Wednesday, June 3, 2009

yurt raising

Memorial Day weekend turned into four days straight: working construction in Palisade, to get the deck down and yurt up. I forgot the camera, so the first picture skates blithely past a days' work of finishing and framing the first subfloor.

Here Keith and I are slicing and installing insulation below the second subfloor. The fibreglass made me cough, probably should have worn a mask. Keith's t-shirt says in Dutch 'horen, zien.. en suipen' which translates in Afrikaans (kitchen Dutch) to 'hear, see, and get happily drunk'. In Dutch the meaning is the same, but there is an extra layer since it's a corruption of "Horen, zien en zwijgen", the Confucian edict.

Rain stopped play quite often. This ensured the insulation got nicely saturated. The menfolk hoped this would translate to a stinky mould infestation, so the yurt would become a man cave, unsuitable for wifely habitation. Here, most of the second subfloor is down and wet, and the bender boards are getting bent around it. Eventually the skirt of the yurt (pause for Marilyn Monroe flashback) is screwed to the bender boards.

Two monkeys in a tree, with hangers-on. The lattice is expanded around the inside of the bender boards, and screwed to the floor. What this means, is the entire structure is dependent on the floor's structural integrity. Hm. The scaffolding holds up the center ring of the yurt, as will become clear.

Young Fernando (orange shirt) works with Keith, came along for a bit of mountain biking, plus helped out with yurting.
We drank all his beer - thought we'd be picking up the necessary from the Palisade Brewery, but never quite got off our duffs and the work site. Sorry Fernando..

While on the subject of youth, Farmer Thomas' daughters were around on the first day. Their track and cross-country spikes were in a box on the back porch, awaiting some event. I had a look at the shoes; a lot better than the Nike Elite waffle shoe which was state-of-the-art at the close of my x-c career. The younger daughter and her boyfriend were setting off for a summer of living in a van in Buena Vista, working as raft guides on the Arkansas river. It's one of my favorite whitewater rivers. I was talking to them about paddling, camping and all kinds of groovy things, but kept getting called 'Sir'. While I appreciate the courtesy, it makes me feel old enough to be their father .. wait a minute, I am.. Oy.

This morning I left Artie the Wonder Dog leashed to a tree, so he wouldn’t get into mischief in the 10 minutes between me leaving the campsite and H following. Some child unleashed him, a different child went into the hen run to play with the chickens and left the door open, carnage ensued. Ian reports Artie came out grinning broadly through a mouthful of feathers, 'mmm, tastes just like pheasant'. One of the girl childs screamed loudly enough that the neighboring farmers came out to have a look. Everyone thinks Artie is an evil dog now, but he's just a dog who likes birds, really. The rooster was still walking when we left, not sure of the longterm prognosis though.

Evan has the instructions. We have nothing to fear but Evan himself.

The central ring looks alarmingly toothy.

OK, so far so good. Now where does the rest of the rocket go ?

A steel cable runs around the top of the lattice, secured by a hook that says '2T limit'. The entire weight of the roof plus any forces generated by the winds depends on the frail lattice. Presumably some vector of the forces is actually outward, onto the cable, but it looks implausible. The background on the right is rows of incipient potatoes.

Practicing for when everything's finished, and we can relax on our shady deck. It may never happen, so we have to seize the day.

A layer of insulation goes over a liner. It comes in halves which have to be taped together. Brian invented a giant Q-tip to press the tape down, here he employs it under our admiring gaze.

Ommm.. here in the center of the mandala, perhaps we can get levitation..

Raising the roof. A couple of people on scaffold-stabilization; two on a rope on the left out of the picture; Thomas and Evan on top; and three of us boosting it from below. A good roar (me on the L) clears the pipes, and might even help with lifting it. I don't remember yelling though, makes me wonder what else happens during the day that I'm missing.

The roof unrolls on each side and is gradually unfurled. We had to wait for a lull in the winds to get it up, to avoid a Mary Poppins moment.

The walls then get unrolled around the lattice, and laced to the roof by a kind of crocheting of rope loops and grommets. No pictures of this, as the wind was picking up and it was all hands on deck. No further pictures either, as we were hoping to get home before the early AM and were focused on work. No such luck in the event - last screw driven at 6pm, a chukar running around the farmhouse as we packed up in the rain, home by 1am in torrential rains.

Finally. There's a spacy plastic dome on top, for light: it can also be opened a bit, to let the breezes through. Now all we have to do is put a floor over the particleboard, add railings so kids/dogs don’t fall off the high side, and make a bathroom arrangement. .. oh well. As Thomas said, soon we'll be coming up to clear out the under-yurt storage. Right now it's beautifully open, spacious and light in there.

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