We are building upwards! This week Pete built and raised all four walls by himself.
I'm scared to watch the GoPro video footage of him raising each wall slowly, but safely I'm sure! The walls look great! It's just a shame that this beautiful beetle kill lumber, with it's natural blue and red stains, will be buried inside the walls underneath the sheathing, siding, and sheet rock.
Each wall was braced securely before the next wall was put up. It was a good thing we did that because while raising the walls, we experienced our first Alaskan wind storm. The wind storm continued day and night for about 48 hours. We aren't sure how strong the gusts of wind were but it was enough to knock down large trees in our yard and on powerlines elswhere. Homesteading 101: clear at least a 50 ft circle of trees from any major structure on the property. This will help with random falling trees in the storms and prevent a wildfire from quickly engulfing your home. We are technically considered off-grid, so when a tree fell onto the only power line running out to our neighborhood, many were left without power for half a day or so (but we didn't even notice until we were talking with the neighbor). However, up towards Talkeetna, near where we had recently gone fishing, a tree had fallen on a power line next to the highway and caused the power line to spark and start a fire. In writing this post a couple weeks later, the fire still isn't completely out. The strong winds continued to push the fire east, hopping the highway and causing many evacuations. About 50 structures have been lost and almost daily the smoke is thick in Wasilla and continues to drift down towards Anchorage. The community has really come together to help those who have lost their homes and the firefighters risking their lives. I can't imagine how tough it must be to pack up your life in a few minutes or hours and leave it behind, hoping the firefighters will be able to keep the destructive fire at bay. Pete and I follow a 'Ready-Set-Go' guideline that the state encourages residents to follow. When the firefighters issue warnings, it's important to follow the guidelines in order to get residents to safety and save their homes before it's too late.
August is considered the rainy season in Alaska and fall weather follows quickly during this month. Due to the summer long drought, the trees have been dropping their leaves early and the beautiful expected fall colors are rare. The fireweed has turned to cotton and it's leaves turn bright red--those are mostly our fall colors this year! During the windstorm, we buttoned down everything so it was safe and secure. We also went to the neighbors for an indoor picnic. It was a nice evening despite the circumstances.
During this week Pete also coated the subfloor in paint to prevent any water damage that might occur before we get the floor dried in. We are working at a slower pace with only 1-2 people at a time so many parts of the house will be exposed to the elements until we get it completely dried in.
Pete also milled up three large beams to start building a base for the loft. We will incorporate some timber framing into this cabin which will allow us to flex our skills we learned last summer in Minnesota. Plus, it will show off some beautiful raw wood inside the cabin!
Next week we plan to keep looking upward as we build towards the sky! The Alaska State Fair is next week too, and we plan to spend an afternoon there taking a break from the build.
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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