Help build a Cob/Earthen home in remote Colorado, USA


United States

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    within 4 days

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 Min stay requested: at least a week

  • Description


    I'm a middle aged woman starting a new phase in life. I have done many things since 1966, when I first landed on the planet (was born).

    As a child growing up in the deep south (southern Louisiana), playing in the woods, climbing trees, reading, swimming in my backyard bayou, spending time with my pets, playing with friends, cooking, baking, and learning musical instruments were my favorite activities.

    In early adulthood (19 - 27), I moved from Louisiana (southern USA on the Gulf of Mexico coast) to Colorado (central mountain region of USA) where I went to university to become a visual artist. A few years later, I moved to Maryland (central Atlantic coast). In this time of life, I was a waitress, cashier for an auto repair shop, secretary, artist's model, real estate agent, baker, cake decorator, painted pewter sculptures, delivered pizza, and worked in a deli.

    In mid-adulthood (27 - 39), I had my one and only child, Luke. I was 31. At that time, I had a farm where we boarded horses. I took care of the grounds, horses and family. I also played in an internationally traveling fife and drum corp, taught gymnastics, studied law and nutrition, sold nutritional products, and became the caregiver for my elderly parents.

    In my 40s, caring for my parents and son were my primary occupations. However, I also volunteered extensively with boy scouts, led summer day camps, was a a graphic designer, researched real estate titles, had a photography business, and an Ebay business, then studied computer graphics and education, and became a public school art teacher.

    In 2018, I moved back to Colorado, where I'm building a cob house in the beautiful high desert mountains of southern Colorado! I moved back to build and open a cob constructed bed and breakfast retreat center where I planned to host art and spiritual workshops. Things didn't go according to plan, so I am instead building a house for me to live in after spending the past year living in my small RV with Indie the cat, and Nugget the puppy. The land was my parents'. It is rugged, remote and sacred, and I love it here. There are wildflowers, cacti, song birds, elk, deer, coyotes, wild turkeys and stunning mountain views.

    As you can probably see, I have always been adenturous and independent. I love people from all walks of life, and accept them as they are. Because of this, I have always had many friends, and friends are very important in my life. I also have a very strong spiritual life. I have studied Taoism, Buddhism, and Christianity. My beliefs are a combination of what makes sense to me taking into consideration all that I have learned from books and churches, what I intuitively know, and what I have learned from being on this land.

  • Type of help

    Type of help

    General Maintenance
    Cooking / shopping
    Help with Eco project

  • Cultural exchange and learning opportunities

    Cultural exchange and learning opportunities

    You will be working to sculpt with the cob and finish with natural plaster.

    I am an artist, teacher, musician, and energetic healer. I offer art classes in town and would be happy to give a lesson in camp or allow you to attend in town for no charge.

    My land is 40 acres or 16 hectares. The land is surrounded by hundreds of thousands of acres/ 1000s of hectares of undeveloped mountain forests and meadows. City and suburban dwellers won't believe how much open land there is! The air is so clear, and the altitude is so high that you can see the Milky Way on clear nights, and the moonlight is bright enough to walk around without a flashlight/torch!

    Cultural exchange on my land is limited to a slightly different American experience. People from other countries are more likely to get a cultural benefit from this experience. However, Americans from large towns or cities will definitely get to experience small town USA! Trinidad moves at it's own pace, and it's a pretty slow one.

  • Help


    You will be helping build a code-compliant house made with cob, a sand/clay/straw mixture blended by hand and feet using the tarp method. We are almost finished with the walls, so bas relief sculpture, natural plaster, and earthen floors are next. I will have a mortar mixer for making the plaster and earthen floor. Also needed are carpentry skills to finish the ceilings with tongue and groove, and cabinetry in kitchens and bathrooms.

  • Languages spoken

    Languages spoken

    English, but Spanish and Portuguese speaking people will be on site for part of the time.

