Okay, I know, I could not help myself, I just had to do it: pack some more tires with dirt, so I could write a post about it. And why not, right? Gotta get my kicks some way... However, the more interesting question remains: WHY??? How did this happen? And is there a story behind it all?
A Story Yet to Be Told
It's no easy to explain how I got here onto this property on the edge of the country, literally a stone's throw from the infamous border fence. It is somehow connected to the Subaru Driving Adventure back in June, as well as to some fabulous and amazing plans I'm dreaming up with some friends in Los Angeles. The latter might in fact turn into something truly spectacular, so don't despair if you feel I've abandoned posting on Hive. If things go well, all this should be caught up on with some audiovisual treats. Until then... here is this benign post about tires.
Building a House Single Handedly
So anyway, no matter what events led up to it, I am finding mmyself planing and constructing a small building in the California desert. To be xact, it's supposed to become a timber-framed cob studio with a coregated metal roof. It is small enough not to need a building permit, and as basic and primitive as I can get. Well, primitive is taken in a good sense here, meaning without water, plumbing, or electricity.
However, my pedantic self won't let me do a half-assed job on the foundation. So I decided to use some of the old tires in the many trash heaps on this property to raise a two-course wall, on which the rest of the structure is going to stand. All around those walls I dug a trench, just in case some havy rains may bestow a sudden blessing of water on us.
Me, Myself, and I
It's a completely new experience being the one and only worker on the site. The person I'm doing this for is also present, but she is more like a very supportive spectator, encouraging me with kind words and delicious food. Even though the building is miniscule compared to anything else I have worked on, having to tackle the entire load on my own makes it seem so much bigger.
And yes, once again I won't get to finish it. My permission to stay in the US is only valid until mid September. Until then I really would like to have a roof on the place. Then when I'm gone she wants to fill in the walls with cob, little by little, and evntually even put in some doors and windows. For now, I can progress at my own pace, and enjoy getting a thorough physical workout durin the dog-days of Summer.
A Wonderous Location
While I can't give too much details on the construction as yet, let me make up for it by introducing this amazing place: It's quite remote, somewhere between San Diego and El Centro, literally in walking distance from the Mexican border. The landscape is dominated by giant boulders and scragly vegetation. The climate is dry and hot, especially now during the hottest time of the year.
The site specifically is a six-acre plot, which used to be the home of two old men who died here not long ago. Intheir last years (depending on how you look at it) they let things go quite a bit, and as a result we found the property covered in trash. However, under layers of the nastiest filth imaginable, we got to uncover a number of interesting tools. One of these is an antique jackhammer from 1945.
It's almost like each item creates its own project, all while I'm busy at the worksite. So in a way, this place will keep us busy for some time. In fact, if I had the same connectivity as even in Mazunte, I might even publish a post about each item. As it turns out, I have never had worse network connections. Two sim-cards in my phone, one Mexican and one from the US, and usually I am roaming on both ends, with a provider from the other side of the border. Oh, and forget about WiFi! So for now, here are some pics of this wonderful place. Enjoy, because who knows when I'll be posting again.