Thursday, October 17, 2013

Earthbags and UV Rays: A Reluctant Experiment

When I sealed the busted skylights on the Sky Bus with filled earthbags in the middle of July, I had every intention of getting back out there within a few weeks to paint over them, since UV rays are earthbags' greatest natural predator.  However, life being what it is around here, I didn't actually make it back to the land until last weekend, and I was worried about the state of the bags after so much time passing.  But I'm happy to report that even after almost three months of exposure, they were still intact;  the lettering was faded, but other than that they were fine.  I painted them a cheery yellow, since that was what I happened to have on hand, and now I don't have to worry about them again until spring.  I was also pleased to see that this method of skylight repair has apparently worked beautifully; there were no leak stains at all in the bus, even though we've had quite a bit of rain in recent months.

The other purpose of going out there last weekend was to deal with the pile of bags outside the bus.  I was able at last to get all of them either into the bus or into my Blazer to bring to my house, and this is a HUGE relief.  No more mountain of bags sitting on the ground!  And other than a very few at the bottom that had mildewed (which were the lowest quality bag I had anyway), they are all in good shape.

Earthbags in my mudroom, freshly unloaded from the Blazer.  A bit dirty, but intact.
Seeing how much I was able to accomplish in just a couple of hours out there inspired me.  My goal now is to get to the land one more time before it gets too cold and/or snowy, and finish what little rubbling of the trench there's left to do.  I'm hoping I can get one or two helpers to come out there with me and bring wheelbarrows, and then within a few hours, the trench can be completely filled and covered over with pieces of the old tarp that was previously protecting the pile of bags.  Any volunteers? I'll feed you and buy you a beer at Taos Mesa Brewing :)