The Blog

Monday, May 17, 2010

Crestone and Pancha Pass- May 15

We had a delightful evening with Jim's friend Ward.  We watched "Who Killed The Electric Car" and it got both Sean and Catherine angry that we could be so stupid to 'kill' such a great car.  And now we get to bail GM out!  The good news is that the electric car has finally hit the mainstream.  I got an email from the NIssan Leaf team and they've got Lance Armstrong on their payroll.  That sounds like mainstream to me!!
We were very grateful to have a house to sleep in last night.  The puddle of water on the cover of the hot tub was frozen!  Granted we are at 8,500 feet but this is the middle of May.
Ward took us on a tour of homes in his neighborhood.  The area he lives has no building codes.  There are only inspections for plumbing and electric, the lots are cheap and so lots of very interesting homes are tucked into the landscape.  The homes that Ward showed us were mostly straw bale, but we did see one that is made out of 'pumicecrete', a combination of pumice stone and concrete.  Not only is the product lighter but the air in the pumice stone has great insulation value.  Very cool.  
Our last visit was to an Ashram that had build an 'earthship' house that had a small gift shop in it so we were able to poke around and check it out.
After having lunch and Catherine's nap, we headed out for a relatively short day of riding.  We headed up Pancha Pass which wasn't too steep but we had a pretty strong headwind.  The scenery was incredible and Catherine, Jim and I felt the presence of our father's (Jim's father was our father's brother) who both adored the mountains of Austria where they grew up and we felt sure that they were smiling down on us from wherever their spirits happen to be.

We are 'wild camping' tonight alongside a roaring creek about a mile up a dirt road.  We are enjoying being on our own.  We got real silly tonight as we grow closer and closer to each other as a result of so many great shared experiences.
Sean with his friends via youtube

Ward and Jim above Ward's house
A Straw Bale Home that Ward built - Concrete floor, Adobe hearth and nice thick walls
Ward describing the short people who live in Crestone (Just kidding)
The most amazing house - Straw Bale, Adobe, pumicecrete and years of labor
Truth Window - Adobe, Rigid foam and pumicecrete
Very Gaudiesque

Straw Bale Wall and house that Ward built.  Southwest Hansel and Gretel
"Earthship" at the Ashram
Tires filled with rammed earth and covered with stucco form the foundation and rear wall.  Uncovered tires deteriorate in the sunlight.  Not good
A Surly portrait - Our views after leaving Ward's
Headwind pain

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