  • Accommodation


    You will be camping in a tent. We have portable toilet/outhouse for your use. I am working on getting hot running water for showers, but right now, it is only cold water that can be heated with a solar water bag. There are free showers at the community center in town.

    We are at a high altitude - 7200 feet almost 2,200 meters. The altitude makes the weather very wild and crazy. We have winds up to 50 mph or 80 kmh. Temperatures in the summer can be as hot as 100 F (38 C), and night time temperatures as cold as 40 F (6 C). The air is dry, usually below 25% humidity. When it rains, it's very cold! Summer storms can be very severe. You need to prepare by bringing clothing for hot, warm, cool and cold weather. Winter average highs are in the 30s F, and nighttime lows are usually in the 20s F ( °C) but get as low as 0° F (-18C). Daily sun makes for a warmer feel to the air, but nights are cold.

    Vegetarian food and gluten free foods will be available. There will be meat options a few days each week. If you have other food allergies, please let me know. I will do everything possible to provide for your medical needs.

    Phone and Internet access is not good, and the more people accessing it at the same time, the slower it goes. There is no television or wifi. Even text messages can be slow!

    My 50 pound /23 kg dog Nugget lives here. He roams the land and protects us from bears and other large animals. He is young and very sweet. He has never met a stranger! My cat Indie, and kittens Charlie and Bobbi lives with me in my RV. It is unlikely that you will see Indie, but the kittens are quite friendly.

    At this time campfires are illegal because of many wildfires that have destroyed hundreds of thousands of acres of forest and grasslands in Colorado. This MIGHT change, but don't expect it!

  • What else ...

    What else ...

    Trinidad is the closest town to my home and the worksite. It is about 45 minute drive away. There is no public transportation to town, and limited public transportation in town. There is a train (Amtrak) that runs to Denver several days a week, as well as a bus (Greyhound). The population is about 8,000.

    Trinidad has an interesting combination of cattle and horse agriculture, marijuana growth and sales, nature lovers and artist communities. The county fair is the last week of August. There is a live theater that performs weekly in July and August, and monthly with local actors during the rest of the year. There are historical and local artists museums. On Saturday mornings during the summer and fall there is a small farmer's market. Trinidad also has frequent fairs and parades during the summer. Trinidad has two community centers, one for sports and recreation with a skate park and a pool; the other more focused on health and wellness. There is a movie theater (cinema) that is open Friday, Saturday and Sunday. The restaurants in town are almost all small, mom and pop type establishments.

    Trinidad Lake State Park is a few miles closer and boasts hiking, boating, and fishing.

    Heading west from the land takes you deeper and higher into the mountains through Segundo, Stonewall and LaVeta and past Monument Lake along the Highway of Legends (Colorado Hwy 12). The view are amazing and there are many hiking trails.
    Segundo is famous for Ringo's grocery store. It's a quaint, mom and pop grocery store reminiscent of the mid 1900s before Walmart and big chain stores came to be.

  • A little more information

    A little more information

    • Internet access

    • Limited internet access

      Limited internet access

    • We have pets

    • We are smokers

  • How many Workawayers can stay?

    How many Workawayers can stay?

    More than two

  • ...

    Hours expected

    Maximum 4-5 hours a day, 5 days a week

Bobbi the Bold
Living room with radiant pipe installed on earthen floor
Kitchen looking towards the bedroom. Bamboo mat will support the light straw clay wall. We will plaster over the bamboo.
Livingroom wall. The bottles are leaves on a tree. We will sculpt the branches before plastering.
Exterior livingroom wall. Branches are real at the bottom. We will sculpt more on the top before plastering.
Bedroom wall
Bathroom wall
Just me
The western view

These are extra optional ratings when members leave feedback. The average rating left for each option is displayed.

Accuracy of profile: (5.0)

Cultural exchange: (4.5)

Communication: (5.0)

Host ref number: 274875755322

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