Almost ready

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.

The cabin continues

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


Three walls

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.


Insulated cement

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

Concrete day!

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


Power break

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!

The cabin begins

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.