Monday, October 27, 2008

Fall- All Over

Fall is definitely here. There is a nip in the air, and leaves are dropping everywhere. This week we went up to check things out, and now the slab has been poured, the foundation back filled, and the drainage installed. I also found out I was doing something wrong in posting, so now if you click on the picture, it will give you a larger view.(That helps me because the pictures are too small for these eyes lately)

I also was playing with the camera, and found I have the option to create a panoramic picture, by taking 3 pictures and the camera "stitches" together. Takes a little getting used to but works fairly well. This shot was from behind the garage looking north.

This shot was from the road facing south looking into the lot.

Just another different perspective.

The other thing that is different is the color. Gone are the leaves from the birch, and maple, except for a few stragglers, but vibrant in color were the tamarack trees. They are one of just a few species of pine that lose their needles in the fall, changing color much like a maple tree. You can see the yellows starkly contrasted against the standard green pine backdrop.

On the way up, we stopped at the normal breakfast place, P&H. It was kind of disturbing in a way to see a truck load of Christmas trees there already, as it was just October.

We took another ride down the road after stopping and towards a town called Marshfield, where there were some spectacular views, including Molly's Falls Pond, with Hooker Mountain in the background.

We saw a large group of turkeys in the field next to the road on the way back as well

And we saw our first moose this weekend in Vermont, but unfortunately not the way we thought we would see one.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Birds Eye View

Today we view things from a different perspective. A good friend is part owner in a small plane, so I was able to "hitch" a ride from him and fly up to Vermont to get some pictures from a different angle. Sunday was such a perfect day for flying, hardly a cloud in the sky. My first encounter was with a Hot Air Balloon, as I left the house and headed toward the airport. As you can see the sky was clear and deep blue.

We met at the hangar, and Ed went through his checklist, while I tried to stay out of the way.

We took off ~ 9:00, and set a course north, flying pretty close to parallel to I-91. We quickly were into Massachusetts, flying past Westover Airfield, where the "big" planes were.

Continuing north, we passed into Vermont and New Hampshire. As we went further north the colors grew more extreme. The hills seemed to pop with color everywhere, with bright oranges, yellow, and reds sharply contrasting with the dark and light greens.

Flying definitely gives you a different outlook on things. As you look straight ahead, it seems like time is suspended, and you are hardly moving. When you look down to the sides, you see things go by, but it still seems like a reduced speed. At one point we were doing ~170 knots, which translates to ~190-200 mph, but yet it seemed like much less than that. We flew over the Connecticut River many times in the way up, as it twists all along the border of VT and NH. In a different aspect, you could see the fog that we often drive in on those early morning, hugging the river, covering it like a blanket.

Although there was a slight head wind, we made it up to our property in about 1 hour and 30 minutes. This was about 2 hours quicker than it would take to drive. Had the winds been lighter it would have been much less (as witnessed by the 1 hour return trip) As we got closer we were able to start picking out familiar landmarks, most of which stood out, some however , because of the different angle, it sometimes was a bit tough till the last minute. The following picture is the farm and field from above the scenic outlook in last weeks blog, with the St.Johnsbury dam in the top of the picture.

From here, we knew we had to head slightly northwest to the property. Shortly after banking left, we were able to start spotting familiar landmarks again, including the house with a tee pee in the yard. I missed a shot of that but will get one from the ground next time I go up. Seconds after we passed the tee pee, we were over the property. We several good shots of the foundation and fields nearby.

From the south.

From the east

From a distance

In this picture, if you see the big red barn at the tip of the wing, and then the large clump of trees slightly above that, we are to the left of that on the other side of the road. After a quick stop at the Lyndonville airport....

We took back off for home. The colors up this far north were pretty spectacular too.

We flew over the Vermont corn maze and then headed south towards home.

What an awesome trip! I even flew the plane a little bit. You definitely gain respect for pilots after that, with all the things you need to keep aware of, winds, speed, direction, attitude and so much more. I found I lean to the left a bit for some reason. Once on course, we would start drifting a little bit left every time :). Still it was a great experience, and I thank Ed very much for going up and taking me on a weekend day, when he probably could have been doing something else more important.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Lost & Found(ation)

Greetings all! Here comes fall! Gone are the 80 degree days and now the nights are cooler and daylight hours growing shorter. I received a call from our builder of garage Monday, and he asked if it would be OK if the excavators started this week prepping for the foundation. Of course I had no objections! On Wednesday I received another call, stating the hole was dug, and the footings were poured. Of course, then it rained like cats and dogs (again), so they were going to have trouble setting forms. Armed with this news, and seeing that the color was rated as high in upper VT, we naturally figured it was time for a road trip. We also finally were going to meet in person the builder, as all our business has been conducted over the phone so far.

We left late today (9 AM instead of the normal 5 AM) as Ken the builder wasn't able to meet till ~4 PM. The drive was much different, lots more cars than usual (because most people are sleeping @ 5 AM!) but still got there in the normal amount of time. As we travel north, the colors slowly change from green, with occasional oranges, yellows and reds to a sea of colors mixed on the hill sides. These pictures was facing toward New Hampshire's White Mountain range at a scenic lookout spot near St. Johnsbury on I-91.

We arrived at the property, and were happy to see that the forms were up after all. As we got out to examine a little closer, a turkey was strutting around in the yard, totally indifferent to our presence.
The forms were set up, but due to the heavy rain, they ended up extending the driveway with additional fill in order to be able to work. A membrane was laid down so once they are done, they will be able to move the extended driveway back out front to the garage doors.

Additionally, a drainage trench was dug to move water away from the foundation. Eventually, a drain will be placed around the entire foundation, and the water will move away, towards the other drainage ditches (dubbed "The Moat") we already have in place.
With the forms up, 24' x 28' now looks small, but it should cover our needs. In talking with our builder, he said it goes through phases, now it looks small and once the walls start going up it starts to look big again. He said in fact some of the walls have already been pre-built in his shop, and hopes to start building by November! But for now I can only focus on what is there, the foundation. The rebar is all in, and rumor has it they expect to pour as early as Monday October 6!

While we were up there it was hard not to look around and see the changing leaves. There was a patch easily seen from our land that looked at times like it was on fire, when the sun peeked out between the scattered clouds. Easy to see why we picked this spot.

A quick drive in the county permitted several nice shots too numerous for posting here, but one that caught our eye is.

As always I have to thank my lovely wife for her keen eye for beautiful scenery (and extreme patience!)

It is amazing how fast things are happening! We have a finish date by mid December, which also coincides with opening day for snowmobile season!!

Next up newly poured foundations, and maybe a different perspective of Vermont!