bishops Cap
Upper Grinnell Lake and Glacier
            But it was another gorgeous fall day in the mountains.  Rick found the dusting of new snow on the upper peaks that fell last Wednesday, berry bushes turning glorious shades of dark red on the hillsides, plenty of fellow hikers of multiple nationalities, and a viewpoint down to Grinnell Glacier and Upper Grinnell Lake that made it all worthwhile!  “The best view I’ve had in the park so far!” 
Happy Hiker on top of the Continental Divide
By Lake….
Steve and Clint
            We left around 8:30 in Clint and Kathy’s truck to drive south along the west side of Flathead Lake and meet Steve and Gina down at the yacht club in Dayton.  They sailed down the lake last night by the light of the full moon and anchored in a little bay off Wild Horse Island.  A race was being held around the islands today, so there were plenty of sailors and boats prepping to leave!  We waited a short while for the wind to pick up, and took off at 10:30am.  Our group was Clint and Kathy, Tom and Diane, and myself, along with Steve and Gina. 
Clint and Kathy
            Sailing is so peaceful once you have the sails up and the motor cut off.  I learned a lot, but the terminology is so foreign to me.  I know port and starboard!  I liked the ropes that were colored so I could just pull on the right color!  But I got to steer the boat for awhile (not very straight!)  and I had a very important job after lunch when we put the spinnaker sail up (those are the brightly colored ones!) – I had to sit on the lower beam of the main sail and keep it out of the way! 
All eyes on the spinnaker!
            We had to tack several times early on as the wind was blowing from the east, so those of us sitting on the top of the boat had to duck each time and wait for the sail to flow over us.  Later, the wind died completely.  So while we bobbed along in the water going nowhere, we ate lunch!!  A joint meal of salad and chips and Oreos!  Everyone contributed! 
Oh my gosh!  Look who's sailing the boat!
            After lunch we had to motor a little because the wind still hadn’t picked up.  As we neared the more northern end of the lake, a breeze was blowing and Steve put up the spinnaker sail which you use when sailing with the wind.  Soooo pretty!!! 
Abandoned building near the
North Flathead Yacht Club
            We pulled into North Flathead Yacht Club just south of Kalispell around 4:15.  By the time we shuttled back down for the cars it was 6p as we drove down to Lakeside and the Tamarack Brewery for dinner.  Steve and Gina weren’t able to go with us.  L   A good meal – nice place but busy.  Home shortly after 8p.  A LONG day in the sun!  But lots of fun.
Pretty important job keeping that beam in place!  

MONDAY, September 8
Idyllic trail in the woods!
Relaxation, Laundry, and a Hike!

Waterfall along the trail
            Our goal today?  To do our laundry and not much else!  Maybe some phone calls home and catch up time!  And so we did for most of the morning, finally getting started on our laundry shortly before noon!  We also discussed at length staying on here in Columbia Falls for another one or two weeks (with Norrells and Hinkels) to help Steve get a head start on these houses and then NOT come back up in October for the posted build which no one has signed up for.  
      Kathy REALLY wanted to get out for a little exercise in the afternoon, so I said , “Sure, I’ll go on a short hike with you!”  (Rick opted to call his mom and let his weary legs rest!)  I drove the truck up to the Columbia Falls trailhead.  It was a good decision for a trail.  Now I finally know exactly where that trailhead is!  We only hiked about 2.5 miles roundtrip, but it was a good uphill through forest and groundcover.  Some of the vegetation changing colors, a few small waterfalls.  We had good conversation and I found some more letters for my Alpine Alphabet!  I am just missing a G, Q, and Z now, the G being the most important! 
Kathy and Ging along the trail
Picture I put together from today's hike!
            We stopped at a cherry stand enroute home, hoping to purchase a small bag of the final  cherries of the season.  Well, this stand had the last cherries….and they were charging for it!  Six dollars a pound!!  When I saw the larger gallon size bag I asked the price…$30!!  I was in shock, but not so much to say, “No thanks!  Way too expensive for me!”  Agh! 
            Happy Hour with about half the group and then Rick and I took off to finally do some grocery shopping.  Our little fridge was looking bare (I had donated a full container of salad to the sailing lunch so I had to restock!)  Sixty dollars later we drove over to the build site for Rick to check a couple things out.  While there, I sat in the truck facing a beautiful sunset to the west and called Luke!  He was wondering if he would ever hear from us again! 
            Home to make up a big salad and put stuff away and into bed.  The weather is to change tonight – major low pressure moving in (the wind is already picking up) and perhaps rain and snow.  High temps for Tues are in the 50’s.  Love mountain weather!!! 

