Sunday, July 29, 2007

Changes next door

Well, it had to happen. Just as we start getting close to completion with our house, they start construction on the house next door. Now we will get to enjoy another 18 months of construction going on next door. At least the first 18 months was our own house.

Haven't met the people and haven't seen the house plans. Oh well.

A hike to Mirror Lake

We went to Mirror Lake today with some friends who are building a house just around the corner from ours. It was cloudier than we expected, but it was still scenic at Mirror Lake.

After leaving Mirror Lake, we headed up a hike to the top of Bald Mountain. About half way up, it started to rain. Not being sissies, we decided to keep going. Then the rain changed to hail, and quite a bit of it. Changing into sissies, we headed back down the mountain. It was down to 53 degrees when we got to the bottom.

This is a bad picture of poor Jasper, trying to run down the mountain. He was getting pelted by the hail and there was just no place to hide. You can see the hail piling up on his back, even though he was moving at a decent clip.

We blew off our picnic lunch and headed back to Park City, where Royal Street cooked us up a wonderful (warm) meal.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Going green

Almost all of the driving we do around Park City is 7 miles or less. Most is only 2 or 3 miles each way, done in either the Subaru Outback or the Honda Pilot. We decided to join some of our friends in the scooter craze. OK, it isn't really a craze. It is more like a handful of us.

This is Julie on her stylish scooter. She is returning from a yoga class. I got a slightly larger model. This should support my larger mass (fat) and allow me to get out on some local highways to travel further. Even though it is just a scooter, it tops out at about 70 mph.

Let the fun and gas savings begin.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Construction skills

First, the good news. The granite is starting to do in. So far, it looks gorgeous! This is the pantry.

Sometimes you have to question some of the things the subcontractors do. You think that since they do the work day after day, they would know it so much better than you do, that any questions you have would have logical answers. As you go through the process, you realize that this isn't actually the case.

Then you see something like this. It is a cart which apparently lost a wheel.

Nice replacement guys! It actually turns! Now some of the things we find are making more sense.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Hiking at Crystal Lake

I went hiking up in the Uintah mountains the other day. They are about 45 miles from Park City. It is gorgeous up there. The flowers are in bloom. There are lakes everywhere. Quite spectacular. You need to click on some of these photos to see larger versions. The view is lost in the tiny sizes.

These lovely little purple flowers were all over in basin meadow.

This basin looked like an ad for a seed company. There was a mix of different colors, shapes and sizes. I am astounded that they do this well when we haven't had rain for a month.

The hikes are really about the lakes. The Uintah's are just full of lakes, many of them man-made. I got there early in the morning while the winds were still. The reflections were beautiful, until Jasper ran down into the lakes, muddied the water a bit, and made lots of ripples.

There was a pair of lakes called the Lily Lakes. It seems odd that you would have water lilies growing in a lake at over 10,000 feet in altitude.

A bit hard to spot, but there were lots of people fishing at the lakes closest to the parking lots. This is Crystal Lake.

The final picture is from about 8 miles down the road. The highway into the park is called the Mirror Lake Highway. This is Mirror Lake. If you look closely, you can see one of the float fisherman. That seemed like a great way to fish, out floating around in this kind of scenery.

If you notice that the skies are clear, but not blue, it is because of the smoke and haze from the fire burning in southern Utah. So far the fire has consumed 340,000 acres!

Saturday, July 07, 2007

Oakley Rodeo

So what else do you do for the 4th of July weekend? You head to the rodeo. The town of Oakley is about 20 miles from Park City. Every year they have a rodeo with national caliber riders. We went with some friends of ours, mostly just curious to see what went on. It was a lot of fun!

My pictures are fairly poor. The rodeo didn't start until 8pm and I had my little Canon compact. No light + fast motion = bad pictures.

The grand opening involved all the local rodeo queens and attendants riding out. They were all wearing big hair and sparkley outfits. Boy could they ride though.

We saw everything from roping calves (seems like it would be easier) to riding angry bulls (seems deadly). The one event for the ladies to compete in was barrel racing which was definitely one of the most exciting events to watch.

This final shot is actually a very rare scene this summer. The only way you get a sunset like this is with clouds. In the month since we have been back, there have been a handful of clouds. It is incredibly sunny and hot, with not a hint of rain in sight. I am sure you will be reading lots about fires out here this summer. The other day, the temperature around Salt Lake was over 100 and the relative humidity was 1%.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

One of the best days in Park City

Each year Park City really goes all out for the 4th of July. During the summer the town returns to its population of about 8,000 locals (versus a peak of over 40,000 at Sundance). It seems like everyone comes out for the parade, which starts about 11:00 with a flyover of four F16 jets. To get a primo seat, right along the street on the shady side, you need to go down before 8:00 and leave your lawn chairs. It is nice to know that they won't get moved or stolen. They simply await your return.

The parade is what you would expect from a small town. Not quite the Rose Bowl. Lots of decorated cars. Some fire trucks and police vehicles. Jugglers. Trailers being pulled that are loaded down with people supporting some cause or another. Of course, in Park City there tends to be a lot of dogs on the floats as well.

I guess this little horse was in training for future work. He was one of my favorites.

Julie and I volunteered for "traffic control". That amounted to making sure the crowd didn't run out in the street during the parade. Since the crowd was so well behaved, it really meant watching the parade in a red volunteer t-shirt. We got a free meal and free beer for our efforts.

After the parade, there is a big music festival in the park. Adjacent is a series of rugby games. It was a gorgeous, sunny day.

Around 7:00 we headed for a neighbors house with about 10 other people. After a nice dinner, we walked up to the local water tower to watch the fireworks. The water tower is mostly buried and flat on top, so it is easy to get to and to set up chairs on. It is high on a hill and has a great view of Park City.

This was my first real effort to photograph fireworks. In hindsight, the water tower is a great place to watch from, but too far away and too high for great photos.

This is a picture of the fireworks launching from the base of Park City Mountain Resort.

After the fireworks were over, I wandered to a different point on the tower and started taking long exposure pictures of downtown Park City. I like how the car headlights generate the light streams. I want to head back to the water tower on a busy traffic night and try this again.

Once leaving the water tower, we went to another neighbor's house. Eventually we headed home, ending a long, wonderful day.

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Progress by the day

Although there is still a ton of work to be done, it is exciting to see the amount of work being done every day. We went over to work on some paint colors and had to dodge the siding guys, finish carpenters, flooring guy, tile guy, and painters doing exterior stain.

Just the same, I didn't take a lot of pictures. Some of the things look great, but case and base just isn't that photogenic.

Here is round two of three in cabinets. This included the downstairs bathrooms, the storage room and the mud room. This is a look at part of the storage room.

This is down one wall of the mud room. Lots of room for dumping ski poop.

They finished the ceiling in our master bedroom. It should look much prettier after staining.

This is our front door, which should look nicer once the stone is finished around it. They are waiting on some wood trim to fit the arch of the door. It may not look like it in the picture, but it is 4 feet wide (just the door, not the sidelights) and made of mahogany. Shouldn't be struggling to get furniture in the door!

Notice the ever present, cheap, beaten up microwave oven. Every crew seems to have one. They all work, but just barely.

For sometime soon, probably the week after the 4th of July:
  • The final round of cabinets (the prettiest)
  • The first round of granite counter tops (eye candy!)
  • The final floor and shower tile
  • Chimney caps
  • The back patio pavers
  • More I am certain....