Badger Hollow: 2010

Entries are in reverse order, with the most recent updates first.


Rain gutters have been installed on the barn, the garage, and the house.
The rain water will be collected and used for various irrigation purposes.
De-icers have been added to the stall drinking tanks and to the main supply tank in the water shed.
Conduit was used to keep curious horses from pulling or chewing on the cords.
The tack room is virtually complete with the ceiling and walls primed and painted.
The wall theme was lavender.
With two walls painted pale lavender.
And two walls painted a darker hue.


The exterior walls for the tack and grain rooms are clad in plywood and also 2x6s where the horses will have access when in the cross ties for farrier work, vet care, or grooming. The insulated exterior doors are in place as well.
The grain room will remain unheated and mostly uninsulated for now. It will, however, be made rodent proof.
The tack room walls and ceiling are now fully insulated and awaiting the plywood covering, which will be painted.
The final electrical work in the barn has been completed, with lots of extra lights and outlets. The tack room will be heated to prevent the tack from freezing and to help damp gear dry out.


With the ride season winding down and colder weather setting in we've begun to finish up the rest of our "first year" projects.

We have four chords of wood for winter, most of which is stacked along the fence near the house.
A simple sliding gate made from left over 2 inch PVC allowed the barn door to remain open while horses are out in the small pasture.
The "tank shed" has been built and only needs painting and trim work.
The tank is fully insulated and will be heated, like the neighboring pump house, to prevent freezing in the very cold winter days to come.
The tack and grain room walls were assembled on the floor and then moved into place. The tack room will be insulated and heated, while the grain room will be sealed against rodents.
Just as Elayne and I were about to heft the walls into place, an old friend from Taekwondo, Ellen Dittebrandt and her spouse unexpectedly dropped by! We immediately put her to work moving the walls into place.
The tack room is 12' x 12' and the grain room 12' x 4.5'. Like many of our other construction projects, the 2x6s used for the tack room framing were salvaged from the old deck around the house.
The walls then needed to be tied to the floor with concrete anchor bolts.
The main ledger board that spans the 12' between barn posts and will support the tack and grain rooms' ceiling joists is an old center cut 4x8 salvaged from the dilapidated shed that once sat where the barn is now.
Once the ledger board is bolted securely to the barn posts we will be ready to install the ceiling joists (more salvaged 2x6s).


Progress has slowed now that the endurance riding season is in full swing.

The new gate to the small pasture.
The small pasture runs from the north side of the barn, around the barn and over to the road and our driveway.
From the paddock area the horses will need to climb a small incline (they're endurance horses: this should not present a challenge).
The southeast corner of the pasture, where our driveway joins the road.


After the Klickitat Trek two day ride we let Whitney and Whisper out into the five acre pasture.
We were expecting a great deal of excitement and enthusiasm when the they first encountered all of that space.
Instead the girls remained within 50 feet of their paddocks. I guess when dealing with prey pets rather than predator pets you need to adjust your expectations.
Milagro, Elayne's horse, is currently confined to the corral.
Just before Klickitat we tested our new portable corral panels.
The coming weekend will be our first real use of the trailer.
The fencing for the first pasture has already been strung.
We rushed to complete the electrical hookups before the trip to Klickitat.
Out back a nest of caterpillars springs to life.
And the lupin finally blooms.


Work continues on fencing in the first pasture. As of this date all of the wood posts are in, all of the fiberglass and T posts on the north line are in, and all of the gates are complete.
The gate closest to the barn I like to think of as the Bonanza Gate because it looks like something you'd see on the Ponderosa.
Whitney wonders why it is taking so long to put in a simple fence.
All of the insulators for the east and north lines are now in place, and tomorrow we string these fence lines.
Whitney and Whisper have already consumed every trace of grass in their temporary corral. Tomorrow they can a little extra space and grass.
The west gate, which connects the primary pasture with the (future) secondary pasture.
The NW corner of the primary pasture as seen from the west gate. The primary pasture will be over five acres, and the secondary over three.
The south gate is the main gate and nearest the house. Twenty inches down we ran into bedrock, and after chiseling down another six inches by hand we opted to add extra posts and braces for support rather than try and chip down to four feet.


The barn's first phase of electrical work is complete.
And the initial internal wiring has been done.
Each stall has a dedicated outlet, plus there is an extra outlet for a vet or farrier, and a dedicated circuit for the fence charger.
Each stall has its own 8' fluorescent light fixture.
Meanwhile a small quarter acre pasture was fenced so the horses had a place to run about and to roll in the dirt.
The fence is made from T posts and electro-braid that will be used on the second or third pasture.
The fence is temporary and will be removed when the first pasture is ready.
Until then Whisper and Whitney will have to make do with the small space.


With the horses on site we need to take time out to walk them, which means we have a chance to observe the native wild flowers that are in bloom.

