Naomi’s art

Naomi had a gallery showing in February at the Alaska Arts Confluence office in downtown Haines. The opening was during the first Friday art walk. Click on the thumbnail for a larger version.

Naomi’s media for this show, and most of her current efforts, is digital: she creates each piece starting with a blank drawing tablet hooked up to her laptop. To be clear, she does not start with a scan or digital photo and “Photoshop” it. It is all drawn from scratch on the tablet with a pressure sensitive stylus and drawing software. Sometimes she works from a reference as many traditional artists do (ie., a model, photo, etc ). For the show, I printed these pieces on my wide format inkjet printer on high quality matte paper.

The Sun
Sunglasses not necessary for viewing. Enjoy not being blind. (Unless you actually are blind, in which case, badly timed joke on my part.)

 

Galaxy Hair
No color dodge layers were harmed in the making of this painting.

 

 

Self-Portrait
This one was drawn in a moving vehicle. Special thanks to ctrl + z.

 

 

Vibrant
A re-draw of something I painted in 2014 that will never ever ever see the light of day.

 

 

Music
First attempt at this piece was bad. Second attempt was also bad. I like this third one better.

 

 

Sickly
I drew this, thought it was a bit too boring, then said “hey, maybe she’s dead!” And now she is. Sorry, unidentified female.

 

 

Fireflies
I don’t know if you can tell, but I like glowy stuff.

 

 

Halo
There was no light source. Now there is.

 

 

Through the Trees
Depending on the saturation/brightness of this, she either looks like she’s here to kill you or be your fairy godmother. Maybe if I fiddle with the HSB sliders a bit more I can make it both.

 

DO NOT CROSS
Maybe she killed someone, maybe she’s a cop that’s just really into her job, or maybe she’s been eating a lot of ketchup and just *happened* to stumble across some crime scene tape. Who knows. (…I do.)

Soft
Flowers are pretty 🙂

 

 

Booooored
I was on the ferry, and I was bored. This piece truly reflects my inner (and outer) feelings during that arduous four whole hours of sitting around doing nothing.

 

Headphones
Lineart. It is difficult. It fell apart halfway through.

 

 

Wind
This is a last minute painting I did because I needed an art work sample.

 

 

Cracked
The original title for this was “sad demon eyes.” It still has a place in my heart.

 

 

Blonde
I believe this was one of the last paintings I did on my old setup with Photoshop.

 

 

Painting the Sky
Panoramas are nice, wouldn’t ya say?

Ballet
This is another of one of those “needed multiple attempts to get right” ones, but I like the outcome. I think it was worth it.

 

 

Sunset
The color palette for this one came completely from a sunset.

 

 

Pastel
Yay pretty colors.

 

 

No Pressure
I recently got a new tablet for my digital art and passed my old one on to a friend. This painting was the first one I drew with said tablet, before I got the pressure sensitivity to work properly.

 

Transient
Loosely based on someone I saw in an airport one time. I honestly can’t be sure how much of this is accurate to the original person because my memory is not amazing.

 

Snow Angel
I had just made a new brush preset for snow, so I decided to do something with it. And thus, a snow angel.

 

Bubblegum
The only brush I used for this was the airbrush. Clearly. (Or perhaps, foggily.)(Apologies for the terrible pun.)

 

 

Prints in the Snow
I had to make a whole new brush preset for this.

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How much does a shower cost? A cup of tea?

As we look forward to the move into our new house, we’re also looking forward to lower energy bills. Some people have been surprised, then, when we decided to switch from an on-demand (tankless) propane water heater, to an tank-style electric. The former are supposed to me more efficient, the story goes. More on that further down. First, my attempt to calculate how much we are paying for showers here in our trailer.

