Fall in Alaska
We apologize for the delayed post! Things have been busy as we continue to make progress on the cabin.
Also, the weather has cooled down a bit and we have begun to get some rain every day or so, which is to be expected during the rainy season here in Alaska. This has been both good and bad, but the closer we get to having a warm and weather-tight cabin, the less of an issue the cold, wet weather will be. We are both very much looking forward to it! It's been a fun experience taking in the fall weather in an entirely different state.
The recent rain also helps put the continued wildfires out. At the end of the summer, there was a major fire a few miles north of us in Willow. It started from a big wind storm that caused a tree to go down onto a power line, sparking a fire in the ditch of the well traveled Parks Highway north of Willow. It was a very destructive fire and many families lost their homes (over 100 structures were lost). Smoke hovered for about a week or two over Wasilla and down to Anchorage. The major fire down on the Kenai was also being put to rest causing more smoke to make it's way towards our area. So far this year, Alaska has experienced 659 wildfires that have burned over 2.5 million acres. A lot of records have been set this year in Alaska including record high temperatures and drought. It's amazing, though, how Alaskans help each other out in times of need. Everyone in the state is thankful for the hardworking firefighters that are working around the clock to extinguish the fires, evacuate residents safely, and track and control the remote fires.
The cabin looks like an actual structure now. After we installed the rafters at the end of August, Pete went to work installing the OSB sheathing for the roof and sealing all the gaps between sheets with a sealant. It took him a couple days to get all of the wood up onto the rafters and then nailed down securely. After that, he took another day to seal it all up. The next step was to put down some tar paper over the top of the sealed OSB. We had a couple of good rains before the roof was up which caused water to pool up on the subfloor. We pushed some of the water out through the open walls with a broom and then let the rest drain through the holes Pete had drilled in the floor to mark where the corners of the crawlspace access will be. Thankfully, we had a few sunny days in a row which allowed the floor to dry up. *A local recommended we paint the OSB subfloor a couple of weeks ago. I'm glad Pete followed through on this suggestion because this kept the OSB subfloor from turning into a sponge while we worked to get the roof sealed up. Worked great! Since putting the tar paper down on the roof, we have not seen another drop on the floor - here's to praying it stays that way long after we move in!
Once the dry roof was on, Pete worked quickly to install the wall sheathing. He wanted to get the walls covered ASAP to prevent any stray gust of wind from trying to turn our roof into a kite. This work was a bit more tedious with many trips up and down the ladder to get measurements and fit pieces properly. I can't believe he was moving those large 8' OSB boards up and down the tall ladder over and over! I wish I could help more. Looking forward to next summer where I can hopfully help more on the house-build. After installing the OSB boards to cover the exterior walls, he went around the inside and sealed in any spots where he could see a pinhole of light coming through. Sealing all the airgaps like this will prevent drafty airflow through the walls which will help with the heating efficiency in the winter. However, it also means that there won't be any air movement to help dry things out if they do get wet, so we will need to be mindful of this and add ventilation in some other way.
Yesterday, the next door neighbor threw a small of an end-of-summer party and we got to meet more of our neighbors from down the road. Some of them had been gone for the season and others we just hadn't run into yet because Alaskans turn into busy beavers in the summertime. It was a beautiful fall afternoon and a nice chance for us to have a break, eat outside in the sunshine, receive more advice from locals, and hear some good Alaskan stories--my favorite!
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Hello, I am Melissa, owner of Wild North Design. Recently, my husband and I decided to pick up and move to Alaska. This dream has been a couple years in the making and we are enjoying the journey so far. We love to learn and make all kinds of things. From wood craft, to painting, to vehicles, landscaping, building, exploring...we love it all! We are finding out that Alaska is a great fit for our restless minds and bodies! Excited for what the future holds for our expanding family!
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