Monday, July 21, 2008

I have been pretty slow updating the blog lately due to lack of motivation...

In the last eight weeks or so since my last post I have been busy with traveling and projects and haven't felt much like writing. My mom has been hounding me for a new post for awhile now, so here it is.

I had six weeks off of work in June and July, and boy did it go fast! The first two weeks we worked on getting the barn ready for the SIP (stress skin panels) walls and picked them up from Anchorage last week but they are just in a pile in the yard. I'm also adding a cupola to the top of the barn, so I have been working to finish cutting it because it has two 24' 8x8's in it I have to use a crane to put it on top of the barn. Since I have to have a crane to install my SIP's I wanted to be ready with the cupola at the same time. The way that life seems to work though, I haven't been able to focus only on the things I want to work on. We continued with one of our fencing projects which took three days, went camping and halibut fishing in Homer, and we also took a two week trip to New Mexico, Colorado, and Wyoming. I did manage to get a few days of kayaking in though.

My dad's family had a family reunion in Las Cruces and out of about 118 family members I think there were about 114 of us there. I haven't seen some of them in twenty plus years so it was really nice to spend a few days catching up. The 100+ F weather was also very nice since we have had a summer that has only broke into the 70's three times all year. We made a couple trips to White Sands National Park while we were there. The dunes weren't nearly as big as the ones I was climbing in Algeria but the sand was really pretty and we took sleds so the kids all got to go sledding in the sand.
After the reunion we headed north to make Sandi's Grandpa Jim's 90th birthday in Cheyene Wyoming the next week. We drove through Durango, Silverton, Uray, Montrose, Gunnison (spent two days), Crested Butte, Salida, and then back north to Cheyenne. I've been to Durango and Silverton when I was younger but have never been to the Gunnison area. I really enjoyed the drive but the 10,000 ft altitude almost did me in. We didn't curtail our driving when we got to Wyoming either; after Jim's birthday party we drove the five plus hours up to Lander to see Tim, Stefani, and their brand new baby. Unfortunately due to our short schedule we only stayed one night before heading back to Cheyenne. After two weeks we managed to put 3500 miles on the rental car.

On the day we flew out of Denver we met with the Geothermal Consultant that we met in April at the Timberframers Conference. I wanted to discuss all of our options for trying to lower our heating costs and see what we could get done before winter. I am now questioning my desire to get something implemented before winter. Not because I don't think it will work, but because my last two weeks at home were swamped with the additional planning to get ready for the geothermal as well as working on all of my ongoing projects. I also don't think I'll have a free day until at least the first part of October.

I am now the proud owner of 9000' of tubing for the geo system but I now have to dig trenches to put it in. That means I'll be spending almost a week digging trenches and laying tubing in August to get ready for a September installation of the Water Furnace ( )and the rest of the system.

So that in a nutshell is why I haven't posted in a while. I hope to post pictures of the whole geothermal installation process as well as the cupola and SIP installation. I'll try to post some pictures from the last few weeks as well.


Gran said...

Boy, you have been busy but it will be worth it in the end. The geothermal thing sounds like a lot of hard work but again it will be great this winter. Thanks for taking time to write all this and keep us informed. Love, Gran

Anonymous said...

very nice,
I am an engineer. writing your experiences helped me to get some information which I was searching all the night.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the update as I do enjoy reading your blog. I wasn't sure you ever heard anything I've ever said!
You may have more time off than you think---there is new snow on the mountains. How much roofing do you need to do????

oldmilwaukee said...


First, thanks for spreading it on thick when describing our house project in Kentucky. :)

Second, as if the rumford thing wasn't enough of a coincidence, I just ordered a Waterfurnace ground source heat pump. I see that you have done the same!? Please blog about your progress and installation when you get time. I will do the same. Ours (two 2 ton units) will be running from solar power when the sun is shining, and we'll be using them predominantly for air conditioning (some heat, but we're dependent on the winter sun for that). The local installer prefers wells (as opposed to trenches) in our climate/soils, so I guess that's what we'll go with. I'm buying it installed, as a turnkey system (yes, very unlike us!) because I have so many other unfinished projects and the installer seems super-competent. I'll keep you posted about what we learn. We're going with the 2 speed envision series, mainly so I can run them on the low speed when the sun power is not abundant.

Thanks again for visiting us and for the kind write up. You have a great family.