A quick update: this past weekend's work crew went spectacularly well. The foundation is completely finished: we'd decided to bolster two of our 50-odd 18" concrete pilings by dropping 24" tubes over them and filling in with reinforced concrete. This puts them more squarely where they need to be, and gives us extra strength at the crucial lowest corner of our building that will bear the most weight.
We also raised the very first structural timbers. It was quite a moment as Tom Teterycz -the building designer - and I maneuvered a 10-foot 6x6" onto its base plate on top of a corner piling, leveled it, and tacked it in place. We both suddenly realized that a building was indeed going to exist on this wooded slope in the forest, that has long been such a focus of our work and concern.
This weekend will see many more of these timbers raised, and with luck the completion of our under-floor structure. As usual, we're pleased that the volunteer turnout has been enthusiastic, though a few more would be welcome...I've just sent out an appeal to the returning students of our Northwestern University Zen Society, who have been helpful in the past.
The weekdays are now spent organizing for weekend work crews, and purchasing building materials. It feels good to see donations collected over several years now actually buying lumber, nails and tools. I'm also pleased to report that our $100.00 generator worked like a charm, and we didn't even burn through the half-tank of gas that came with it.
I'll try to get some more video or photos this time around. Stay tuned.