This is a part measured, part theoretical calculation. Since our water is not metered, we don’t know how much water we use overall or for showers. It is pretty simple to figure how much it cost to heat a quantity of water, so I’ll end up with the cost per minute of shower.

measuring cold tap water

measuring cold tap water

I measured the input water temperature by running the cold water at the kitchen sink into a bowl and measured the temperature until it stabilized. It is astounding how cold our tap water is in the winter and spring here in Haines. You know it is cold when your hands hurt when you wash in cold water for more than a few seconds. Now I know how cold: 3.5 C (38.3F).  I don’t have a figure for the water temperature in the summer, so I guessed at 10C (50F), then averaged for use in my calculations.

The next step: I took a shower and measured the flow rate of our shower head, and a comfortably hot shower water temperature, using a bucket to measure the flow and also to hold the water for accurate temperature measurement. I realize a “comfortably hot shower” is rather subjective, but I tried to hit a middle of the road hotness, which in my case was 36.1C (97F). For the flow volume, I adjusted the faucet to a moderate flow. Full on it was about 2 gallons/minute, and at what my conservative back thought to be a minimum flow for a decent shower, 1 gallon/min. So, since I would not expect my family to be quite as stingy as me,  I’ve used 1.5 gallons/minute (5.7 liters/minute) for the calculations. I checked our 2nd shower, and its flow rate was similar.

The rest was just some arithmetic and digging up a bunch of numbers (cost of propane, energy content of propane, etc.)

So here’s goes. Cost to heat 1 gallon of water: [I’m going to start off in English units because its pretty easy in this case]  1 gal=8.3 lbs. It takes one BTU to heat 1 lb of water 1 degree F, so 8.3 lbs x 52.9 F temp rise = 423 BTU. This is the energy needed to heat one gallon of water to shower temperature on average (more in winter when the water is colder, less in summer). Now let’s switch to international units: 423 BTU/3412 BTU/KWhr= 0.124 KWhr of energy to heat 1 gallon of water.

Next I calculated the cost of that 0.124 KWhr for propane (cost per gallon of propane divided by  KWhr/gal of propane divided by the efficiency of the heater, times the number of KWhr as above) [4.00 $/gal / 26.8 KWhr/gal / 0.70 * 0.124 KWhr = $0.027 per gallon]). Now when I do the same calculation for an electric tank water heater, based on our marginal electric rate or $0.12 per KWhr, I get $0.016 to heat a gallon of water. Let’s turn that into a shower table:

shower minutes cost for Propane cost for electricity
submarine 3 0.12 0.08
spartan 5 0.21 0.13
leisurely 10 0.41 0.26
luxurious 15 0.62 0.39
indulgent 30 1.23 0.77

Summary…The cost for a shower was lower than I suspected based on our propane bill. Again, this is partly theoretical. One thing not accounted for is loss of heat in the water pipes, which in our case make a long journey under the trailer (read poorly insulated). But maybe a bigger portion of our propane is going to other hot water needs and cooking than I assumed.

Now on the electric tank vs gas tankless heater debate… I think the electric should beat the propane hands down due to:

  1. Propane costs more per unit energy than electricity where we live and probably most places.
  2. Our propane heater is not very efficient because of the heat going up the flue and the need to heat the make-up air.
  3. The electric tank heater’s standby losses are welcomed in heating the house probably 80-90+ percent of the year.

Read on if you want more detail to support my assertion.

Efficiency of tankless propane heater...I could not find a stated efficiency of the Bosch 125b. However, based on the stated rating of its replacement, the Bosch 520 PN, given as 78%, I used 70% for our older model. A lot of heat goes up the 6 inch flue pipe…I’ve been on the roof and felt the temperature of the exhaust.

Besides the heat created but not transferred to the water (but instead going up the flue) our Bosch gets its combustion air from the room where it is located, and as that air is  drawn into the house it has to be heated (during the heating season). This does not matter in the summer, but in cold weather it can rob you of a lot of energy, indirectly lowering the effective efficiency running the old Bosch. Many newer heaters avoid this problem by having a dedicated combustion air supply.

Also, the pilot light (which burns all the time) uses some propane.

