The Big Roadtip–NPS Centennial 2015-16–1st post

September 5th, 2015


Prairie Creek Visitor CenterMy first stop was Prairie Creek Visitors Center–built by the CCC in 1934-5 and featured on my new “See America” Redwoods National and State Parks poster.  I gave a talk at the amphitheater below:

PCVC Amphitheater


Kings Canyon EntranceSequoia/Kings Canyon (General Grant) was my next stop–but the park was burning (and still is).  I gave two talks there–one to Shell Oil  (Pipeline–an exclusive motivational seminar) and one to the public at the Lodgepole Campground.   Shell was an interesting group to visit with and speak to.  Thirteen executives of the pipeline division meet annually for a motivational seminar and this year they picked a national park.  I talked about the WPA National Park poster series done between 1938-41 and ended with a bit about Mardy and Olaus Murie’s work in the Arctic Refuge and how the Arctic Refuge was formed.  They were very receptive….as was my public talk, the night before, at the Lodgepole Campground Amphitheater.

Sequoia Smoky SunriseA Sequoia Sunrise through the forest fire smoke.

Half DomeYosemite was my next stop–this is the first time I drove all 26 miles to Glacier Point from the main road from the southern entrance at Wawona…..and worth the drive.  Half Dome, not El Capitan is the bulwark of this valley.

Yosemite NorthHere is the northern perspective looking East from Glacier Point

Glacier Point SouthAnd here are the Southern ramparts.  John Muir got glaciation right!Glacier Point ValleyAnd looking straight down to the valley floor–nearby where Dean Potter and Graham Hunt made their last jump.  In spite of Yosemite’s popularity and crowds, it is an incredible place to behold.

Kimball Art CenterMy next talk was at the Kimball Art Center in Park City Utah.  I was their last speaker in this old 1929 gas station turned art center.  There are three rooms–a coffee shop/restaurant, gallery and auditorium.  My talk gathered the largest audience of the year–and it was very enthusiastic! They are moving to a bigger and better location.

Kimball Art Center WindowThe Bryce Canyon design on the marquee advertising my talk

Park City SprawlPark City has grown–I first visited here 40 years ago and even then, it boasted the best skiing in the Rocky Mountain west.  Here is one small finger valley saturated with homes….no, condos which probably sit idle for most of the year.  Ridgelining is also evident.  Sad, however, the skiing is still tops!   On to Jackson Hole for the Western Design Conference and the Ranger Doug-Mobile!  Stay tuned~

Naust–Part III–the roof

September 5th, 2015

East ElevationThe roof is on–I ordered 81 sheets needing 80 but thought that one extra would be a good idea….in case of damage, so to speak.  Sure enough, the top sheet was damaged, but guess what?  They only shipped 80.  They gladly shipped another sheet up to me (this is not economical as they’re 16′ long, crated, trucked from Oregon to Seattle, then barged to Petersburg……   Guess what?  Wrong color.   Meanwhile, I’m on the road so can’t deal with this at the moment.

Roof 1 - CopyI’ll build a porch for the East entrance.

Roof 2 - Copy - CopyI’ve ordered an antique Hay Trolley and 50′ of track with a drop block to launch boats.  Should work.

Roof 3 - Copy - CopyEvery board was hauled across the Narrows–15 loads and then schlepped up the beach.   Exhausting!

Spider - Copy - CopyA spider rests on the outdoor kitchen.  Next–the siding, windows, hay trolley and……boats!

Naust Part II–A Barnraising

June 12th, 2015


The first job is to assemble all the parts–ultimately fastened with wooden “trunnels” or tree nails. They’re 7/8″ diameter hand carved oak dowels, 8″ long.


The deck is not fastened–we’ll do that this fall when the lumber shrinks a bit more, then pull out a 6″ and install an 8″ to make up for this shrinkage.


Here’s the whole package.  Rafters are in the distance–we’ll put this up on Saturday in about 8 hours, then have a big barn-raising party… on!

Bunk #2

OK–up we go.  Here the first wall is up and the second follows.

Joist Mortise and Tenon

Tip up and we’re done.

Beam Down

Each cross-tie is wedge-shaped to keep the walls from spreading.  One, two, three, lift!

Beam Up 2

We align all the joinery.  It fits perfectly!

Beam Up

Now the other end.  We’ve a square that can’t budge.

Tapping down a joint

A couple more taps and we’re all set.


Here’s the view from the slough.  The roof is a 12/12 pitch and fourteen rafter pairs will sit on this frame.  Skip sheet and a blue metal roof will complete the building.  We’ll let the siding go natural–all yellow cedar.

Nearly Done

We’re nearly done–here the rafters are nearly up.

Roof Peak

Curved symbols are the north side, straight the south–this is the second span with the third beyond. The ‘trunnels’ are left an inch proud for effect.


Interesting joinery.


Andy is the brains behind this architecture; he builds beautiful wooden boats too!  Well done, Andy!

Cedar Bough

It’s customary to nail a bough at the highest point in the structure–of the trees used in construction–in this case Yellow Cedar and Sitka Spruce.  After the skip-sheet and roof, we’ll side the building and build a window package with sliding doors at each end which open wide enough to take in the afternoon sun–what a view!  More to come!