TUESDAY, September 9
CAV Build Day 6: Siding Paint and Soffits

We did get a sunrise as we drove into Columbia Falls!
            Wow.  Wind.  Lots of wind.  All night long!  And yet, I hardly heard my bells ring at all!  I went back out this morning and rehung them in a different way because I think the carabineer wasn’t allowing it to swing fully.  Forecast is for wind and cool temps today! 
            And it is a cool job site!  Everyone is huddled up and the wind is rolling through the gap from up on the mountains.  Steve announced that Logan Pass got a couple inches of snow last night!  (Hard to believe it is suppose to be 80 again within days!)  We meet the Global Village group – 10 people from Habitat International  from DC, South Carolina, Boise, Portland, Boston, etc.  They will be here all week. 
View down the scaffolding ladder to Ove and Rick
bringing up soffit board
         Rick is back up on the third level of scaffolding to finish up the soffits and work on siding again.  By days’ end they were finished with soffits and had several additional boards of siding up.  He was glad he had ‘thought it through’ last night as he ended up taking the lead on the job.
Ove and Rick get the soffit in! 
            The building sites were a hub-bub of activity today with about 17 CAVs, 10 Global Villagers, and 3 local volunteers on site.  Not to mention the insulation sub-contractors working in Lexie’s house.  I ended up down at the other end on the siding paint crew, working on applying the first coat of paint to all the siding boards for the last house.  (If they are painted before installation, they only have to be painted once ‘on the house’!  Much easier!)  We had 4 from Global, 3 CAVs, and 1 local working with us.  I think by days’ end over 100 boards were painted!  Wow! 
            After lunch I took about a half hour to help Rick and Ove up on the scaffolding.  A nice view from up on top.  My job was simply to hold the short end of the soffet until it could be nailed into place.  Not too tough! 
Diane and Global Villager Mike get ready to paint siding.
  We lost Barb at lunch – she was just too cold.  Diane went home at lunch to put up her foot.  We’ve lost Charlene for the rest of the build – she hurt her hand in Costco over the weekend (scraped it on a shopping cart?) and it literally peeled back the skin in a horrible way.  Dick took her into urgent care this morning and she is all bandaged up and on drugs for the pain.  Did a number on it!  So…..a good thing Global Village came to reinforce the troops! 
            I stopped by the office coming home to notify Leon that we will be staying another two weeks after this one.  That makes three couple for at least one week.  And then we heard that Arletta and Carl are going to stay another 5 days!  Hurray!  Hopefully we can get some sheetrock up! 
A Bin of Blocks: Digital Art from the Job Site!
  The foundation crew worked all day in the trenches installing the boards for the concrete footings.  The cement truck should arrive Thursday sometime. 

            Quick trip back into town to hit the post office and then Weight Watchers.  A little time around the fire for Happy Hour and eventually back to warm up a bowl of soup!  Tasted good tonight!  
            I took a number of abstract pictures today of various patterns on the construction site.  I'll include a few of the digital alterations....this is really fun!  
Another rendition of A Bin of Blocks! 
Stacks of Siding 1
WEDNESDAY, September 10
CAV Build Day 7: Weather Aborted!