[To take the discussion a bit off track, I think the tankless propane heater is even less efficient when doing the dishes. The off and on nature of dish washing (I’m talking hand washing) seems to me less efficient since, each time the heater fires back up, there is a large woof of flame that I reason can’t be well converted to usable heat, but mostly goes up the flue. Also, with our particular heater, and many others, there is a minimum flow rate needed to keep it working, below which the water turns cold. This makes it hard to conserve by, say, rinsing dishes under a small stream of water vs a larger one.]

Efficiency of electric tank water heater… The main reason tank style water heaters are reputed to be less efficient than tankless type is due to standby losses, ie., heat that continuously escapes the tank whether or not the water is being used. In my opinion this inefficiency is overstated. In many cases the heat lost from the tank is not really wasted…it goes to heat the house. If you live in Florida, yes, it is wasted, and especially so if you are cooling your house. Here in Alaska we can use that “wasted” heat at least 9-10 months of the year. If we did not have this and other such incidental heat sources, we might discover it is too chilly to go without heat most days in the summer here. To account for what little standby loss is really wasted, I used a figure of 90% efficient in the calculations above. My guess is that is low.
Our choice… Other factors went into our decision to get an old school electric tank style heater. One is that our current tankless model is not big enough for our size family (if you are showering and someone else turns on the hot water in the kitchen, your shower will turn cold rather suddenly).  A newer, bigger tankless costs a lot more than a tank style, so it would have to be much more efficient to justify it. One more thing…one of the touted advantages of the tankless (on-demand) type is that you never run out of hot water. With three teenagers, that can be looked on as a liability — limited hot water helps keep the bills down.

How about a cup of tea?

If you figure the amount of energy to boil a cup of water (1/16 of a gallon) using a similar tack as above you get 0.025 KWhr which is about $0.003, or a third of a cent per cup. I did not try to differentiate based on energy source. Then I used a plug-in energy meter to measure the electricity used to boil water in an electric tea kettle. The result was a bit higher, about a half a cent per cup. Even when you add the cost of a tea bag, you have a real bargain beverage there!

misc notes:

Our water & sewer are not metered, so I did not figure the flat rate monthly cost into this analysis. Yes, that is part of the overall cost of a shower, but assuming we will have water and sewer service anyway, it is not a factor in deciding to take a shower, or how long of one to take. Similarly with electricity, I do not count the monthly fixed costs of the service, but just the cost of an added KWhr, the marginal cost.

Obviously the water heater is not heating the water exactly to the desired shower temperature, but much hotter. I am assuming that the energy required to get the desired water temperature is the same if you heat the water to that temperature, or heat a smaller amount to a higher temperature and mix it with cold water, which is what is actually happening.

For a similar inquiry, see Knute Brinchmann’s How much does it cost to heat our house?

Posted in Building Plans and Progress | 2 Comments

Green Family Reunion: Solstice 2015 Alaska

Come to Haines for an adventure reunion, June, 2015!

Exact dates are up to you but we plan to center around the Summer Solstice (6/21), the longest day of the year with 24 hours of daylight/twilight for outdoor activities.

We’re hoping another centerpiece of the reunion will be a “Green Team” participation in the Kluane-Chilkat International Bike Relay (6/20). There are options for teams of various sizes and there is no need to be a world class rider…if you can ride 20 miles you’re in!

Haines is a friendly small town full of outdoorsy and artsy people surrounded by incredible natural beauty. There many things to do and the June weather is usually very agreeable.