Rainbow over Prineville.
Sunset through the storm clouds.
A native grass


We achieved a major milestone after the Prineville Endurance Ride when Whitney and Whisper came home with us afterward.

Whisper, one of Molly's horses and Elayne's horse for the Prineville ride.
Whisper is Whitney's older half sister (they had the same sire): both are Appaloosas.
Whitney spends a lot more time in the stall than Whisper, however Elayne, who took the picture, might have a treat.
Full treat mode enabled.


The barn and paddock area are now ready for horses.
The electric fence is made of 3 hot wires of electro-braid and 2 return ground wires of 12.5 gauge galvanized steel.
The return ground system required extra wiring, but it ensures that the fence will deliver the full charge throughout its entire length.
Gray Butte in the distance is the site for the coming weekends ride. Whitney and Whisper will come here to live after the ride.
The grade on the back side of the barn held up the inspection approval until the excavators came back and made it slope away more from the barn.
The gravity water feed system is in place and operational. Once the main pasture has been fenced in we will build a shed around the tank and valve access pit.


The paddock area fence posts, bracing, and gates are in place.
All of the paddocks are interconnected via 4' gates, and the north paddock has an 8' gate to connect it with the future small pasture.
The end of each paddock has an 8' gate connecting it with the first pasture.
The north end of the barn is where horses will be washed.


The excavators have completed the grade work and are nearly done putting down gravel and underlayment. The paddock area extends down from the barn towards the pasture.
The blanket covering the concrete slab is gone. The far corner will be where we build the tack room. Grain and hay storage will take up the rest of this side of the barn.
The latch hardware has been installed on the stall doors. Rubber mats will be placed in front of each stall to provide a place for horses to stand while we tack up.
Almost ready for horses.


A productive weekend saw all of the stall front doors installed.
All that remains to do here is add the latch hardware.
Stall mats were also hauled in, cut and installed. At 100 pounds each, working with the mats was a good workout.
The stall interiors are now virtually complete.
The 7' tall stall partitions, made from reclaimed 2x6s from the house deck (hence the odd stain pattern), are also in place.
The inside of each exterior stall door has been clad with 3/4 inch exterior plywood.
The gravity feed waterers are installed and plumbed.
Each will be protected by a removable wood box.


Installation of the stall fronts is nearly complete, although much of the weekend was spent at the Grizzly Mountain Endurance Ride.
All that remains for the stall fronts is to install the remaining 2 doors and the latch hardware.
The removable stall dividers are next.
And after that the gravity water feed system.
The water system reservoir will be enclosed in a small shed (eventually).
The excavation contractor should be out next week to put down rock and gravel around the barn and out in the paddock area.


The doors are all hung and the translucent panels are being installed.
The stable side is virtually complete.
The tanks for the gravity feed water system have arrived.
Meanwhile Leonard leveled out the stall floor.
Leonard then covered the floor with heavy duty landscape fabric.
And brought in gravel (the old fashioned way, with a shovel and a wheel barrow).
Rubber mats will line the floor, and the gravel and underlayment will allow horse pee to drain.
The next day Leonard lined the exterior stable walls with 2x6s. The ground course is made from pressure treated 2x8s.
Each stall door will be lined with a sheet of exterior 3/4 inch plywood.
These are the same 2x6s we salvaged from the house's deck in late December.


Earl arrived on a cold windy morning to build and install the stall doors and siding for the west side of the barn.
The incredible wind storm of the night before didn't blow anything away.
The overnight temperature was supposed to drop below 20, and so Bob returned to put down blankets to keep the new concrete from freezing.
Earl finished with the stall doors and started work on the large barn doors.


Bob, the concrete contractor, and his crew arrived to pour the concrete pad.
The concrete truck mixes the concrete on sight, and so no concrete is wasted, and we only pay for what is actually used.
The concrete needed to be pumped into the barn.
The weather could not have been better for the work.
Concrete is mixed into the truck and poured into the pump...
and delivered to the barn floor.
The job required two concrete trucks.
Once the concrete started to flow the work pace was fast and furious.
The floor was poured in three 12 foot sections.
Just a moment of slack as they changed the concrete trucks.
And then the race was back on.
The entire floor, poured and screed.
A few hours later and it was complete.
The broom finish will provide plenty of traction.
Bob will return in several days to cut the expansion joints.


Almost all of the siding is now in place on three sides of the barn.
Earl, Gary and Brett continued to work late into the day to take advantage of the calm weather.
Earlier in the day they had installed the roof.
The north side of the barn is ready for the sliding door.
This area will eventually be fenced in, creating a small half acre pasture.
The bulk of the remaining exterior work is on the stable side, which has three sliding stable doors to be assembled and installed.
Inside the floor for everything except the stalls will be concrete. The gap between the siding and roof will be closed off with transparent panels, which will provide natural light.
Meanwhile Leonard has been digging post holes through rock and clay for the fence corners of the first pasture.