Morning clouds mist the Glacier Gap
            The weather forecast is not favorable for the next 24 hours!  We arise to temps in the 30’s and a 60% chance of rain ALL DAY!  We are able to get a couple hours of good work in before the heavens opened totally!  Rick started us out with devotions today!
Rick leads devotions
Sample of the mess we were cleaning up. 
            Rick and his crew only have three boards left on the west side of the house to finish the high parts.  They were caulking as they went.  REALLY wanted to finish up, but it was too dangerous to ladder up to the scaffolding in the wet conditions.  I spent the morning with Diane and Kathy cleaning up the mess from the insulators on the east side.  The sheetrock was delivered last night and stacked in various places all over the house.  We cleaned around it, wearing a mask for protection from all the dust, sweeping and then vacuuming.  Didn’t quite finish upstairs as the ceiling ‘rockers’ were already at work and didn’t want us to ‘make dust’!!  We also cut open the windows that had been sealed over by the insulators and opened up the electric boxes. 
In 'gear' to clean! 
            During morning break the skies opened and it poured.  People debated around about whether to stay and keep working in the rain, but finally Steve made the decision:  Go home!!  He sent both crews away, keeping just one group of local volunteers who were tackling the ceiling sheetrock.  There was only one lift available, so not an issue of another group easily starting in as well. 
            Naturally, as soon as we got back to the campground, the sun came out and it stopped raining for awhile!  Don’t look back!  Decision made!  We took the opportunity to head down to Kalispell and the Box Store Plaza….our name for the area two miles north of town on the road to Whitefish that has EVERYTHING: Costco, Target, Walmart, Lowe’s, Home Depot, and all the restaurants you want as well!  We first went to Joanns for tie dye stuff, then to Target to get the PB2 I wanted to try.  Met Kathy and Diane and Gayle at Costco (my entry into the store!) and we spent more money than necessary, but are well loaded for ‘snacks’ and goodies for the rest of the trip!  Then to Sizzlers for lunch and a final stop at Walmart.  My exciting purchase there is a pair of gel-filled kneepads!!  Not more concrete pain from working on my knees in closets! 
            Quiet evening playing ‘catch-up’ – renewing Weight Watchers, a little Happy Hour in Hinkels trailer, etc.  Tonight should be cold, but hopefully the rain has abated.  Looking forward to the warmer weather forecast!  

THURSDAY, September 11
CAV Build Day 8: Siding and SHOVELS!

            OMG. Oh, My God!  I’m not swearing, it really IS a prayer!  Oh, My God, will I be able to move tomorrow???  Today was easily the most physical day I’ve had on a Habitat build – my back and upper body is going to be hurting!  Where is the Vitamin I?  (Ibuprofen!) 
            A chilly morning, but not too bad.  The skies totally cleared overnight and everything is blue, which accents the white mountains we can see in the gap!  Even Columbia Mt. has white on the top.  Our CAV group is leaner today….Charlene is out with her hand injury, Barb is still sick, and Diane stayed home today.  Glen and Pat must be fixing their RV because we didn’t see them.  (They are the add ons that came because they have RV repairs needed.)   The Global Village group is ready to roll! 
Rick is still up on top!
            Rick and Carl continued their work installing siding and soffits.  They now are on the front of the house again.  In the rain yesterday, Rick accidentally slipped getting on to the ladder  (he didn’t fall or anything) and wrenched his back a little.  He said, “I have my good traction shoes!”  I pointed out that the bottoms were totally smooth and perhaps not so good anymore!  He agreed that maybe it was time to look for new ones!  
            Anyway… today was a shovel day for me.  Kathy and I were sent to help the foundation crew prepare for an 11am inspection and a 1pm scheduled visit from the concrete people for an initial pour of the footings.  Gayle, Kathy and I leveled the footing area to 10” deep, built up the outsides of the forms all around.  Basically all done with shovels and moving rocky ground from middle to sides.  Then while I screwed down some boards all around, Kathy and Gayle tied rebar to hang from the boards. 
Digging the hole....
...and STILL digging!
            At this point Gayle and I were reassigned to dig a couple of holes.  Steve had made a mistake in an electric line housing which needed to be fixed.  That involved digging about a 30” diameter hole down about 24” or more to expose two 4” conduits which have to be cut and remounted.  Shortly after lunch we had that job just about finished when Steve called again: “Ginger, Gayle!  Bring your shovels and come over here!”
Working the concrete...
Steve said we could sign the
            The huge concrete boom truck was here and the footings were beings poured.  My does that go quickly.  Gayle and I followed the nozzle all the way around the foundation with our shovels going up and down, over and over, into the wet cement to break out air holes and settle the cement around the rebar.  My arms will protest tomorrow! 
            Then….back to shoveling the overflow cement and rocks AWAY from the foundation boards.  I was getting weary of moving rocks!  All the CAVs stayed an extra half hour at least to finish up the concrete job.  Rick said he and Carl were ALMOST done with their siding on the east side of the house.  AND the paint crew finished ALL of the siding painting!!  Wow! 

