Checking In

Blog Post
‘Going Galt’ is more difficult than the fictional character in Ayn Rand’s novel Atlas Shrugged. I guess that I could have packed up and moved to Ouray, CO like the character in the book. I like summers in that area and am up in Ouray County almost every summer – but the winters are exceptionally brutal.

On the White Wolf Mine property:

Progress is being made – slowly. One person asked me why I was relocating so far from the human stain. I replied with one word, “peace”. I am WAY too young to rest in peace, but there is a clear benefit to live in a peace far from the progressive world — far from unicorns.

3 NOV 07

To frame the photo, you’re looking up toward the ridge line at the dig where the garage is being cut out of the mountain. You can see the power line snaking its way along the ridge to the mine property. I originally wanted the build farther off the ridge, but simple design realities caused me to reconsider.
This is the garage, viewed from an angle parallel to the ridge line.  Placement of the garage portion of the hovel in this place makes cutting the road far easier on this side. The drive-through garage has a road going out the other side as well (to the rear of the photographer). That road has to branch down to the Phase 2 area as well as looping back to the main road in.
It’s winter in the high country and with the exception of the pines, the place looks dead. In summer there are ferns and wild flowers everywhere.

16 NOV 07
The footers are being completed and they presage re-bar and concrete foundation footings being poured. Everything up on the Mogollon Rim seems to take longer than you hope that it will, but things are inching along. The weather has been exceptionally mild with highs in the 60’s and lows in the 40’s. Could it be that the long promised global warming is delivering (at long last)?

Thanks Al Gore.

17 NOV 07

The county will inspect the footings and the steel today and they’re planning on pouring concrete for the foundation tomorrow (Saturday).

Normally, you’d think that, Thanksgiving Week is an excuse not to work on par with Elk Season. However as soon as the concrete has set up, the masonry will be laid. It makes for a better graphic for the Internet than trenches and rocks.

Because the hovel at the White Wolf Mine is being built on a slope, there is incremental masonry to support the floor. Thus the need for additional footings.

The White Wolf Mine is a hard rock mine, and because of that, nobody should be surprised that there have been a number of rocks (left) unearthed to dig the footings and get the ground prepared for the shack to go in. Some of them had to be blasted into smaller rocks to get them out.

This excavation does not include the extensive excavation for the alternative septic system ($35K price tag) that will be going in a quarter mile away. That has not begun yet and is less critical at this point because we need to have the concrete poured and the masonry in so that framing can begin before weather sets in. (no, I don’t trust Al Gore)

The plumbers and electricians still need to do their magic before the initial slabs can be poured. And it needs to be inspected and signed off by the county. 

36 thoughts on “Checking In

  1. When we lived in Sedona some friends of ours visited Ouray during the summer. They fell in love, sold their home, and moved there. Then winter happened. 'Nuff said.

    Watching the build of the the Mine makes me itch.

  2. Slow going in those parts. A quarter mile of poop pipe? I'm glad I don't have to pay for that ditch. You might be getting what we just had. two days of rain and 1/2" of snow.

  3. You are making progress! Looks like you are going to have fantastic views.
    We have lots of rocks on the east side, thanks to Mt Lassen. Landscapers love them and make pretty darn good money selling them to landscapers near and far. Wonder if the same could be true for your extra rocks.

  4. Awfully pretty country LL. Can't wait to see the finished product. I'll bet that you can't wait to live in same!

  5. Are you aiming for next summer to make your move?

    Winters in Ouray aren't that bad, and the hot springs are great. Much better place than Pagosa or Steamboat.

  6. I love Silverton and that whole run down Hwy 550 from Montrose to Durango. The San Juan range is spectacular – but the summer season is short. Camping up on the roof of the world – primitive camping – in summer is especially enjoyable.

  7. Usually slow means better craftsmanship. Better to have it done right the first time than to have you hunt them down. When all is said and done, you and the clan will have a wonderful place to live.

  8. I'm on bedrock, which means that there are rocks on top, but there's not much scree. I could turn the place into a quarry, but then it wouldn't be 'home'. (however so humble).

  9. It's been a long grind and a far more expensive project than I initially anticipated. Doing it right requires the right materials and the right people. I'm trying to earn $$ to work on phase 2, but that will be some time out, even if I had the cash in pocket. I hope to have the ENTIRE project wrapped by the end of 2019.

  10. I took time to check out the work that the masonry subs had done in the past and was impressed. The general contractor said that they are not the fastest but they are the best. You're right – it has to be done correctly the first time.

  11. Good to see steady progress on the WWM. I'm looking forward to the completed project and good hunting.

    I understand there's no limit on unicorns on the Mogollon Rim.

  12. Most big game require a tag. Small game and game birds such as pheasants and ducks) have a bag limit. Not so with unicorns (viewed as pests).

    Some say that the introduction of wolves to the region have pushed unicorns out to the West Coast (San Francisco, all of Oregon and Washington) and they have thrived because of their sanctuary status.

  13. I've heard that's the case.

    Of course We get strays here in Hill County but they thrive sanctuary cities like Austin.

  14. Basement or crawl space? I sure as h3ll hope you're not installing electrical and plumbing runs buried in the concrete of a "slab" foundation!

  15. Some say we owe the climate to Al Gore. If it wasn't for him (personally), the ice caps would have thawed – or we would be in an ice age…however your conscience lets you slice it. He's a progressive icon.

  16. The lower floor (not quite a basement) will have plumbing under the slab. Where else do you put the sewer?

  17. My concern was that the plumbing, conduits and duct be accessible.

    In my experience, all the homes built on slabs have all that stuff entombed in the concrete of the slab, requiring a jack hammer in the bathroom if the pipes need replacement….

  18. I've only lived in homes built on slabs and haven't ever had a problem. Clearly, if there is a leak under the slab, there is serious demo to fix the break. The idea of a crawl space is creepy to me. Especially in the mountains when critters can get in there make a home raise their young and then die…

  19. Understood, didn't consider the "Critter Factor".

    I'm learning a lot from my in-laws and new friends in the building trades. Some of it is similar to what I knew already, but I'm learning the tricks of building at 5000', and new technologies for insulating, heating, and cooling.

  20. Yes, there's a lot to it. Doing it right costs about double what it should. But they have you by the hip when you want it done right.

  21. Oh, yeah. Our $1250 "fence repair" went to $1500, then he ran the materials cost, realized he'd made a minor mistake, and it went to $2000. In order to save digging time, we brought in a Bobcat @$75/hr, two hour total, etc, etc, etc.

    Our original $1250 "fence repair" project wound up cost $4k, and turned into a complete fence replacement, with a custom built double gate….,

  22. The place of the hovel is Mongollon Rim/
    The wolf in the forest runs free/
    And Juliette offers to guard his home/
    Tomorrow belongs to … you.

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