Friday, June 06, 2014

Weeks 2 & 3: End of Clearing

Preface, by the Rambling (but no longer parched) Rover:  Folks, thanks for your good thoughts and wishes, in reaction to our plea for water two days ago! Our well struck water today, and while it's not quite as plentiful as Snoqualmie Falls, it's not as barren as the deserts of Eastern Washington, either! Preliminary analysis suggests a quarter to half a gallon per minute. While this is just barely "good enough" by typical standards, the throughput is 60 times better than when Katrina first heard this number, and thought that this number was not per minute, but per hour!  For comparison, the average American household uses 400 gallons per day... so this morning, while I took a 15-minute shower in our rented city-water house, I couldn't help thinking, "seize the day, you won't be able to do that in a half a year's time!".  Now, having adjusted my mentality to needing to conserve water, and then suddenly discovering that I have 60 times more water at my disposal, I feel like we're rolling in H2O!

And now, with no further ado, Katrina's post.


     These past few weeks, I have discovered the joy of working 16-hour days J While building our own house is certainly a dream come true, staying on top of everything and constantly making decision after decision is not for the faint of heart! J (And neither are these upcoming blog posts – I’m two weeks behind, so be prepared for a lot of catch-up!)

     You might wonder: how am I spending 16 hours working in a day, when we’re paying excavators with big machinery to actually do the clearing and the digging? Well, here’s your answer: 

     It might not seem like I’m doing much, but I sure am talking and walking and pointing a lot. J And as one of our excavators said, “you're gonna wear out your head thinkin’ so much”! (If you’re wondering what we actually were doing: we were preparing the area around where the well was going to be dug, ensuring that the big well machines would be able to get in and out, and so the drilling rig could sit on level ground.)

Highlights of Weeks 2 & 3:

A sample of how clearing happened, cutting down our big maple tree and digging out its root:

     Our tree-cutters/excavators were great: I even got to help cut down one of the big trees on our neighbor’s lot (who was clearing a spot to put a future barn):

(Granted, “help” was a relative term in this case, as I realized how some things always look so much easier than they actually are – especially when done by people who have some 50 years of experience! I essentially just held the chainsaw in place while it was cutting absolutely nothing!)

     Our access road – the one we worked so hard getting permission to use from all our six neighbors – is much better than our own super-steep would have been, but is still quite steep (reaching 30-35% grade in one place). The dump truck that was used to haul away our 13 loads of brush couldn’t even get up the hill without some extra help from a “skidder”, which pushed it up the hill every time it came up:

Can’t we all occasionally use that extra little push on the backside to make it up a hill?! :-) 

     As the last of the big trees came down, the clearing on our property began to take shape, and we could gradually see the shape of the curving road with the loop on the end, and our house site and yard area branching off. It’s quite something, to have a vision that you’ve only visualized in your head and on a computer screen for over a year, finally take shape in real-life dimensions before your eyes!

See site map, with house site and driveway branching northeastward off the loop of our curving access road: 

(We might be building in essentially the middle of nowhere – at least according to the Seattlites – but we do have our very own cul-de-sac!)

And now see the real-life walk-through at the end of 13 days of trackhoe clearing! 

Our not-so-little stack of firewood, just waiting to be chainsawed into burnable-sized chunks:

And finally:  loading our very own logs onto a log truck, for sale to a sawmill! 


Erik said...

Cool, thins are definitely coming along. It is always nice to see tangible results when working construction. One of the videos (toward the end) did not work and said it was private. I like seeing the pictures. They are quite good. Thanks for keeping us up-to-date.

Michael Zlatkovsky said...

Thanks, Erik! I fixed the link of the walkthrough video.

Anonymous said...

I'm so GLAD you found water!! And now to have the foundation started, things are really coming along. Will you get enough money from selling the logs to pay for the extra well depth??