June was spent working and traveling in the perfect weather of the North West U.S. Could not ask for better working conditions and the scenery everywhere was spectacular.
Those that I worked with were all 'on the same page', loving what they were doing and at times closing their eyes in wonderment, that life could be so perfect.
Traveling between destinations chosen as much by happenstance as well as year long preplaning so I could add my efforts to Habitat for Humanity's Caravanner RV team was wonderful. Often, I would make my days route choice with morning coffee. Yes, I'd have a general idea before moving from point A to point B, but allowed myself the freedom to add as much newness and surprise to my life when making these choices.
For example, traveling west towards Kalispell, MT. from Rapid City, SD, I chose a meandering route that would allow me to drive over the Beartooth Mountains. The road is open only when it can be cleared of snow and the timing was good for me to skirt along the top of Yellowstone National Park and Beartooth Hwy. on my way west and then turn north and drive up 93 along Montana's western side.
In Kalispell, Habitat builds a fair amount of homes, from this larger than normal home for a large family, to more typical 3 bedroom 2 bath homes for families of 4. (Normally....)
Due to the frost issue, foundations must be deeper than in the south where slabs are normal.
Thinking I had a couple of extra days between builds, the next being in Port Angeles, WA., I ventured to SW Oregon to visit an old High School buddy and his wife.
As near a straight line as possible shown on a Rand McNally maps as Interstates, my path offered little of the perfect scenery that the secondary roads offer. However, some of the driving offered pleasant surprises.
One for sure was many miles driving in the Salt Lake City area.. Winds were driving salt into the air, just like dust storms I've seen. Twas interesting!
Animal bridges surprised me.. built so wildlife can cross from one side of a major road to the other without fear of death to either man or beast. Cool!
Our task in Greenbriar County of WV was to do a little Disaster work, but mainly to help keep Habitats ongoing construction moving forward.
West Virginia homes we are building are modest. They follow Habitat guidlines yet must be affordable to those applying.
One home a half hour drive up on Muddy Creek Mountain, had only a slab poured and only a small amount of supplies on hand.
Not much to show initially, but at the end of the week, a home was visible.. Still much to be done.
The town of White Sulphur Springs, which had been badly damaged during the floods, had another home under construction but the interior needed some corrections and then paint, before walls, flooring and cabinets could be installed.
A group of 47 Catholic students from NJ were split between the 2 homes and I think everyone of them did a fantastic job! I was super impressed with their efforts and attitude. Great Great Great!
The surrounding area of West Virginia is Wild and Wonderful, as they say. Beautiful mountainous country; some old, some new.
So, here we are... the HFH Caravanner volunteers who responded to lead teams and work their tails off, having a night out.
The area is working hard to pull itself together but it is evident everywhere, that those affected and those effecting what is necessary, will persevere.