As we progress with the renovations, we can never quite decide if we are moving fast, slow, forwards or backwards. It sounds kind of sadomasochistic but we are thriving on the chaos! It became apparent this week that there are not enough hours in the day and a lot of jobs to get done, both on the renovations and on the operating side of the business. But this week we have some cool milestones (ok, maybe cool is the wrong word to use for other people but we think they're cool) to celebrate.
No only are we back in Dawson City having survived our epic journey to Edmonton (check out our last blog post if this passed you by), but we have been able to make some pretty quick progress on a bunch of jobs.
Riley's new toy has been put to awesome use clearing out material from beneath Dawson Lodge. This has saved us so much time it's unbelievable and will make our foundation repairs and renovations that much quicker and easier. Just in the day following this excavation, the foundations have dried out considerably and we should have a much easier time getting at them to jack up the building and level it out.
A little disappointing this week was discovering just how much additional insulation material we need to get this place energy efficient year round. We have the bonus of having discovered it is a log building so has excellent thermal mass, however, bits of the interior are missing insulation material and there is no external insulation. Silver lining... we can get to every part of the structure of the building pretty easily so upgrading the insulation should be relatively easy work.
And then there is the carpet removal. Those carpets have seen some things... things never to be repeated, when we asked them they couldn't even respond, only the stains give us an idea of how much "love" they had provided for the previous inhabitants of the rooms. And yes, you're absolutely correct, we have been talking to inanimate objects, we know it's not entirely normal and it's only likely to get worse! If anyone walks past the site and finds someone rocking, maybe just check we haven't been inhabited by the ghosts from the carpets. Again we have a slightly bitter sweet feeling about the carpets, they absolutely had to come up but we have revealed a lot of work to make the floor good for it's new look. But who wants a work list to get shorter all the time, why wouldn't we want to add some extra things on the to do list?!?
Lastly... we have a level(ish) parking lot that we can use as outdoor workspace. After a few loads of fresh gravel, the use of some heavy machinery and some high volume cursing when that heavy machinery gave us some minor technical difficulties, we have something that looks like a significant change to the outside world.
As I was walking away from site today, Riley looking exhausted but with things looking dramatically different to a couple of weeks ago, I looked down and saw tracks allover the new gravel. there were so many different tracks overlapping but then there was one long clear track amidst the chaos, standing out, fresh, deep, even marks. Something that we had made, albeit temporary we had marked the world in some tangible way. It was purposeful, a path towards something. This might be a tortuous metaphor but Dawson Lodge is something else that we are creating, we're on a clear track moving forward despite all the chaos around us we know the vision and we see it clearly. Hopefully Dawson Lodge will last significantly longer than a track mark in the gravel but it is still a temporary. 2 weeks ago there was also no life at the back of the warehouse building and then today, I notice this bright green foliage, thriving despite all odds. Something else that gave me cause for hope. Somehow things thrive in Dawson, the Gold Rush proved that and we hope that we will benefit from some of that Gold Rush era luck.
We're definitely moving forward, fast or slow, we're kind of ok with both as long as what we have in the end is here for some time to come.