How to Rebuild a Community

It’s been a busy week — we’ve finally got interns on site — today, Laura, Sarah, Stacey, Mike, Jerry and Matt all went up to the site to take preliminary measurements for footings and accomplish some rough plumbing work under the foundation.  I’m incredibly excited to go to the site and do some work tomorrow, when I’m scheduled to be there.  It almost seems unbelievable that we are starting.  There’s also lots of other opportunities for us to work, thanks to trusty Dusty, straw bale contractor / internship mentor.  Things are just unbelievably awesome — the way that so many people come together as an organization is… unbelievable,  to say it again.

Earlier this week, we built more furniture and amenities for our student housing.  We built an epic picnic table, bike rack, many tables, shelves, and other amenities including an amazingly balanced and designed kitchen rack for dishes above the sink.  We also decked out the work trailer with shelving and tool storage.  I took extra pictures of my bike rack because I could.


There was a design off.  We all designed our own versions of various bathroom vanities and kitchen cabinet systems.  I designed a few myself.  We all had great ideas, and in the end, the only thing that got a compliment for me personally from Andrew the homeowner was my 3D usage, which allowed him to truly visualize my concepts.  However, I have to go back to the drawing board on the vanities, and I haven’t started on kitchen yet.


Matt, Jerry and I spontaneously decided to the attend the local city council meeting regarding the addition of bike lanes and medians in the city of Gunnison.  The meeting was very interesting — aside from the presentation of what the city planners were considering doing, which was actually the least interesting part — the whole city was nearly divided in half over what to do with their streets.  Business owners hated the idea.  Some business owners and most younger parents tended toward a more “bike lanes and beautiful medians will increase our real estate value and downtown tourist economy” attitude, while the more conservative, older residents were much less interested in sudden change taking place in their larger than life hallways.

Residents left red stickers of disapproval and notes on the planning commission’s ideas.  They also left blue stickers of joy, scarce though they  may be among the myriad complaints mounting from those concerned with change in their city.  The designers from the contracting firm hired to plan the future street changes were excellent in their approach, however, they did lack certain necessary details, such as how snow would be plowed in an area that can get to 40º below in the winter.  Many conservative residents felt that the designers may be trying to “sell them something they didn’t need for a price they couldn’t afford,” as one commentator noted.  Another understood that tourism could play a larger role in the economy of Gunnison than it already does, and that a safer, more modern environment may keep more money in the county than currently immediately leaves up the mountain for Crested Butte.


We took a field trip to AM Barnwood, the state’s largest supplier of reclaimed wood beams.  Some of the beams were absolutely massive, such as 24″ x 36″ x 32′.  Yeah, 32′.  These were trees that were square.  Massive beams.  We learned all about the history of the reclaimed lumber industry, and how it operates today to build houses out of amazing old stuff for the very wealthy (typically.)  Personally, I love the fact that it’s being reused.  There’s more embodied energy, but that tree also took tons of energy to build from the soil in the first place, so it’s all relative.  Recycling is good.  One day we’ll have better energy sources.

I also constructed myself a desk for the small closet where I will be recording some music.  I also made my first piece of joinery, which was a small coaster that stays together (relatively.)


Then, we came upon a literal truckload of food, of which source I have been sworn to secrecy, and we made a USA cake for memorial day.  We eat really well around these parts. That $100 stipend just seems to stretch for an infinite number of miles.  Om nom nom.


Today, we took apart pallets in preparation for building the vanities that we have designed.


Blaise, Matt, myself, Stacey, Dan, and Beatrice decided to go on a hike to Mill Creek, which leads to what some call Mill Castle, a crag formation that is flat and castlesque.  Earlier that week, Beatrice, apprentice Jessica and myself hiked down by Blue Mesa reservoir, with rushing rapids leading to the reservoir.  You should be able to tell the two locations apart – the pictures aren’t exactly chronological.  They really are meant to express the sheer beauty of the Colorado landscape.


Earlier in the week, I created an ad for the local Craigslist so that the rest of the intern crew could have some odd jobs to do.  I called us the Odd Squad, and we already have our first client.  Two interns have signed up for each day of labor, moving furniture, painting, etc.  This is the first time that I have facilitated work for anyone but myself.  It’s a great feeling.


And at long last, our last and final intern Shelby joins us for the rest of the build.


Fantastically, he hasn’t missed a thing!  Now that we’re all rip roaring and ready to go, it’s going to potentially be another month until we begin real framing.  It’s an exciting time — the calm before the storm, the preparation for the inevitable, the exciting little things leading up that roller coaster ramp until finally — whoosh! — we get underway with the main build.  So, to answer the initial teaser, all of this is what’s necessary to rebuild a community.

Until next time, here is a picture I snapped when we camped in Hartman’s Rocks this week at a climbing spot called Bhudda’s Belly.


Erik Hans Rasmussen — Mount Crested Butte Intern 2016

One Response to “How to Rebuild a Community”
  1. mama says:

    Wow…what a beautiful place! Talkin to you soon 🙂 :{ Love you!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: