Well I finally made it here to Base camp. Left Texas on Thursday morning and arrived in Missoula on Saturday night.
I feel so blessed to have the opportunity to be here. I'd like to give a huge Thank you to Paul Wheaton and everyone here who's made this possible.
Lara promptly showed us the ropes after arrival and allowed us to get settled in.
I chose to tent camp, at least for now, until the weather gets colder. It's currently the perfect blend of cool and dry.
Gardening day today. We split into two groups to tackle watering the hugels. Afterwards did some chop'n'drop and planted some walking onions.
After lunch we headed up to the lab to take a peek at the sawmill and do some more watering.
It was an easy day.
I'm lovin' it here!
Day 2 - BRK
Today we had a couple of fun projects. It's also tidy Tuesday and I love to organize things so.....more fun!
I started the day by going to grab the sawmill from the lab to do some inspecting, in an effort to figure out why this thing was going through belts.
Well, (fingers crossed) I think I fixed it! We'll see once we’re able to test it out, which will be very soon.
I also got to check out some chainsaws that weren't operating correctly, and fixed a few of them as well.
In the afternoon the other boots pulled a log out from the front of base camp to use on the Solarium.
I’m eager to see the sawmill in action, and also to get a chance to work on the Solarium.
I've never done timber framing before so it'll be an introduction and great learning experience for me.
What a wonderful place to Bee!
Day 3 - BRK
Today we worked on the solarium in the morning and went to help Fred on his plot at the lab in the afternoon.
Got all of the outer posts braced and ready to bear some weight. Still finishing some leveling and notching at the top outside posts.
Fred put us to work spreading compost, mulching trees, and seeding his hugels with cherries, walking onions, and peaches.
Today was another great day.
I'm thoroughly enjoying the activities and the community here.
These are truly my kinda people.
Day 4 - BRK
Boot gardening day today.
We watered the hugels and everyone did their thing tending all of the areas around the Fisher price house.
I cleaned up and leveled the terrace on my hugel patch to stabilize it and make it safer to walk on. I also bordered the path with some stray tree limbs and mulched it with tree bark.
It’s much more functional and aesthetically pleasing now!
Then I Harvested garlic and moved a few sun- chokes around to fill in some empty space.
In the afternoon, Grey and I went to the lab to grab the sawmill frame, a test log, and to check on some inventory at the bone yard.
When we returned to base camp, we setup the sawmill and proceeded to make a few test runs to ensure everything was functioning properly. The belt seems to be staying in place after the adjustments I made. I believe we’re ready to mill some lumber!
Check out this video of Grey using the sawmill for the first time
And another video of a big flock of wild turkeys I saw this evening
Day 5 - BRK
I awoke today to the light patter of drizzle hitting my tent.
I made my way down to the FPH for breakfast and coffee, wondering what we might get into since it was raining.
First on the agenda was to put some tarps over the solarium build, to keep it as dry as possible.
Next, Grey and I commenced working on a project for the WofatiGreenhouse.
We quickly designed and fabricated a couple of reflective tubes to use in an experiment to see if we can get the greenhouse to maintain an optimal temperature.
Afterwards we tidied up the shop a bit and walked up to meet Dez and Mags in the library.
While there, I took a few minutes to write a summary about the berm shed repair that Fred informed us about.
There are only a couple more steps to work on and that portion of the berm shed will be complete.
For lunch I had my usual, PB&J. It was delicious.
After lunch we gathered a few materials and headed up to the lab in Ranger Doug to install the tubes we fabricated into the greenhouse.
Then we cleaned up some scrap lumber and relocated a grounding rod for the solar system at cooper cabin.
Back at base camp we put the lumber away and took to thinking about a storage solution for some RMH (rocket mass heater) materials in the shop.
After finishing for the day Dez, Grey, and I decided that we would go into town to have dinner together.
It was nice having some time with the guys to chat and get to know each other a little better.
Today was another magical day at Wheaton labs.
Day 6 - BRK
Today is Saturday, Which means free time to do as I please.
After breakfast, the first thing on my agenda was a bike ride to the lab. Back in Texas I would usually ride bikes with my brother every Sunday. I’m hoping to do the same here. To ride at least one day per week. It’s great fun, and you know, getting some exercise isn’t so bad either.
After returning from the ride, I made some eggs and toast for lunch, Which made me think about my chickens. One thing I surely miss from home.
When I finished lunch, Grey and I decided to go on another bike ride to the lab. We went a little further this time. Taking some time to explore ant village and take in all of the scenery.
All of this exertion made me fairly tired. I decided to take a short nap after returning back to base camp.
Once I woke up, there was still a bit of time in the day for me to tackle a small project. I repaired a few chairs that had seen better days. The cardboard bottoms had been broken and were falling through. I devised a simple repair by using some scrap 2x4’s and screws underneath the cushion to support the cardboard. Good as new....almost.
By this time, I was starting to get hungry again.
I decided to make vegetable potato soup for dinner. That really hit the spot.
What a beautiful day today was.
It just keeps gettin’ better.
This is BEE, over n' out.
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