            Home for Happy Hour, a football game on TV, and to collapse!  Tonight a hard freeze is forecast, so we are thinking we may need to disconnect the water line to protect our hose.  It will be cool in the morning, but should hit 70 by tomorrow afternoon!!!  G’night. 
Snow on the Glacier Mts.....news said over 5" and road closed indefinitely. 
The dusting of snow on Columbia Mt. right behind town.  
FRIDAY, September 12
CAV Build Day 9   
The concrete footings from yesterday.
            Brrrr!!  My phone registered 24 degrees when we got up this morning.  Cold!  We didn’t have any problems with our water as Rick did disconnect. 
            Once again, Rick played all day up on the upper level of the scaffolding with siding, windows, and soffits.  He and Carl have made a good team.  I wandered for awhile this morning, knowing full well that Steve was not going to get back to Gayle and I in regard to our ‘holes’.  I helped Tom and Val with the survey strings for the set-backs on the new foundation.  I hauled rocks to the back fence and iron stakes back to the trailer.  Shortly before break I went and asked the paint team if they needed help and there I stayed for the rest of the day: painting the green on the front of the east side, and then all afternoon on the west wall – the very TALL west wall!  That job also involved some scaffolding removal in which Rick and Mike helped out.
Rick is up on high still. 
I'm on the paint crew today!
        The day gradually warmed and when the sun came out and you were out of the wind, you started thinking about shedding some layers.  But it didn’t really get to the mid 60’s until well after the time we left.  Scattered clouds had come in by then.  Diane heard we were in the perfect position to view Northern Lights tonight, so we are hoping we don’t have too many clouds up in the sky. 
Kathy and Diane dye their shirt while Monica watches!
            We had a tie dye session when we got home this afternoon.  Diane, Kathy, and Gayle wanted to try things out.  I had picked up a kit from Joanne’s on Wed.  Sure would be easier with all my dyes at home, but we made it work.  Hopefully they will be pleased with their results when we wash them out tomorrow! 

            Happy Hour and then a quiet evening.  We are tired!  

