Hawaii 7th – 12th 2014


October 7th

Today we spent working outside. Ellis continued to work on the French drains. I hung up all the garden netting with a staple gun for the vines to grow onto.

I also bought a couple 275 gal square plastic totes with a bar cage off craigslist for $275 each. Which seems pretty typical over here $1 per gallon.

It gets dark at about 6:00 so it makes for a fairly short work day. We finished the day doing some market research and ate at the Volcano Lodge which has to be the best food I’ve had on the island but definitely had the price to match!


And then the most incredible thing happened! Elizabeth Gilbert posted a photo that I sent her and said the treehouse was exquisite! I’m on cloud nine right now.


October 8th

Today we scraped the lava cinders from underneath the hanging bed area to accommodate the sand we’ll be putting there. We also got the water tanks moved into place.



We stopped work around 2:00 and we headed to Teds for some much needed showers. Then we headed to Kalapana and walked down to a small black sand beach and played around for a bit. At the end of the road in Kalipana there is a place called Uncle Roberts that opens every Wednesday evening. It’s one part luau, one part farmers market and one part hippie Fest. We grabbed some dinner there before heading to Hilo for supplies.

Oct 9

I got my sand delivered today unfortunately it’s more like fine gravel. Not what I had pictured and since 6 tons was dumped in my driveway I couldn’t exactly return it. I was going back and forth all day trying to decide whether I should use it. It was $462 but I just can’t see it looking or feeling good. My plan right now is to put it on craigslist to see if I can sell it or use it to fill potholes on the road.

I have plenty of time and mull it over since we spent a few hours running errands. I did get a shipment of my tundra cork bark from Calliebamboo which is absolutely perfect. I can’t wait to install it but first I want to make sure the shower works properly before sealing the wall. this will replace the corrugated metal wall I had in the shower temporarily. But I can’t test it until my pump comes which is lost in the mail.

Oct 10th
So there’s always so many things to get done, even after it gets dark and I need to look things up on the internet, track packages, plan for the next day that I can barely find energy or time to write. The following our my notes for today.

New led vintage bulbs, gutter with water flow, trenches filled back in, moss under hanging bed.




Oct 11th

I had bought some straw bamboo fencing in 4′ x 8′ lengths that I thought I could cover my eaves in but pared with the thatch it looked really dumb. So I scraped the thatch on the two sides with gutter which was the real problem with hanging it and am going to try to do something else in the front and back with the thatch.

I made some adjustments on the downspout so it drained better into the tanks. Then I made my way through the jungle to collect more moss for under the hanging bed because the sand just isn’t what I wanted. Last time I was here is trying to incorporate a moss wall in the shower vertically. It proved too difficult given my time and cash restraints. And since I can’t use the sand I was thinking of just putting the red cinder rock back under the bed but then had the brilliant idea of using moss under there! I’m going to include a picture of Moss under trees in nearby Volcano Village.
We also took some time to go see Thurston lava tube and watch some hula dancers at the Volcano national Park.


Oct 12th

Today we tried to get some supplies for the shower drain pipe and some rebar for the bamboo at the ace hardware nearby but they didn’t have anything. So we headed to the Sunday farmers market in Pahoa I did some plant shopping tried some interesting food octopus dumplings. Then we checked put the tidepools in kapoho until we got rained out.

From there we did a Home Depot run where I got the things that I needed earlier. It rained pretty good this afternoon and it was excited to watch the water collect in the tanks. We played around with the bamboo pole position but I’m not really happy with the way it looks. I sketched it out of her dinner and I think I have a better plan now. I had Ellis put in the overflow in the water tanks well I went pillaging through the forest looking for Moss to transplant under the hanging bed area.

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Hawaii Progress Continued..

Let me catch everyone up before I go into the daily logs. I left the island about 6 months ago to go back on tour for the Idaho Potato Commission. I’m back here for a couple weeks working on a lot of beautifying projects as well as getting the water and solar working smoothly.


Oct 1st

Well I arrived yesterday evening in Hawaii after a solid day half in my home base Boise on completion of my second tour for the Idaho potato commission. My electrician friend Dana’s dad happened to be in town and graciously pick me up from the airport and took me to dinner in the Pahoa which might not be there in another month due to the lava flow. I listed my home my house on airbnb.com a couple months ago and I’ve started getting reservations. You may recall I had to leave Hawaii before I could hook up my water system due to a shortage of pipe.

It feels so good to be back sometimes it’s like the Hawaii treehouse is just a dream; like did I really do that?!

So six months later the place is in great shape. My old landlord, friend, mentor Greg isn’t here yet but he let me borrow his truck. My awesome neighbor Gabriel spray-painted a welcome home sign on a scrap piece of metal and tied up a beautiful flower arrangement to a couple trees at the beginning of the path. So sweet. The people at Home Depot remembered me and welcomed me back too. Then when my truck load of pipe fell 2 cars pulled over and two guys helped me put it back in and secure the load.
Today I pretty much just got situated unpacked and bought a few supplies. Ive been shown so much kindness in the last 24 hours, my heart is full.


Oct 2nd

Today got off to a slow start due to me locking the keys in the truck outside my neighbors house. Hawaii doesn’t seem to of caught on to Internet and most of the locksmiths I called numbers were disconnected.
It ended up a towing company came out was very helpful how did unlocked in two seconds.
I ran to Keaau to the post office to pick up my water heater that I ordered yesterday off craigslist in Maui.
I spent the day digging out the hole where my septic goes that had been previously dug but got filled in a bit while is gone. I also got my septic pipe plumbed and painted tan to blend in with the treehouse wood.


Oct 3rd

Another late morning start this time due to a dead battery (again) I was able to jump it with the car battery I’ve been temporarily using for my solar panels. I went into town for supplies. I ended up ordering a pump off of Amazon so that should be here shortly along with LED bulbs for my rope fixture that still have the vintage look I like. I also have two more solar panels on the way.

I mounted my on demand hot water heater and ran the hot water pex pipe to the shower.

I have a lot more Mosquitos than I ever did 6 months ago so I bought a battery operated patio light bug killer and screen doors for my sliders.

Oct 4th

I’ve been completing my to do lists fairly early so I think I’m going to have to start ramping them up a bit. Today I worked on running the cold water line of pex pipe to the shower and toilet. I also got the shut off valve and the toilet supply line installed as well as the vent pipe.
I still spend a bunch of time each day looking at resources online for different supplies. I’m trying to juggle my shipments and kind of waiting for them to come in to be able to complete a bunch of stuff.



Oct 5 & 6

I spent the 5th tinkering around spray painting the plumbing that is exposed underneath the house and such. I went over to Ted’s place to shower and do laundry which felt great being clean if only for a short time.

My potato tour coworker Ellis flew in in the evening and we all went to dinner in Pahoa again. Ellis is going to spend a couple weeks here working on the place with me.

This morning we spent a few hours running around getting some bigger ticket items like solar batteries, big piece of sheet metal. The most fun purchase of the day however was at the nursery I ordered 8 red jade vines that will crawl up the inside walls of the underneath room. I can’t wait to see those take over.

I worked on the solar system, barn bathroom door and the toilet sink all if which need more tweaking. Ellis spent the day in the mud shoveling a trench for the French drain. Welcome to paradise my friend;)

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