Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Contemplating another Alaskan winter in Gertee

Winterized Gertee pods - detachable

Sister fishtaxi brought us the green roof tarp!

I'm doing a radio interview on October 1 at 8pm EST with the Patriot Dames on Be nice to write a new article before I go on but still too much work to do before real winter sets in. I know people want an updated synopsis of how many communitarian programs and laws are in place now, and actually, so do I. Many thanks to artist Charles Kraft for suggesting us.

Here I am starting to "camp" for my fourth year in Kenny Lake, and it's been a trip to think about what changes have happened to my life since that first winter here in my trusty Girl Scout wall tent. I spent months freezing my off ass in that tent, wishing at least once every day that I had a yurt. I dreamed of owning a portable tent I could insulate well enough to hold some heat. Now, three years later I have not one but three gertees, and a lot more other things I need.

I took two bages of R-19 insulation from Tim's pile that's been under his porch for a year and installed it in the walls of my new16 footer. It's attached to my original 16' gertee which is now just an entryway, kitchen, pantry and dining room. The woodstove is heating both so far, but it's still above zero. I'll have to install some kind of fan to the stack; Ron suggested I modify a bathroom exhaust fan. I'm still using all the wool pieces and the RadiantGuard aluminum reflective foil for ALL my ceilings, plus stuffed up a few random pieces of styrofoam insulation I got out of a clients "to the dump" pile. Our friend Rick said he has 4 bags of the same insulation Tim has and I can have them whenever I drive over and pick them up! This means I can cut 15 more 6' posts and insulate the 20 footer! I'll use it right where it is and hope it holds up to the wind. Still waiting to get a big enough piece of solid waterproof something to put on the roof before I install the insulation. Learning about actual constuction materials now and how stupid I've been to not use visqueen sheets that come as wide as I need them! Plus there's amazing red tape that goes with it. This also means that EVERY city in the USA has enough leftover materials from building sites to build thousands of gertees for the homeless people. I didn't know there's almost 100,000 homeless people in LA! 100,000!!????? Gertees would be SUPER easy to make for that climate... I think I need to finish the gertee book asap.

Moved my shower spot into the kitchen right next to the woodstove, have a 21 inch metal tub that catches most of the water. I use about a gallon in the 4 gal sun shower. For extra heat and a ready supply I've got a 20 gallon metal pot filled with water set next to the back of the stove and three large pots on the metal shelf on the left side. The top of the shelf has ceramic tiles and makes a nice cookspace. To the right of the stove I have a small metal stand that also has ceramic tile on top. Behind that is a metal baker's rack with the bottom half for wood storage and the counter has 2 metal washtubs for dishes. Tucked in behind the baker's rack there's a small metal typing table I got from Tonsina Lodge 4 years ago, it makes a perfect dish drying spot.

New interior canvas wall cover

Had to scratch the plan to only add layers on the outside of the summer kitchen gertee, too much wind came through in the big storm the other night. Put up a layer of old felt from big gertee on the west side of the kitchen and covered it with the new burgandy canvas I've been using for the exterior walls. We like it so much I'll do the same thing in the eastern kitchen side with what's leftover from the bright yellow.

My first winter camp in Kenny Lake

My friend Caya is 10 now and says she's old enough to be really happy to see meat hanging, whereas when she was "younger" it made her sad. I had to tie every one of these huge chunks to the ceiling while Tim and Ronnie held them up. We're canning and freezing it now.

Me, a moosehead and a caribou

Gerteeville, Alaska, still under construction
Please send all your leftover building materials
to us or to your local homeless shelter!

Recycled homes are better than no homes at all.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Love your smile...