Weekly School Update: Session #8
Session #8: August 14 – August 20
Doing the Alaska Range Justice
At the time of this writing, the bents are groaning but rising. We wanted to a brief update to loyal followers of this project.
The weeks have involved focused and dedicated work, as we approach the finish line, work has become even more focused and intense. Larry continues to be a godsend, arriving faithfully each morning at 8:00. Formerly an unusually well-read master sergeant who trained would-be mountaineers at the Army’s Black Rapids center just down the road, he’s now running a crew of timber framers. Students from previous school sessions have returned to raise the bents on which they labored so many weeks before. David (Fairbanks) and Dr. Marc (Anchorage) – accompanied by his friend from Spain – arrived to see it all come together. Richard (Eielson AFB) – and, with him this time around, his other son Ben – also returned, a hard-working, wonderfully spirited pair. Kelly has proven one of our most reliable workers these last two weeks. His son Kovick extended his stay as well, keeping Huck company. (Their junior timber-framing project is humming along, and now stands at three stories!) The rest of Kelly’s family, Tomika, Koya and Justice, arrived over the weekend. Tomika was indefatigable, never slowing down in helping to feed and clean up after this hungry crew. Sam also returned to help raise bents and hopes to come all week
Jeanine, Daniel, Nicholas and Tommy also arrived for a night. The building site is also, as you may guessed, a children’s haven of dirt, woods, and junk! Up at the cabin, Jeanine admired the fruits of all their past hard work and recalled the magic and quieting of the soul that being on the creek provides. She too was heaven-sent, helping with meals and wrangling children. Tommy stayed behind until the very last minute to see the first bents raised and help in any way asked.
The Corp of Engineers joined us for our celebration Saturday night. They filled the coolers and were cheered gathering the vital replacement logs for the roadhouse restoration effort all winter long. (Mark your calendars: we hope to make this an annual event!)
We had the lovely company of Mary Beth Smetzer and later Ritchie Musick, joined by Mike Musick. Mary Kay arrived with a cadre of teenagers who helped barbeque for this huge party while exploring a bit of the surrounding countryside. (Mary Kay cooks up a mean hamburger!)
On Sunday, the first day of the raising, the boom truck lost an axle so we had to have a wrecker come from Delta Junction to pull it up Mark R’s painstakingly graded road. Activity was intense on all fronts, with work finally beginning after 3 p.m. By 9:30, tying plates had had joined two bents – and the Alaska Range skyline was changed forever.
I must say it was breathtaking to see its first raising and the quality of craftsmanship silhouetted against the Alaska Range. Jon instructed the crew with skill and precision.
Vetek…still with us…still strong still assists with his “skills and wisdom.” We can’t decide which he contributes more of to us each day…
And so the energy and momentum are high. We will continue to raise more this week and more into the weekend. We hope you will join us.
Photos from Session #8:
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.