Walden 2000

Now that the Y2K "Crisis" has come and gone--well, almost: "localtime()" in the Perl programming language still returns "100" in the year field, and we haven't fixed all the reports yet, but, other than an extremely volatile stock market, life goes on in this last year of the 20th century. Anyway, the Y2K Bunker Project has, indeed, reverted to a low-tech weekend getaway. No pond, but it is taking on the character and spirit of Emerson's retreat. We do have a few late-20th century touches such as battery-powered touch lights, a propane camp stove, and a wind-up radio that only gets disco nostalgia, country, and gospel stations.

Continuing with the "habitability phase" of construction, we have focussed on roughing out the interior, with bathroom walls up and 'rocked on one side and most of the furnishings in place, so we have finally been able to stay overnight. After a few frozen weekends, we got the insulation up in the loft sleeping area and warmer weather is here at last. The addition of rain gutters have made possible a gravity-powered irrigation system for our four fruit trees.

Here are the first interior views, taken on Mother's Day: Judy was in Illinois at conference, and I got the insulation up after the last really hard freeze of the season. Since, the freezing levels have moved up the mountain a few hundred feet. We still have a lot of insulation to go, but what we have is finally starting to be effective. This milestone was reached one week before the first anniversary of the start of construction.

The loft is a cozy 7'5" by 8'. Access is by a 15' vertical ladder up the left wall. Finishing touches planned include a railing at the foot of the bed and a low platform for the bed. We found a nightstand for $12 at the pawn shop that fits in the corner.

After trying out the dining alcove for a couple of weekends, we moved the table beside the wood stove and put our Adirondack camp chairs in the 7'6" by 3'9" alcove. The view from the picture window is of the farms below and the distant mountain range to the west of the Mission Valley.

The kitchen is 2'6" by 4', but adequate. The cabinets came out of our city house when we remodeled the kitchen. There was also enough vinyl flooring left over to cover the kitchen, hall, and bathroom floors. The 3'9" by 5' bathroom is behind the kitchen.

The tiny wood stove seems to be adequate, once we finish the insulation. The finished floor will be made from hardwood cabinet doors salvaged from our city kitchen remodel.

By the end of the year, we had 90% of the insulation installed, the permanent tile stove base built, the glass block windows built for the north side (hall and bath), and the front door replaced with a half-light unit that opened into the hallway instead of the corner. Here's the view as we arrived for the Christmas weekend:

Cabin at Christmas