How to get to Haines

What to do in Haines

Haines links:

Posted in 2015 Alaska Reunion | 2 Comments

Things to do in Haines

Right in town

  • walking
  • hiking
  • climbing
  • beach combing
  • birding
  • other wildlife viewing
  • fishing
  • biking (road or mountain)
  • running (on or off road)
  • ultimate (Frisbee)
  • disc golf
  • golf (9 hole + driving range)
  • basketball (pickup)
  • beach volleyball
  • horseshoes
  • swimming (pool and ocean)
  • boating (river or ocean possible depending on borrowing or renting boat(s))
  • museums (3): Sheldon, Bald Eagle Foundation and Hammer
  • coffee shops, restaurants, etc
  • gardening

Commercial tours

  • Whale watching
  • kayaking
  • rafting
  • fishing
  • etc

Side trips

Skagway:

  • Gold Rush History, Chilkoot Pass hike (3+days), White Pass drive or Railway trip (1/2 day)

Juneau:

  • Mendenhall Glacier, State Capitol, etc

Whitehorse:

  • Yukon River, Takini Hot Springs, camping, hiking, orienteering, etc

Haines Highway & pass:

  • Kathleen Lake, Haines Junction, Kluane National Park, Tatshenshini/Alsek River float (week+ world class float requiring fly out, and usually a guide), more hiking, climbing etc.

Beyond:

Highway travel to Dawson, Eagle, Denali NP, Wrangell St. Elias NP, Arctic, and much more.

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How to get to Haines

Google maps links:

map of our part of town

Street view of our place a few years ago.The building under construction is our barn. Our new house is going up in the wooded area to the left of the grassy area.

Note: I asked Google Maps to give me directions from Lynnwood, WA to Haines, AK and it gave me the Cassiar route, and a route way east through Calgary and Edmonton, but not the fastest, most common route that links Prince George to Dawson Creek.

Now here’s some insider information on getting to Haines. Let’s assume you are coming from the Pacific Northwest.

By Sea:

If you don’t have your own boat, the next best water option option is the the Alaska Marine Highway System, a.k.a. Alaska State Ferry. The ferry leaves Bellingham every Friday and arrives in Haines on Monday. (It then continues the last 12 miles to Skagway, where it turns around and heads back south. So if you want to take it south it leaves every Monday.)

The ferry is a relaxed, scenic way to travel. You can see marine wildlife and meet lots of interesting people. The ferry makes a few stops along the way, so you get a glance at a few other towns. Some of these stops are good for getting off the ferry for a quick walk, but if you want to see more of these other towns, the way to do it is to schedule stopovers for a day or so.

The ferry is not the cheapest option, but is our favorite. Fares for summer 2015 have not been published yet, but current adult fares are $353 per person each way (1/2 price for 6-12 yr olds and under 6 free!). Add $57 for a bicycle. Cabins range from $337 to $580. (There is a link to a cost spreadsheet I  did at the bottom of this post). Vehicles prices start at almost $500 and go up with size, but the only reason you would need a vehicle is if you want to drive the highways of  interior Alaska, the Yukon or all the way back to the lower 48 (or do the drive-ferry hybrid). Food in the ferry cafeterias is not bad, but kind of pricey for what you get. The cheap way to take the ferry is bring a sleeping bag and a sack of food. You can sit at a table in the cafeteria with your own food and use the microwave etc. Many people sleep in the solarium or on the back deck (or a few spots inside). Some people put up tents for privacy. Plastic deck recliners are available and are pretty comfortable (keeps you off the deck). Showers are available.

Another option is to book an Alaskan cruise. Considering that your room and board are included, this option can compete price-wise if you get a good deal on the cruise. One year cruise prices were discounted so deeply that you could cruise to Haines at about a fourth the coast of the ferry with stateroom and meals! If you start searching you will find that most Inside Passage cruises stop at Skagway, but not Haines. This is not a big problem since it is easy to get from Skagway to Haines in the summer via a local private ferry. The other issue is that if you want to spend more than about 12 hrs in Haines you would need to jump ship here and forgo the rest of the cruise, plus repeat or use another method on the way back. The 2015 cruise ship schedules are set. They can tell you at a glance which boats dock when in Haines or Skagway.

