The best part of winding the year up was the raising of the garden portal.  

As I have noted in previous posts, we are striving for sustainability on a lot of fronts.  I currently have an overflowing box of old nails, screws and fasteners I have kept while de-constructing the cabin interiors.  I am keeping track of the weight for future reporting purposes.

Part of our effort is the artistic side of the sustainability effort:  The garden portal.

Moving the steel
After some discussion our excavator - Matt Johnson - Johnson Excavating and Telecommunications of Eagle - determined the mini-ho would be the machine to move the steel - with help from the architect guiding it to its final location.  

And so on a reasonably warm late fall Friday morning we began the process.  

It involved moving the steel to previously dug holes for the main uprights,   I built a steel re-bar cage for each vertical leg and attached it prior to setting the steel in the holes.

Re-bar cages at the portal base with Matt Johnson supervising.

Temporary support of the portal
Once the steel was set in the holes and after the crew was fed a grilled burger and sides from the on-site grilling device we proceeded to pour the concrete foundation.  Rather than bring in a concrete truck we (Johnson Excavating, Hedrick Concrete Construction, and Ago Studios) mixed and poured 1-1/2 pallets of quik-crete bags in the holes.  It was a well orchestrated operation.  Matt cut the bags and poured them into the wheelbarrow.  Ron Hedrick and I than mixed the concrete and poured it in - 3 bags of concrete at a time.  We were done in about an hour...and it was a good pour.

Ron Hedrick of Hedrick Construction - Chris Green - Ago Studios after the pour.
To be sure everything set well and safely we left the mini-ho support of the portal in place for the weekend while the concrete cured and set.   I calculated that we poured about 2 yards of concrete at the portal.  It isn't going anywhere.

So as we move into 2014, the garden portal is in place ready to receive the fencing, gate assembly and to signify we are getting closer to getting onto the site.  

One of the best comments I fielded from one of the business folks in the town that came to visit was something along the lines of...'what the heck is's like burning man!'.  

I'll take it.

...and as we exited 2013 the portal (re-purposed mobile home steel structure) stands on the site ready for duty!

Here's to 2014!