Weekly School Update: Session #5
Session #5: July 14 – July 20
Old Friends and Poetry
by Diane Olthuis & Annie Hopper
On July 14th new students, Mark (Texas), David, Richard, Alex, and Kathi from Fairbanks sharpened their chisels and started cutting bent #5. Mark is already so in awe of Alaska that he wants to stay. He caught a ride with the Hopper clan and they photographed the Alaska Range in the beautiful evening light en route to the Rapids. It is fantastic to see Alaska through someone else’s eye’s for the first time!
A number of former students have stopped by. Siblings Damon and Sarah dropped in on their way to the airport to fly home to California. Damon says he’ll be back in August, and Sarah is contemplating a winter trip to Alaska. Sarah reasons that if she likes Alaska as much in the winter as she does in the summer she’ll move up here. Phil drove down from Fairbanks to show the project off to his significant other, Jan. Dr. Marc drove up from Anchorage to check on the progress. Everyone gave him a big hug. He returned to finish out the week and put together bent #5! Nichole from Fairbanks returned briefly and we hope will finish her class at a later time! Her laughter is infectious.
Former student and good friend Joel reluctantly returned to Florida after two months as the Donnelly Creek host. He has Alaska in his blood now and is quite taken by the strength of the women here. He left behind the following poem, called, The Alaska Timber Framing Woman. We hope to see it published soon. Joel has already called missing his cabin and new home. We hope his daughter will return with him.
Diane Olthuis returned to Hope on July 16. She was the “detail” person for the school helping keep everything on schedule. Not only did she cook meals, she cut joints and oiled beams! She left behind a number of her published history books for the group to read. She was a steady force on this project willing to chip in on just about everything that needed to be done. She will be missed. A delicious halibut and salmon dinner was held in her honor! She took Stephen and Randy back with her, leaving the noise level at a dull roar!
Shayne arrived from Atlanta with her daughter Kayla on July 12 after touring Denali Park. Shayne pitched right in and enjoyed the first snow fall of the year following the monsoon rains of this week. She was left alone to forge the trail and feed the crew for a few days. Being the trooper and hard worker that she is, the challenge and diversity of the situation compared to Atlanta were just what the doctor ordered. We are thankful for Shane’s sense of humor and willingness to work hard, and experience the “unbelievable!” Her husband, Michael, (and old friend of Annie’s from Colorado days) arrived from Atlanta in the wee hours of July 17, following the first day of snow in the mountains. Kayla hiked up a steep trail to the near by waterfalls and briefly learned to pan for gold. Kayla also caught up with her reading and learned to whittle diamond willow. She is the only young person I have ever met who can play basketball and read at the same time!
The early rains and snow have surprised everyone! Never be fooled that tarps are not a priority! Mark is also a trooper, trying to stay dry with a very full creek close at hand! His family came all the way from Texas on the last day of class to admire his handiwork. As you can see by some of the photos, a smile never left his face! We look forward to meeting Leigh!
Richard, Kathi and their amazing son Alex, won the hearts of all! Their hard work paid off and they assemble the second complete bent on the deck! The day was glorious, hot and sunny with audiences from all over stopping by to admire their handiwork. They survived a “weather challenged week.” You have never seen anything until you have seen Richard with the “persuader!”
David appeared after kayaking in Prince William Sound, and driving all night drive from Valdez, ready to go! David’s kind spirit and knowledge of woodworking was welcomed! His hard work and positive attitude made the course complete. He camped on a private spot close to the raging creek and even found time for a little fishing. He joined all of the men in a cold shower in the waterfalls in the canyon on the last night!
The lodge is coming together, on schedule. We hope to have more interest from students in finishing the last bent and raising them all. We will be sending out notices to everyone as soon as we have the exact dates.
Photos from Session #5:
Articles and Photos:
Session #1: June 2 – June 8
Session #2: June 12 – June 18
Session #3: June 23 – June 29
Session #4: July 3 – July 9
Session #5: July 14 – July 20
Session #6: July 24 – July 30
Session #7: August 4 – August 10
Session #8: August 14 – August 20
Session #9: August 18 – August 24
The Final Push: Weeks 10 and 11
Letter to Prospective Students and a Letter from Jon Gantenbein, one of our Timber Framing Instructors.