November 27 – 29, 2012
Winter has arrived. Every morning we woke up to heavy snowing which transitioned to cold but sunny weather in the afternoons. We got as far as we could practically get with the cabin this season. The prospect of hanging off a 45 degree roof lining up sheets of plywood sheathing in the wind and snow didn’t appeal to anyone. We screwed the floor down for the loft, wrapped the cabin in house wrap and got a tarp tacked down over everything.
Tessie holding down the fort
We also spent some time in Burlington to run some errands and visit with one of Chandler’s friends. In Burlington, we found a way for Tayler to join us on our bike trip: a three person tandem!
We have room for one more
On Thursday we officially finished packing for the bike trip! On the 30th we fly from Boston to L.A., then on December 1 we fly from L.A. to Bangkok.
November 23, 2012
The goal of the day was to get the floor of the cabin done. Chandler, Tayler and their dad, Steve got started on framing it. Jeanne, Chan’s Aunt Beth and I did some black Friday shopping at the local bookstore. I won the award for most money spent with a whopping $10 on new wallet for Jeanne and myself.
Taking a break
After lunch, it was time to put the insulation into the floor. This went quickly with Chandler, Tayler, Jeanne and I all working. By the time that was done, the floodlights were on a it was starting to sprinkle. Next step was placing plastic down on top of the insulation and stapling it to the frame.
November 24, 2012
The guys worked alone today. They finish screwing the plywood down for the floor, than began on the walls.
First wall goes up
Only 2 more walls to go
Things seemed to go pretty smoothly for the guys considering it was snowing. They were able to get three walls up!
I stayed inside and began packing for the bike trip. It is a little tricky fitting everything into boxes that fit airline requirements.
November 25, 2012
Another busy day. The guys finished framing and sheathing the last wall. They were also able to start framing the loft floor. It probably helped that it was a sunny and slightly warmer day.
Sheathing the last wall
Sunset from the loft
Jeanne and I stayed inside again and made the last box for the trip. I ran a few errands for the trip, contacted the hotel in Bangkok and made a list of last minute items. At this rate packing will be done tomorrow and the first floor of the cabin could be done by Wednesday.
November 19 – 21, 2012
We had to give the concrete three days to cure.
So, while we waited, we were able to go on a tour of Hearthstone Stoves, courtesy of Chandler’s uncle. It was interesting the see wood stoves being designed and assembled. I want the wood cooking oven!
My future stove
We also went on walks with the dogs.
Chandler finalized the cabin design.
Most importantly, we have been preparing for the bike trip. We went through all of the items we are bringing and started to make the boxes for the bikes.
November 17, 2012
Another busy day. With the foundation holes dug, we were ready to drill holes into the rock for the rebar. The rebar is to reinforce the concrete and to anchor the piers into the rock so they don’t slide.
Once the holes were all drilled, Tayler and I measured and cut rebar to the correct length while Chandler got the rock grout ready.
Thankfully, that was a quick and painless process. Our next step was digging holes for the sonotubes. It was starting the get dark at this point, so everyone was helping to fill in the holes and pack in the dirt. Chandler’s uncle came over for dinner and showed up in time to help also. We ended having to get the flood lights out so we could finish the work in the dark.
November 18, 2012
Except we had a few minor adjustments to make first. Because we had finished setting the last two tubes in the dark, we discovered one was way out of place. So Jeanne and I spent about half an hour digging the tube out, expanding the hole and resetting the sonotube. The guys got the concrete mixer and the threaded anchor bars ready.
Finally ready to pour cement
Before anything could be done, we had to settle a question that everyone but Tayler and I were concerned about: was everything level? The site is on a slope and the front row of piers appeared to be higher than the back row to the naked eye. Chandler’s uncle had brought over a surveyor’s optical level which I used to do a basic survey of the area. I used that info to do some calcs on the heights of the tubes and rebar. Everyone was still not convinced, so, they checked several different ways, but every time, the tubes turned out level. Good thing there was a professional to do the work.
Is it level?
Finally time to pour the concrete.
Chandler hard at work
I actually left after the first pier was poured to have lunch with my step sister. It was nice to take a break and catch up with her. When I came back, all the work was done. Lucky me!
November 15, 2012
Before the road trip even began, we had discussed building a cabin on Chandler’s parents’ land. This would be a place for visitors and maybe a temporary place for us to live in when we get back from our bike trip. We don’t know where we will end up but we assume we’ll need a month or two before we get readjusted.
The first day was spent clearing the area, deciding the orientation of the cabin and staking it out.
November 16, 2012
We decided to put in a sonotube foundation with 6 piers. The next day we made a few adjustments to our staked points and went to rent a gas powered auger. The auger was used to dig out the holes for the cement piers.
Our goal was to go down 4 feet or get to ledge. We hit ledge on all holes except one, which we got down to 4 feet.
November 13, 2012
We woke up early because Paul and Stacy had to go to work and we had a long day of driving ahead of us.
We drove for 7 hours with two stops: gas and lunch. We listened to a podcast about Francis Garnier, a french naval officer who explored the Mekong River from its mouth in Vietnam up into China. It really helped the time go by quickly.
No pictures except when we hit 9,999.9 miles on our trip odometer. After that it rolled over to 0.0, which I didn’t catch in time.
We were very happy to finally get to Chandler’s parent place. His mom made us an amazing meal of enchiladas. Then we slept.
November 11 – 12, 2012
We got to Philly around 9pm and has no problem parking, thanks to Liz having a spot ready for us. Buddy was excited to share a Philly cheese steak with Chan and cheese pizza with me, which were awesome (relying on Chan’s report on the cheese steak). We spent the night in their 4 year old daughter’s room. Midnight tea party anyone? Thanks for letting us use your room Izzy.
The next day, we slept in, had a late breakfast and enjoyed Izzy’s antics.
Because we needed to get to Paul and Stacy’s place before dark, we didn’t have a lot of time for sight seeing. So, Buddy and Liz gave us two options: Rocky statue or some other important historically significant thing.
Somehow we happened upon a dam. Notice that Chandler made sure include it in our photo.
We left Philly around 1:30 to head to Tunkhannock, PA where Paul and Stacy live. We were greeted with delicious pizza and the Wii game Just Dance 4.
The next day we went to Marsha’s for breakfast and then the boys went 4 wheeling while Stacy and I just hung out talking and watching TV.
We spent the night relaxing and watching movies.