Most of you know that since 2006 Sylvan Rocks has operated out of the SR trailer at Sylvan Lake in Custer State Park. We will still be doing that, but the home office where all the behind the scenes organizational magic happens is going to be moving to a new location this spring. For many years Cheryl and I have rented a beautiful home just north of Custer. It was designed and built by the late Loretta Muehl, wife of Paul Muehl, who as many of you know...authored a 'few' routes in the Needles...esp. Middle Earth. Since Lorettas untimely death, Cheryl and I have rented the place. Its been an awesome home. Cheryl rides her bike to work or walks every day and I have a great office to work from.
In true Jan form, in June of 2013, Jan Conn stopped by to ask our full names and mailing address. She was on her way to visit her lawyer and intended to gift 10 acres of land that her and Herb had bought back in the early 1950's to Cheryl and I. It was as close as they could get to living next to the Cathedral Spires. Jan said something like "you shouldn't have to wait for some old lady to die to be living out there." And as simple as that, the adventure began. To say that Cheryl and I were thankful, excited and overwhelmed would be an understatement. After a bit of a gut wrenching nightmare battle with the Forest Service for access to the parcel that went on way to long, we finally started building in earnest about mid Oct. If you have ever built a home, you understand that its been a lot to learn in a short amount of time and the amount of work is fairly overwhelming. All good "problems" though. Jan comes over several times a week (esp. when the weather is good) for lunch and visits to check on the progress. We have lots of good friends who have been out to help, and excellent guidance from our friend and project captain...Shep Vail.
We have discovered a few things that we'd do differently next time, but we hope that this place will be home to Cheryl and I as well as WORLD HEADQUARTERS to Sylvan Rocks Climbing School and Guide Service for many many years to come. The Black Hills of South Dakota have been good to us, so I guess we will be staying as we are rooted here more then ever now.
The Pine Bark Beetles had killed most of the trees in the building site over the past few years, but we still had to tip over a few. Amazing how fast a excavator works.
Jan was pretty impressed with the big machine and how well Matt operated it. Because we had so much rock at the building site, we decided to build our home post frame style.....
The first poles rise out of the ground.
Happy to have had a nice warm October.
The poo pipe goes in!
Unfortunately... Snow and cold moved in...so rather then wait on concrete...we set trusses and closed the place in! Being flexible and creative seems to be the key to progress this time of year.
FINALLY, the last truss....and a few weeks later....some concrete.
So many choices.
Feels good to have some indoor work and ready for the snow on Christmas Eve. Happy happy Merry Merry everyone!