We are half way into our fourth month of building Rachel’s house. When I stop and look the house over and consider all that we’ve accomplished in three and a half months, when I see all the concrete formed and poured and the thousands of boards cut and nailed, all the wires snaked through holes drilled, it well…., it sorta makes me tired. Did we do all that? What was I thinking when I volunteered for this?

New this week is the deck we’ve added to the front of the house. Rachel will have a first-rate veranda on which to eat her breakfast or watch the sunset. I was expecting to be doing plumbing last week but the plumber we hired as a consultant never showed up so we filled our time with deck construction. The no-show plumber illustrates yet another advantage to doing everything oneself – I’m the most dependable guy I know. Brother Lars recently had a house built and he said he was always waiting on this tradesman or that.

Another plumber is scheduled to arrive on Monday. Let’s hope he’s more reliable than the last one. If this new guy is a bust I guess I’ll just dive into the plumbing without guidance. I bought a do-it-yourself plumbing book but even with help from the book I will inevitably violate the “inviolable code” and run afoul the all-mighty building inspectors. C’est la vie.


Mary says I get obsessed with projects like this house building and there is probably something to that but lately my building obsession has been diluted with thoughts of our upcoming bike ride down the 2600-mile Continental Divide. We leave August 15. Rachel’s house will, of course, not be completed by then but I never expected it would be. The house will be put on hold for the two plus months our ride is expected to last. That’s why it’s so important that I get the house plumbed ASAP because the insulating and drywall (which we hired out) can’t be done until the plumbing is in.

We have been acquiring gear and information about the ride at an ever-increasing pace of late. Our training rides up to Mission Ridge are more frequent. Chelan Traveler will once again concern itself with what it should concern itself – TRAVEL!