Irene’s brother Philip was nice enough to let me show up and work a little on his tiny house.  He’s been building it since 2016, and it is pretty far along.  I had never met him before, so it was a big risk on his part.  I got into Albuquerque Tuesday night at 1am, so I grabbed a hotel instead of trying to drive.  I got my rental car in the morning, but they changed it on me.  The other car wasn’t ready, and I got a black Dodge Charger instead.  It was an ok car, but solid black wasn’t good in the desert sun.

I drove down to meet Philip, and he gave me a tour of the grounds.  He is building it on the property of a friend of his, Ronnie, and his family.  There was a ton of stuff around, mostly for spare parts.

We then got to work.  I started off with a support bar on one wall of the tiny house.  It came together decently well.  I then did some metal work for the same support area for the loft.  That evening we went to New Mexico Tech to use the showers at the gym.  It was a nice campus, albeit small.  I ended up staying at the Econo Lodge, as I wasn’t up for staying in the gymnastics gym on Ronnie’s property.  I didn’t feel right using the gym without confirming it was ok with the woman who ran it (who I had never been introduced to).

Philip was nice enough to take me bouldering at the nearby ‘The Box’ canyon.  It was a nice place, but I am way out of shape for that kind of bouldering.  It was still a good time.  At the end of the night we got the strange lights in the sky experience.  A redish light would take a specific path that brightened and dimmed.  The speed and path of the light was constant, but it came at somewhat random intervals.  Turns out it was just cars driving along a nearby hill.

I stayed with one of Philips former coworkers, Kevin, the next few nights.  Kevin’s brother, Joel, was visiting from San Jose.  They were both a lot of fun to talk to.  Philip took the four of us out to dinner at the fanciest restaurant in Socorro.  They took us to San Lorenzo Canyon, a slot canyon nearby.  We got there very late so the pictures didn’t turn out, but in person it was gorgeous.  We watched the starts for a while, and I counted at least a dozen satellites.  I’m pretty sure we got a perfect alignment with one of the satellites for it to reflect the sun back at us, as it had a bright flash and was opposite where the sun had just set.  We also saw two shooting stars.

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Philip then assigned me to install some trellises on the back of the tiny house, as well as cover up a few of the last holes in the siding.  We got some jasmine, and started training them to go up the poles.

After that we finished by installing the second layer of insulation.  I decided to head out to the Very Large Array, which was quite large, but in the middle of nowhere.

It was a good trip, and I got the first hand view of what it took to build a tiny house.