Highway 26 and Grizzly Mountain Road
The way to Badger Hollow -- Grizzly Mountain, with new snow from earlier in the morning, rises in the background
The barn from the road
Progress has definitely been made since the last update.
With framing complete, the metal siding goes up
The tilt of the trees in the background is not an optical illusion: it really was that windy.
The exterior sliding stall doors are assembled and installed too
As the day ended, work moved to the front of the barn


More snow delayed barn construction further still.
High wind, poor visibility, and slippery surfaces made for unsafe working conditions.
The snowfall ranged from moderate...
to light...
to heavy from moment to moment as the wind howled.
But not everyone was concerned. Takoda was quite warm snuggled into a hammock with Huffy and Timber.
Star too appeared far more concerned with the human activity than with the weather.
By mid afternoon all of the snow had melted and the sun made a brief appearance as it set behind Gray Butte. The native flowers appear to be adapted to the severe weather conditions, and the blooms looked as healthy and vibrant as ever.
Native phlox -- hardy and wide spread
A native lily
Despite looking fragile, the lilies appeared to do well in the snow and were everywhere
"Salt and Pepper"


With the rafters and joists for the gable ends in place, Earl and crew prepare to life the two trusses into place.
Earl has worked out a way to use our tractor to life each truss, with three of us guiding and stabilizing it.
After the front loader lifted the truss half way, we blocked the truss and lowered the tractor's front loader.
Earl then added stilts to the truss, which the tractor would use to lift the truss into its final position.
We then nailed the truss and supporting blocks into place.
The entire procedure was then repeated for the second truss.
With both trusses in place, the framing work resumed.
Although a "kit", there was a lot of cutting and carpentry required to put everything together correctly.
Earl and Gary work above while Brett assists from below. Off to the right Earl's son, Cole, brings over lumber as needed.
At least it has begun to look like a barn rather than a pile of lumber and metal.
The purlins that tie the roof together go on next.
With four people helping the work went quickly.
Blocking and extensions for the eves must also be cut and installed.
As well as stringers to stiffen the frame, although these would be cut, assembled and installed on another day.
As the end of Thursday approached, Earl thought they could finish all of the framing by late Friday. The bulk of the remaining work was up high on the roof.
Unfortunately Friday morning brought snow! It was far too dangerous for the crew to work on the roof, and so after a few hours of work, they left, hoping for better weather on Saturday.
By the end of Friday it was sunny and warm, and I was actually out working on the barn in a t-shirt.
Saturday was warm, but windy, which was at least good enough for Earl to finish the bulk of the framing.
The barn did not include any interior partitions, such as for stalls, and so I used the auger on the tractor to dig extra post holes, and then installed the posts for the stall fronts and dividers. The two tall posts tie into the trusses overhead with screws and bolts.
The back of the posts are tied together with 2x8s salvaged from the old shed that was dismantled. When the stall fronts go in the front of these posts will be tied together with 2x10s, from which the stall sliding doors will hang.


Earl, Brett and Gary begin to assemble the barn.
It's spring break, and so Earl's son, Cole, lends a hand.
Slowly at first the barn's shape begins to emerge.
A native phlox, one of the many ground covers with which we are blessed.
Some of the roof rafters and joists are in place.
The weather forecast for tomorrow is not good, and so the crew works a little late to try and get more done while it is nice.
At the end of the day all of the manually built roof rafters are in place. Tomorrow should see the installation of the roof trusses.


The material for the barn finally arrived.
Elayne, Leonard, Earl and the driver unloaded the metal siding and roofing, and the trusses.
Meanwhile Cole (and friend) mixed concrete in the bottom of the holes for the main barn posts.
The material we manually unloaded from the truck.
The truck prepared to slide the remaining lumber off the back.
The lumber slipped off sideways creating a bit of a mess, but nothing catastrophic. The quote of the day is from Earl: "I've seen better drops."
After the building inspector signed off on the holes the posts began to go in.
Three experienced men, some string, and a couple of tape measures and 2x6 bracing was all it took.
All of the primary posts were all set and braced and the holes filled with concrete.
In just over 3 hours all of the posts were set and the concrete poured, locking them in place.
Elayne learned how to use the tractor...
And quickly picked up on the subtle nuances of the controls.