By Air:

Flying is quick and easy. Alaska Airlines has multiple flights per day between Seattle and Juneau. This summer, Delta  added the route, and prevailing fares dropped by about half. Word is Delta will offer it again next summer, likely making the air option the cheapest of all for 1 or 2 people. Once in Juneau, you can switch to a small plane and continue the air option all the way to Haines, or take the 4.5 hour ferry ride here. The ferry option usually requires a night’s stay in Juneau since the ferry tends to leave early in the morning, which negates the savings of using the ferry instead of the small plane, but also affords the opportunity of seeing Juneau for a bit. If you don’t want to spend the night in Juneau, search the schedule for a rare afternoon ferry, or take a small plane to Haines. Wings of Alaska and Alaska Sea Planes fly here. Either way, you can’t lose…the scenery between Juneau and Haines is fabulous by air or sea.

By Land:

It’s a long but beautiful drive, (or bike ride). There are several variation in the basic route, but each involves at least 30-35 hours of driving time for the 1600+ miles (3000 km) from the Seattle area. Three days is minimum but why not take four or more and enjoy what comes along. The driving is easy, mostly. Traffic gradually thins out as you go north, till you feel like you own the road. There is a fair amount of large truck traffic on the main routes in BC until you get to Fort Nelson, after which you really feel like you are in the wilderness. Taking the Cassiar Highway avoids the traffic but is a narrower/curvier road with fewer towns and gas stations…a more wild adventure that many might like (the best way for a pedal or motor bike for sure). We usually camp out along the way, but there are motels at close enough frequency to have your choice (not on the Cassiar). There are a fair number of campgrounds along the way plus occasional opportunities for unofficial camping. Government campgrounds charge $12-15 and are usually quite nice, and surprisingly lonely. Rarely are they more than 1/4 occupied, so are nice and quiet. The exceptions are recreation spots near sizeable cities, where they are more heavily used, especially on weekends, and Liard Hot Springs Provincial Park. The campground there is almost always full by early in the day…but it is a must stop anyway. It’s a real nice spring. If you want to camp there they have overflow areas (which are really not bad!) that will usually get you in for the night. Or make it a day stop. Liard is a good reason for choosing the Alaska Highway over the Cassiar highway, though you could still visit the springs on the latter if you did not mind a backtrack of around three hours each way. When you get north into the Yukon Territory, the various options converge, except there is one more choice…take the highway all the way, or drive to Skagway and take the one hour ferry ride to Haines. I’d recommend doing it one way on the way up and the other option home (ferry on the way home relives the burden of keeping a schedule on the long drive up). If you have the time you could make detours through Jasper and Banff parks in the Canadian Rockies (also an exception to the campground rule above…campgrounds in theses NPs are expensive and heavily booked). Another side trip would be to visit Stewart BC/Hyder Alaska. Whatever your driving plans you should pick up a copy of the Milepost, and don’t forget your passport!

Drive-Ferry Hybrid:

The most common hybrid is to drive to Prince Rupert, BC and ferry from there. You get a taste of both methods.

Spreadsheet comparing travel costs for various modes for various number of travelers.

Posted in 2015 Alaska Reunion | Leave a comment

House floor plans and sketches

Hello all. Here are our house plans to date. What I am posting right now are site layouts, floor plans and elevations. I am working on construction drawings and will be adding them asap and looking for more technical feedback then. Right now it is more about workable design and siting.  If you have any feedback or questions, please leave them under “leave a reply” below this post. We’re operating under the “20 heads are better than one” philosophy, so we are hoping for your constructive criticism.