SATURDAY, September 13
Final Day of CAV Build 

            Today was perfect!!  A brisk morning and then sunshine and clear skies in the afternoon.  The Global Village group felt like they finally discovered the weather they had hoped for all week!  The site was a bee-hive of activity today as we had our group of CAVs (minus 3 women), 12 Global Village volunteers, and a group of 8 young men from Summit Academy who showed up to work (Unbeknownst to Steve who had to scramble to find jobs, but it all worked out well!)  We counted up nearly 40 people counting in the local volunteers. 
A bee hive of activity at the site today!
            I had volunteered to provide a final devotion this morning since no one else had signed up.  I remembered right before I went to bed and figured I would just pull one out of my book.  But… in the middle of the night I had an idea of blending a poem about tie-dying with Habitat.  I got up at 6:15 and wrote out my poem.  I want to draw an accompanying scribble to go with it!  It was very well received by the group this morning. 
Upper siding finished and window boarded over. 
            Rick finished his siding today!!!  We didn’t think it would be possible because you couldn’t finish the siding (or caulking and painting) because the window was installed, which couldn’t be installed because the sheetrock hadn’t been delivered through the upstairs window yet, because the insulators hadn’t arrived yet, because their truck broke down!!  BUT….Rick and Carl installed all the siding and then promptly took off the part around the window, removed the window, and boarded it up!!  The paint crew got most of the final shed painted; landscapers worked to prepare Nycci’s side of the house, sheetrockers have finished all the ceilings and several walls on Lexie’s side. 
I installed all the horizontal boards.  
     I was assigned to work in the PIT today – our affectionate term for those preparing the foundation for the next round of concrete.  I have a MUCH better appreciation for the labor that goes into a concrete slab now.  Wow.  What a process.  I gathered boards for form construction with Tom and Val, then helped establish a level line around the four foot forms we were building with Steve.  After that I began screwing 6” boards along our chalk line.  It was a long process and by day’s end I was only halfway around the 135’ linear feet of foundation.  Three different boards had to be screwed in place to form the 2” lip on the foundation wall.  We will finish up on Tuesday in prep for the concrete on Wednesday.  I will need to recharge our impact driver this weekend as I think I wore the battery down a little today! 
Party girl Diane enjoying
her birthday!
         We did a thorough clean-up today as over the week more and more has gotten left out of place at the site. 
Showing off our new shirts!
            Two stops enroute home – one to pick up some gold paint for a few quick awards and another at Super One for Potato Salad and Jello Parfait for the potluck tonight.  Then to quickly wash out our tie-dye shirts and get them into the washing machine!  Shower and ready for the Party to begin at 5pm!!  Whew!  Today is Diane Hinkel’s birthday (her 67th!) and she collects rocks!  So everyone wrapped up and signed a special ‘rock’ for Diane.  Plus a few other neat gifts – I gave her my other God-Text poster.  
Golden Order of Royal Caulkers: Ove, Mike, Monica
and Arletta  (Ove for Barb!)
     Kathy got a cake for Diane and had invited Leon and Marsha, the RV park owners, to join us.  Steve and Gina also came, so it was a fun evening.  Rick and Carl presented the Caulk Team with their Royal Order of the Golden Caulkers Award.  Pretty fun time.  Clint and Kathy had nice cards and a cartoon for everyone.  Two couples are heading out in the morning, and more are leaving on Monday.  I am excited that Carl and Arletta have also signed on for another week! 

            But now….two days of rest and relaxation!  I think we might even go to church in the morning at Whitefish!!  Wow!  So ends another week in Flathead Paradise!  
A panorama of the party circle

Here is the devotional tie dye poem and scribble:
Tie-Dying Habitat
By Ginger Rembold
We Come.
From north and south, east and west;
Democrats and Republicans.
Those in-between.
Catholics, Episcopalians,
Lutherans, and Presbyterians.
And those in-between.
Young and young-at-heart.
White Collar, Blue Collar, Red Neck,
Yellow, Green, and Purple hues.
We come in a rainbow of many colors!

We Gather.
Around a blank shirt,
An empty lot.
A concrete slab.
We tie ourselves together
with a common purpose;
With a collective goal for decent, affordable housing;
Pleated and bound
in a universal desire for justice.

We Construct.
With a kaleidoscope of skills
We color and build;
The hue of one ability
overlapping another’s tint of talent.
Blending, mixing, swirling,
We layer our gifts over time.
And wait to see
the end result of our efforts.

Eventually we witness what We Create:
The fashion of a beautiful garment;
The laughter of children skipping HOME from school;
Flowerbeds blossoming with pride;
The excitement of new homeowners
Filled with a future of hope.
More than beautiful shirts or houses,
We are artists creating a new tomorrow,
A new community.
And our colors have all

Been Tie-Dyed together in it.  

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