2010/03/15 - 2010/03/22

Our parking lot serves as a staging area for the fence and stall material.
The barn site level and ready for the construction. The pipe for the gravity feed water system that will automatically keep the horses' water buckets full is in place and buried.
The drilling of the holes for the barn's support timbers begins.
This beats doing it with a shovel and a manual post hole digger.
This tangled mass of wire and rusted bed springs was buried just beneath the surface, and the post hole digger simply pulled it all up.
The rest of the plumbing to connect the gravity feed water system still needs to be installed (by me).
We will be able to easily drain and flush the entire horse water system by the turn of a valve. The drain pipe will run through this trench, and out to the pasture below. There was so much rock in the ground here that I had to dig half of the trench with a pick and shovel.
All of the holes are dug, and all of the in ground plumbing has been installed and buried.
Electrical service will run from the pump house to the new tank house, and so conduit also had to be run.
The access pit for the below ground plumbing. By closing the fresh water valve and opening the drain valve the entire system can be drained. The smaller pipe runs from the pump house for fresh water supply.
Ready for the first inspection. The two pipes sticking up from the access pit will run into the water supply tank, the smaller bringing fresh water in from the well to fill the tank, and the larger supplying the gravity feed line with water from the tank.


As construction of the barn loomed ever nearer, we began assembling the stall doors.
We also had fencing and gate material delivered, plus more lumber for the stalls.
A local family of tree cutters (we call them The Tree People) are clearing out the juniper trees. They age the wood and sell it as firewood.
The trees in the first pasture are nearly all cut.
Millagro and Whitney should have plenty of space for frolicking about.
The fences will be 5' tall, 5 wire electric, with 5" corner posts. The field posts, however, are 11/16" fiberglass.
With the new water pipe and conduit in place for the pump house and barn, the trenches are filled in.
The corners for the barn are finally staked.
The last bit of grading is finished. The site is now ready for rock and gravel to be spread out, and then the barn can go up.


While marking the location of the barn it became apparent that the location of the water and power lines to the pump house were exactly where we needed to drill for the barn's support poles.
The solution was to dig a new trench for utilities to and from the pump house and move the lines out of the way. We could then use most of the new trench for running power to the barn.
The new trench was quickly dug through the soft soil where the barn will be, but we ran into a little trouble once we hit the hard rock near the house.
The original owner of the house had run the power line to the pump less than 12 inches below ground level here (no doubt because of all of the rock), and we cut through it.
We decided to take advantage of having the heavy excavation equipment on site and had the steep embankments near the barn smoothed out.
We also adjusted the height of the barn site, and made it perfectly level.
In the mean time, trenching continued slowly through the rock towards the utility pole.
When the line to the pump house was cut we discovered that the original owner had spliced the wire underground with nothing more than electricians tape and wire nuts!


The tractor, parked in the garage -- I guess we need a bumper sticker that reads "My other car is a New Holland TC45D".
The house with a new roof, siding and paint.
The house and garage, which also has a new roof. The top of Grizzly Mountain looms beyond.
For the house we will create terraced gravel patios that surround the house much like the old, poorly built, rotted out and now gone deck did.
The barn area. Note the old dilapidated shed has been demolished, with the salvageable material stacked and ready for reuse.
Looking down from the barn area onto what will be the first pasture. The tree clearing people have begun to cut down the junipers.
Most of the junipers on our property will be removed. While junipers are native to central Oregon, the wild fire suppression measures of the past century have allowed them to invade other habitat zones where they do not belong, forcing out the native vegetation that does. Grizzly Mountain should be mostly grassland with ponderosa pines, and fortunately most of the grassland vegetation remains, and once the junipers are gone it should expand back into its former range. We will plant several hundred ponderosa pines this fall to replace the junipers.


The snow and melt plus the construction have reduced the ground around the house to a muddy mess.
As the roof work nears completion, the siding work starts back up.
The steep section of roof is the last to be completed.
The south side: roofed and awaiting siding.

2010/01/24 - 2010/01/25

We returned to a trip to Portland on Sunday only to find a heavy snowfall in progress.
The wind was constantly blowing hard, with powerful gusts making outside an unpleasant place to be.
The clouds began to break up by morning, and I trudged around to take photos of our new trailer for the insurance company.
A cat had walked about our place in the early morning hours, leaving its prints from our front door to the trailer. Perhaps the previous owners have left a cat behind: we'll be on the lookout for the phantom kitty.
Earl and his crew arrived and removed the snow from the top of the house so they could install the new metal roofing.
They worked quickly to try and get as much of the lower roof replaced in case we got more precipitation the that night.
Earl working frantically to finish the north side of the house.
The good news for the day was the approval of our site plan for the barn. Earl can now submit the building plans with the county tomorrow.

We've submitted the permit application for the barn, which required a site plan for the lot and building area (among other things).

The overall lot plan.
The building area plan.


The two large "view" windows have been replaced as work progresses around the house.
The lower section of the south side nears completion: the upper have must wait for the new roof.
Elayne is mastering the chainsaw, and this is the first juniper tree of any size she felled and limbed.
The first of thousands.


The barn area after Earl made it level.
The lower front of the house already sports new trim and siding.
The south side of the house has most of the old siding stripped and new vapor barrier installed. The windows and doors already have new trim.
Earl installing corner trim.