Colorado Earthship Build: Day 1 (The start)

Well we woke up to a very beautiful, sunny morning.


Our original plan was to have eggs for breakfast, using the frying pan on the bbq. However we had some technical difficulties with that as I mentioned yesterday. So we just ended up eating a lot of the munchie type stuff we had bought: dried fruit, fresh bananas, nuts and Lara bars.

After breakfast, we filled up our big jug of water and headed to the build site. It’s only a 15min drive, door to door, so it didn’t take long. We were supposed to be there for 9am, but we arrived around 08:30. We had to sign some waivers (like the we promise not to sue you kind) and we had a basic orientation in the morning where we were split up into large groups with various tasks. Kat and I are technically in the same group, but each of the groups also gets split up into smaller ones and assigned various tasks.

My first task was to dig out a level area for some tires that needed to be laid. That didn’t take long so then we had to do a run for some tires. Interestingly, there was only one other person from my academy session last year on this build and we were on the same team and were working together most of the day. He and I took a truck down to the tire pile.


Yep, that’s a pile of tires. We sorted through and found the sizes we needed and trucked two loads up to the top. Yeah, the top, as in hill. This is Colorado after all. If you lift your head and look up the hill over the pile of tires, you can see where everyone is working.


The big trailer is owned by the client, whom you can see standing beside it in the pink shirt. The next tier up is where all the action is going on.


This is what the build site actually looked like this morning, in the sun. Yeah, it was sunny and hot for the first half of the day. I completely drained my water bottle before lunch so I’m thinking either bringing the big 20L jug up the hill with us or make more trips down to the truck for water for tomorrow.

So, after we got all of those tires up the hill, we started to lay them out where they needed to go and proceeded to pound rocks into them.


Rocks? I thought it was supposed to be dirt? you might be asking. Well, apparently for the very first course, the foundation course of tires as it were, they decided to pound them with rocks. This is a bit more challenging than dirt and I definitely wouldn’t want to do it for several courses, but apparently they are doing that very thing at the back.

The reason for that, though, is the back will have a long garage that will span the entire length of the house. It is what is being put under the top floor, kinda like a big tunnel. Here is a picture of that area being worked on. You can see the start of the front and back walls of the garage.


I would also be remiss if I didn’t mention that Michael Reynolds is also in that previous picture, on the far left. He’s 68 years old and still pounding tires. Go Mike, go!

If we look out towards the south of the site, you can see the mountains and lots of other people working on many different things. The concrete mixing station was under the blue tarp in the back of the picture.


Anyway, I pounded tires and we helped install a cooling tube. That was most of my day. Oh and meeting lots of people from lots of different places. There are people here from Holland, Germany, Czech Republic, Australia and a bunch of us from Canada. A number of them are sleeping at the build site in tents.


It’s much cheaper to sleep at the site, as it’s free, but there are no facilities: no running water or electricity. They do have porta potties, but that’s it. I’m glad Kat and I are camping where we are, because we have access to showers and electricity and even wifi. It’s how we are able to update our blogs as without it we wouldn’t have anything. There is no cell service down here.

It rained in the afternoon, which was actually mostly a relief because it was so hot in the morning. We finished up at 16:30 and headed out. We still needed to fix the BBQ situation, so we headed into town. I stopped at a True Value hardware store and a guy asked me if I needed any help almost as soon as I walked in the door. I explained the situation with the hose not connecting to the tank. He thought it might be the hose, so I asked if I could bring it in and try it on one of their new tanks. He said sure, so I went and fetched it.

Well, turns out it was the tank I have that is the issue, not the hose as it fit just fine in the new tank. So I bought a new tank and they filled it for me and we’re all good to BBQ now. Yay!

Kat and I were pretty worn out but we still needed to eat, so I cooked up the sausages we had bought on the weekend and we also made some mashed sweet potatoes, a common dish for us. I must say, I felt much better after eating.

Ironically enough, we had some visitors just across the river from us as we were having dinner. Yes, you will actually need to click on the picture to be able to see them.


Yeah, those are Canadian Geese. I guess these ones decided to skip the whole migration thing and just stay south, or maybe they just got lost. Who knows?

There was a lot of rain on and off today and I managed to snap this picture just as evening was setting in.


Yes, that is not one, but two bad-ass rainbows. The picture isn’t perfect as I couldn’t get the panoramic to get the whole thing in from top to bottom. It was quite vibrant though. A nice touch to end our first day of the build.


One thought on “Colorado Earthship Build: Day 1 (The start)”

  1. 1) Awesome, freakin’ rainbow. Good capture! 2) Absolutely love Canadian Geese. Love watching them fly in formation and honkin’ their little hearts out. Love that sound. Also very special about their formation flight pattern in that the strongest take the lead positions making flight on the weaker members easier as they fly along in the leaders ‘draft’. They have their act together better than most people! 3) Yes, I would prefer pounding dirt, rather than stone. Seems you could more easily see the result of your labor. Have a good day! Enjoying the posts immensely. Mums

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