Castle Valley Comments
December 6, 2018
by Ron Drake
Dec 06, 2018 | 121 views | 0 0 comments | 12 12 recommendations | email to a friend | print
This pickup truck, which was spotted in a Castle Valley parking lot last week, has an unusual accessory. Designed for use while camping, hunting, or off-roading, this bumper dumper might be the ticket while miles away from a toilet. But even in remote Castle Valley there should be a toilet nearby. And this device probably shouldn’t be used while vehicle is in motion.   
Photo courtesy of Ron Drake
This pickup truck, which was spotted in a Castle Valley parking lot last week, has an unusual accessory. Designed for use while camping, hunting, or off-roading, this bumper dumper might be the ticket while miles away from a toilet. But even in remote Castle Valley there should be a toilet nearby. And this device probably shouldn’t be used while vehicle is in motion. Photo courtesy of Ron Drake
slideshow
“It was a Starry Night,” the annual Christmas dinner and program of the DayStar Adventist Academy has been moved up one day to accommodate some of the students who won’t be able to be there on Sunday.

The date for the dinner and program will be 6 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 15 at the school’s dining hall and the program will commence at 7 p.m. in the chapel, both at 320 E. Castleton Drive. Everyone is invited to both events. In order to plan for dinner they ask that you RSVP at 435-259-7719 if you plan to eat before the program. Thirty-five years ago this week, this column mentioned a similar invitation to Castle Valley residents for the school’s Christmas program that year. “The program will feature the school’s choir in addition to smaller singing and instrumental groups,” I wrote back then. Since that time they have added their popular bell choir to their repertoire.

* * *

Hardly anyone noticed, but big changes have occurred at the lower end of the valley on the property owned by Randy and Kaaron Jorgen. On their property is where the first permanent structure in Castle Valley is located, which was built in 1885 by Matt Martin.

Matt and his brother John came to the Colorado Plateau from Iowa during the silver strike of the 1880s, but ended up as ranchers in Castle Valley. The sturdy cabin on the Jorgen’s property was built by Matt about 1885 and is partially built out of railroad ties and pilings from railroad bridge trestles, according to a state historian, who visited the cabin. Matt’s brother, John, worked as a surveyor for the Denver and Rio Grande Railroad for a while, before heading to Castle Valley, so he had connections to the railroad company for materials.

The previous owner of the Jorgen’s property built a new structure and attached it to the old cabin about 25 or 30 years ago, which enlarged the square footage of the home. After the Jorgens built a new home on the property this past year, they had the addition to the cabin demolished, leaving the old cabin “released from bondage,” as Jorgen describes it. There is also another cabin nearby that was built around 1900.

But the real story is the new house that was designed by Randy. It was designed for function, comfort and economy but not necessarily for style. It is for “old folks comfort,” according to Jorgen and is designed for mobility, comfort, and accessibility on a single level with no steps.

The building features double outside walls and the void between the two walls is insulated with a commercial celluloid material, giving it an R-40 rating and the ceiling is insulated to an R-70 rating. He says that it takes only 500 watts of electricity to heat the house on an average day.

Living in a wildland/urban interface like we do, the building is also designed to be safer and more fire resistant during wildfires that could happen in the valley. The building design includes a metal roof with a special underlayment under the metal to displace the heat, concrete based siding and other non-combustible materials to help prevent ignition.

The house also has triple pane windows throughout. There is no gas or wood for heat or appliances, relying strictly on electricity from Rocky Mountain Power and solar panels to power the house for heating and cooking. Their goal is to achieve a “net zero” home from the solar panels and have just a minimum power bill from the utility.

When the attached building to the old cabin came down in about an hour and a half, the contractor was able to bring down the wall of the addition without disturbing the wall of the cabin by making a few selected cuts with the saw and was able to save the historic old building. And now, in terms of engineering, the most modern home in the valley sits right next to the oldest house in the valley and both are engineering marvels although 133 years apart.




Copyright 2013 The Times-Independent. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

report abuse...

Express yourself:

We're glad to give readers a forum to express their points of view on issues important to this community. That forum is the “Letters to the Editor.” Letters to the editor may be submitted directly to The Times-Independent through this link and will be published in the print edition of the newspaper. All letters must be the original work of the letter writer – form letters will not be accepted. All letters must include the actual first and last name of the letter writer, the writer’s address, city and state and telephone number. Anonymous letters will not be accepted.

Letters may not exceed 400 words in length, must be regarding issues of general interest to the community, and may not include personal attacks, offensive language, ethnic or racial slurs, or attacks on personal or religious beliefs. Letters should focus on a single issue. Letters that proselytize or focus on theological debates will not be published. During political campaigns, The Times-Independent will not publish letters supporting or opposing any local candidate. Thank you letters are generally not accepted for publication unless the letter has a public purpose. Thank you letters dealing with private matters that compliment or complain about a business or individual will not be published. Nor will letters listing the names of individuals and/or businesses that supported a cause or event. Thank you letters about good Samaritan acts will be considered at the discretion of the newspaper.