Lifestyle priorities

  • Family togetherness over privacy
  • Frequent outdoor activities
  • Time and space for home school, music, play and projects
  • Accommodation for guests and returning family

Design goals

  • Practical floor plan
  1. Open great room concept.
  2. Good sized “country kitchen” and work areas good for processing and storing farming/fishing/gathering bounty.
  3. Large areas for donning/shedding/drying/storing outdoor clothing/gear in proximity to practical entries. This is the rec/gear rm.
  4. Enclosed, unheated entry area (arctic entry idea) planned for future (E side).
  5. Formal and utility entries both usable and placed where they will be used. This is why entry doors are 1/2 way up the building from the parking area, rather than having one on the end of the building that probably would becomes the de facto entry, with everybody, guests and all, walking the length of the rec room to get to the common rooms, while the formal entry remains unused. Also, the placement of the formal entry allows someone in great room to be aware of a visitor and easily let them in or ask them to let themselves in.
  6. Accessibility for people with limited mobility, but not strictly to current standards. By this I mean wide enough halls and all services on the lower levels s going upstairs is not required to live in the house. The 3 ft rise from the lower level to the great room is only a few steps or could be accessed by a ramp extending into the rec room. I realize it would eat most of the rec room but it is a hopefully not going to be needed contingency.
  • Access to sunshine/daylight
  1. For passive solar heating as well as psychological effects.
  • Energy efficiency
  1. Practical “most bang for the buck” approach rather than idealistic approach.
  2. Primary heat source for foreseeable future will be cord wood (cheap). More on heating later.
  • Low maintenance
  1. Priorities here are snow management, mold avoidance, and fire safety — it would be nice not to have to go onto the roof more than once per decade.
  • Economical/easy to build
  • Not too ugly
  1. We’re in a commercially zoned neighborhood with only a few houses, most nice but none very fancy. Across the street is a large blue sheet metal sided shop and industrial storage yard (with bright blue fence around it).

What’s not so important

  • Super large rooms.
  • Intricate or fancy stylistic details, finishes or accouterments.
  • uniform heat in the house over time or space — it does not have to be 70 deg. everywhere, all the time. We have quilts and sweaters.

Building site description

We’re back at our original lot and are going to build here, to the north of the trailer we’re living in. The lot is long and narrow, oriented close to north-south along the West Fair Dr, a a low-traffic gravel road which uses only roughly 1/2 of its 60-ft right of way. Currently it sits more to the west side of the right of way, but if it were widened or re-aligned, the house would be closer to the actual road. There is a 20 ft set back requirement from the property line to any structure, including overhangs. There is also a 30 ft height restriction, which we will be very close to.

About 1/4 mile to the south there is a 400 ft hill which shades the area in mid-winter. The sun only gets 8 degrees above the horizon on Dec 21, so it does not take too much to block it then. At our location there are 2 to 2-1/2 months with no sun. Some in our area have it worse, some better. By building farther north (away from not only the hill but from the trees on the north end of our lot and the next lot) we can get more sun. But too far north puts us in a position where trees to the east (on the next lot) block the morning sun at certain times of the year, so the location you will see what we see as the best compromise. Also, by building higher off the ground, we gain more days with sun on the house, thus the plan for the floor of the south module to be about 4 ft above grade.

The plans

There are lots of drawings here and few photos. They go from wide angle to close up. You probably don’t need to look at all of them to get the idea. Click on a graphic for a larger version, then use your back button to get back. Let me know if you’re wanting to see something more or different. Keep in mind there are a few obvious details not in the drawings that I am aware of, such as missing interior doors, missing stair railings etc.

If you use Sketchup or want to learn it, you can download the 3.3 MB .skp file and look it over and bypass most of the the screenshots (I’ve removed the outbuildings, etc and much of the furniture to keep the file size down). Sorry my model is not a clean as a real pro’s would be.

We also have the floor plan laid out full size on the ground for you to walk through, so if you are in Haines, come on over and give it a look and compare to the printed floor plans.

site plot

site plot

S wide perspective

overview looking from the S. New house, new shed and existing barn are placed over Google terrain which shows the current trailer (looks flat) in the lower right.

Site viewed from the S.

Site viewed from the S.

NW wide perspective
overview looking from the NW.
Site viewed from the NW.

Site viewed from the NW.

Site viewed from the SE.

Site viewed from the SE.

view from SE

View from SE. A little earlier to get a clear day photo. The view of the mountain is one reason the house is rotated vs the road. The other is to get the W deck inside the 20 ft setback.

