AmeriCorps Build-a-thon! The fist half…

Every year there are build-a-thons that all the people participating in AmeriCorps with Habitat go to. This year they held one giant build-a-thon in New Orleans. The goal was to build 10 houses in 10 days for the 10 year anniversary to Hurricane Katrina. The California affiliates went out for the first 5 days of the event. We got the house from subfloor to dried in and ready to put up siding. In the first two days, we got the walls up and the trusses rolled!

opening parade

what we started with

outside walls




Weekend getaway at the Grotto!

Finally we got a chance to go for a two day camping trip! We drove out to the Grotto again. It is a cool little place that has some columnar basalt rock formations. We got there early and enjoyed our run of the routes! After a full day of climbing we went to New Melones Lake and camped at Tuttletown.

Table Mt


the grotto




Mt. Tam

After working at my Habitat site for a day, Jenny, Dan, Rick, Tim and I all went to Mt. Tam! It was a diverse hike, with everything from fire roads to steep ravine hiking. We walked through forests and scrubby desert landscapes. Dan even carried his trombone for a summit concert.


Jenny and Rick


At the top

Dan and Jenny come to Habitat

After Archer, Dan traveled from Washington DC for a weekend reunion with me and Jenny. We decided to spend the first day building with Habitat. Together we built a subfloor. You know, that think you are standing on? We built one!

subfloor glue

chalk line



Back with Archer

Ok, so it is time to catch up on blogging again. Here are some photos from my most recent NOLS course.

It was with the Archer School for Girls and we went down to the canyons of Southeast Utah with the 7th grade class. There were 90 7th graders together in Green River State Park, and then we split off into eight different trips. I had the luck to get to go on a route near Natural Bridges National Monument, and we had some beautiful sights. The trip was full on screaming and laughing; I can’t wait to go back, but it is also nice that it was only 6 days.


Bear's Ears


Mary Ellen




Owachomo Bridge!


After the concrete cures, the next step is disassembling all the forms that we spent the previous weeks building up. We needed to strip the forms in a reasonable and controlled manner to reuse all the material on the next set of foundations. This helps us save lumber and reduce costs. That being said, it is not the easiest task to get the wood away from those beautiful concrete walls.


look at that beautiful concrete!

working together!

The hill was tricky



And then there was concrete!

After toiling away at the forms, we have poured concrete into a total of four foundations over a period of two weeks. This leaves six more in this phase. But it sure did feel good seeing the concrete being poured after all of our hard work.

a big ol' truck

Aiming the concrete