April 5, 2011

Another season

Our first monastery work weekend of the year kicked off in a winter mood. Fat, wet snowflakes fell a good portion of Friday. By evening the trees at Korinji were all white, making a scene that was more December storm than April thaw.

Saturday morning dawned bright and warm, however, with temperatures hitting the 50's. The trees shed their snow and our creek began gurgling with snowmelt. White patches gave way to mud. Perfect spring working weather. After zazen, we got to it.

With summer's dense foliage still several months away the timing is ideal now for land work since stones, dead trees, thorn bushes and vines are all exposed to view and easily accessible. The chainsaws started flying, and our crew cleared out one exceptionally thorny area that blocked our re-routed construction access road. A local gravel company came out to give us their quote on the completion of that as well as our parking area, and we hope to have that done shortly.

While this was going on up the hill, a few crew members worked inside to complete some remaining work on our roof substructure. 2x4s were added on top of the 2x12 spreaders below the cupola, beefing them up and giving them a more finished "i-beam" look. Other 2x4s which had been temporarily affixed to the bottom of our large structural beams to prevent twisting were cut and inserted into their permanent positions between the beams. The result is something that is starting to have the final look of our ceiling.

After a full day the entire crew (and dog) joined together in a future storage room (where we've installed our lunch table, portable stove and microwave) for Greg's now-famous Korinji camp tacos. Sore muscles were later soaked in the jacuzzi at the local hotel where most of us stayed, though one hardy crew member did sleep in the building...the first of the year.

A bit more work was finished Sunday morning, and Korinji is now officially open for the work season. The building weathered a severe winter admirably, including unusually heavy amounts of snowfall. We're now anxious to get up there again and make some real progress: May 7-8 is our next work weekend.

Here's a final shot from the porch. Usually we post shots taken from here looking downhill into the ravine, but this one looks uphill for once toward the site of Phase II: the future Korinji residential building.

It's not too early to plan.

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