Site viewed from the SW.

Site viewed from the SW.

Site viewed from the NE.

Site viewed from the NE. The big blue shop belongs to the power and phone co. The hill shades the site a good part of the winter.

View from site to the N.

View from site to the N. Taken from ground level. The floor of the S module will be ~4 ft higher.

NW perspective

NW perspective

SW perspective

SW perspective

SE perspective

SE perspective

NE perspective

NE perspective

W elevation

W elevation

S elevation

S elevation

E elevation

E elevation

overview-plan

overview-plan

1st-level-plan

1st-level-plan

great-room-plan-thmb

great room plan

3rd-level-plan

3rd-level-plan

Rec room inside

Rec/gear room

from rec room looking SE

from rec room looking SE

utility

utility

pantry-utility

pantry-utility

kitchen - loft hidden

kitchen – (loft hidden)

Great room looking SE

Great room looking SE

Great room cutaway

Great room cutaway

Great room cutaway-2

Great room cutaway-2

3rd level cutaway

3rd level cutaway

Sitting room - loft - looking S

Sitting room – loft – looking S

 

 

Posted in Building Plans and Progress | Tagged | 2 Comments

Street view of the new property

Google Street View came to our town a few years ago. I saw the car with the big camera pod on top but figured they were off the ferry and headed to Anchorage or Fairbanks. Why would they bother with our out-of-the-way little town? A few days later when a friend and I were putting facia boards on our barn, here came the Google car up our dead end gravel road! It recorded the work in progress. Link to that is below, but first, here is the summer scene heading up the hill toward the property we are trying to buy.

You are looking across Henderson’s pasture with Comstock Rd to your left and Allen Rd to your right. The property is kitty-corner across he pasture, to the left of the house in the upper part of the frame. It extends back into the woods to the left, about 2.5 acres.

View Larger Map

You can move the view up Allen till you are next to the blue and white house on the left near the top of the road, and turn around to see the view. From there to access the property you would continue up the road as it bends left, and once past the house on the left you can see the dense woods to your left which is the road-facing part of the property. Not much to see at this time.

For fun, here is the view of our first barn still under construction, where we live now on Fair Dr. It’s about a mile north from here to the new property.

That’s me starting up the ladder with the next board to go on the barn. There’s a link for a larger view if you want to zoom in or wander around.

View Larger Map

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Snowy winter

We’ve had a really snowy winter so far. This first set of pictures is from mid NOVEMBER. Many years we have little or no snow on the ground in November, but this year… take a look:

snowy driveway

looking down the driveway

Naomi bringing in the milk

Naomi bringing in the milk

Dalton City, Haines AK

Dalton City, Haines AK

Mt Ripinsky

Mt Ripinsky

December brought us much warmth and rain, which consolidated the snow pack by about 1/2. Then colder weather made for a very solid snow pack that you could jump up and down on without sinking in. One person reportedly drove a small truck over it without breaking through. The consolidation was a good thing as it made room for the next round of snow…Big dumps toward the end of December and early January.

our deck. Jan 2

Little League field...Jan 5

Little League bleachers and dugout...Jan 5

Little League field...Jan 5

Little League outfield...Jan 5

ice dam

ice dam Jan 2

 

 

 

 

Here are some pics around that time, when I had to spend a lot of time moving snow off the roof and away from the walls. The piles of snow along the walls can direct chunks of snow falling off the roof into the windows…we had a cracked window in a previous winter that way. Earlier this winter, chunks falling off the roof collapsed part of our deck. No, the deck wasn’t very well built, but the main idea here is that this trailer is a lesson in how not to build for this climate. Amazingly, many newer and much more expensive buildings around here have ignored some of these same lessons. We hope to apply these lessons to our next house, hopefully to be started as soon as the ground is thawed this spring.

snow hanging off the roof and threatening the windows. Jan 5.

snow hanging off the roof

during roof shoveling. Jan 2

during roof shoveling.

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