Monday, June 21, 2010

Building our World

I write a lot about our cabin.  Today it is real and a very important part of our world.  Back in 1983 it was just an audacious dream.
We had no experience, we were not skilled tradesmen.  We had a friend who was quite handy but had never taken on a project quite like this.  Our friend, Jim Greer, spurred us on, assured us we could do it and along with Hubby took six weeks of vacation to help.
The first thing he did was cut little pieces of wood into scale 2x6s and told me to take the plans and make a model.  It proved to be invaluable.

The building codes required us to build to a 220# snow load.  That meant big heavy headers over the door and windows on the load bearing walls.  It took my dad, son Mark, me, Hubby and Jim to lift this wall.  To lift the front wall we had to get some neighbors since it was long and had 2 six foot headers.  Beams and rafters were also large and heavy, Jim rigged a block and tackle to help lift them.  We got it framed and enclosed that summer and have done most of the wiring, plumbing, dry wall and finish work in the years since.  Most of it we have done ourselves with help from family and friends.
Projects like this are never truly finished.  For one thing, maintenance in this harsh environment is an ongoing problem.  There is no one here in the winter to shovel off the snow.  Gaskets become hard and brittle causing plumbing leaks.  Rodents find their way in and chew wires and get into things I'd prefer they didn't. 
We are 5 miles from the nearest power line or cell phone tower with lots of obstacles between us and the tower.  We've found ways around these problems.  Solar cells give us power, an antennae hooks into the cell phone to give us cell service and we have Direct TV to keep us informed (The Weather Channel and a  few news programs)
We went up over the weekend.  There is finally water running in the pipes and as expected there were some leaks to be repaired.  The deck railing is now back up and a neighbor came up with an idea that should make it easier to put up and take down each year.
It's a lot of work but it's worth it.
This meadow at a nearby lake has traded the snow for buttercups.  Soon it will be filled with wild iris.  What more could I ask for a summer get-a-way? 
The north facing slopes are still covered with snow. 
We gave a ride into town to a through hiker on the Pacific Crest Trail.  He said that there is still so much snow in the back country that many hikers have halted their journey.  This will be a problem for them later as their final destination is the Canadian border and they have a long walk yet ahead of them before the snow flies in the fall.

There are more worlds to see at That's my World!  Hosted for us by
Klaus, Sandy, Wren, Fishing Guy and Sylvia.

16 comments:

Sylvia K said...

A really huge project and I'm sure the upkeep is sometimes a pain in the whatever, but what a marvelous place to escape to and such beautiful country! Love your photos as always, Martha! Hope you have a beautiful summer! And have a great week! Enjoy!

Sylvia

magiceye said...

would love to spend some time there!!!
good on you and your family for doing it!!

Luna Miranda said...

it sounds like a really big job maintaining this cabin but i'm sure it's all worth it. have a great week!

J Bar said...

That's an interesting post.
Sydney - City and Suburbs

Carolyn Ford said...

All the work and upkeep is worth it...no doubt! What an awesome place to have a home...

eileeninmd said...

A wonderful summer place. The view and scenery is gorgeous! Great photos!

Barb said...

Love this view of your cabin, Martha, and the post about how you accomplished your dream. Our sons also built our house here in Breck, and I was involved with raising the walls and pouring the footers. I agree - hard work but totally worth it! Enjoy your summer!

ρομπερτ said...

The greates respect upon this achievment !

Lily Hydrangea said...

I would love a place like this - I know you will enjoy it this Summer despite the maintenance!
It's amazing you have fulfilled such a wonderful dream.

EG Wow said...

I'm impressed! Your cabin is in a gorgeous spot. I'm wondering when the first snow falls in autumn. It must be at a high altitude if the water is just now running. How far is it from your home?

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

Martha -- this is just a wonderful post. I'm so glad to see the outside pictures of your cabin and how great that you got pictures of it going up, with all your friends and family helping. It's just a beautiful place, perfectly located. And I'm sure all the problems are worth it when you look at your views!

Do you spend all summer there? I loved the little story about the trail hiker!

Carol said...

A great post, Martha, and a beautiful spot to build. What a huge project!

jabblog said...

That is a HUGE undertaking - I take my hat off to you! What a joy it must be in the summer, though, to be able to really 'get away from it all'.

Diane AZ said...

Awesome project! I love the picture of you guys raising the wall. :)

Ebie said...

Gosh, I never realized all the hard work and input from friends and family to build this cabin. And I never realized, too the upkeep and maintenance. It is a great place and view to spend the summer! All peace and tranquility.

Owlfarmer said...

The place is gorgeous, Martha. I can almost breathe the clear, crisp air and smell the trees. I can't even imagine being fortunate enough to enjoy a walk in those surroundings. Thanks for posting the photos and sharing them with the mountainless.