Wednesday, November 29, 2006

The "Real" Cabin

I've gotten a few questions about the purpose for my little log cabin. Although it would make a nice getaway for a night or two, it is meant to be a storage building to take some of the extra stuff out of the "real" cabin which is right next to it.

We bought this land a few years ago and selected a high vista/plateau for a mountain cabin. Except for what I've been able to rig (like a gravity sink), there is no running water or plumbing. Electric, when we want it, is by generator only.

I designed the structure, drew basic plans, then hired a local builder to construct the outer shell. We then completed the inside ourselves. Here is a picture just after we finished:

And just to give you an idea, here is a picture of the one of the rooms:

We've really enjoyed our time there and the chance to explore the 60-acre surrounding forest.

And speaking of the forest, Jade Blackwater is hosting a Festival of the Trees and is inviting tree-inspired posts. The north side of the property is a ravine of old hemlock forest. I'm sure it was too steep to comfortably log, so a good number of old growth trees remain. Here is an example of one:

Hemlock trees are notoriously slow growing, and in an environment like this, the growth is even slower. A tree such as this one is easily 400+ years old.

I like to simply lay my hand against these old men of the mountain and think about all they've seen, about how many generations back to Native Americans may have stood and been struck by the very same wonder.


Anonymous said...

Jason, as always, super pictures. And a bonus cutie.

Suzan Abrams, email: said...

Remembering tree houses again...
You're nature's true child, aren't you, Jason.
The cabin's bedroom looks cosy & divine.
Bet you love the primitive aspect of the entire episode
warmest regards

Anonymous said...

You're living the dream, man. Well at least my dream. I would love to have a nice cabin, such as you have, out in the woods. It would be great to be able to get away from it all now and then. Also, I enjoyed your photos as usual.

Anonymous said...

Reminds me of the tree herders (?) in Lord of the Rings.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the plug Jason, and for the excellent post! It looks like such a beautiful, BEAUTIFUL place!!! You have my unabashed green-eyed envy.

To anyone who's still interested in sharing for the festival: I am still in the process of compiling the festival which will be posted tomorrow. I'm willing to accept late entries, but get them to me soon - the festival posts at 12:00am midnight tonight for it's December 1st release date! Also, feel free to send me links from other blogs as they relate to trees.

Anyone who misses the cutoff will be able to join in the next festival, which runs once a month.

Thanks again Jason,

Wilf said...

Who is the charming little elf living in that tree? What a super place, Jason - perfect for children, big and little.

anna said...

as Addy said - a perfect place.
will check out Jade's place for
next month.

anne frasier said...

what a nice little cabin! and what balance that kind of setting must bring to your life.

Anonymous said...

I think heaven's got trees, and log cabins. And is a quiet place for young and old alike. I like the cheek of you, taming the land like that. Bravo

Anonymous said...

Very cool your very own perfect get away place a cabin in the woods. The Hemlock tree is beautiful!

Cheryl Wray said...

Trees have always been very inspiring to me as well. So cool to think of everything that has happened under their branches over the years and years they've stood there.
Love your log cabin. What a wonderful retreat!

Anonymous said...

One of my first childhood memories is of a tree. A great, old Oak that was on the road to my Nan's. I used to call it my 'favourite tree' and it became bit of a ritual for me to say hello to it on each journey. A few years back I was out that way again, and thought I'd go and see "my favourite tree" for old time's sake. Where it once stood was now a double lane bypass. In ripping down that tree, they had ripped down part of my childhood too :( Hmmm...I feel a poem coming on now! :D

Dave said...

I'm very interested in your comments about an old-growth remnant on your land, since I also live in PA and have pored over the state-wide listings of old-growth remnants, visiting many of the ones on public land. Do you know if your site has been included in your county Natural Heritage Inventory, or otherwise noted by ecologists? There are so few such sites, that each can be a valuable source of information for historical ecologists, such as Marc Abrams at Penn State, and other scientists.

Feel free to email me: bontasaurus [at] yahoo [dot] com

Anonymous said...

Steve, much appreciated. :)

Susan, yes, the primitive experience and the different, more basic knowledge necessary to co-exist with it are the draws for me.

Strugglingwriter, the getaways up there are an important part of the balance. I work in downtown Philadelphia and live in the suburbs. These experiences maintain my perspective.

Terri, ents/tree herders! Yes, that's perfect! I could definitely see one of these big guys going for a stroll.

JLB, we were very lucky to find it. Thanks for the tree festival! I'm already looking forward to the next one.

Addy, the little elf is my younger daughter. :D

Anna, looking forward to seeing you in the next tree festival.

Anne, that's exactly right. It's a important source of balance. I'm not sure I would survive if I spent 100% of my time in the city.

Rethabile, if heaven is like that, I certainly wouldn't mind spending a bit of time there. ;)

Beady, another wonderful aspect is no people. It's important to have regular alone time, I think.

Cheryl, thank so much for your visit!! I love the way trees record time. When they finally fall, they reveal the map of their lives.

dba lehane, In ripping down that tree, they had ripped down part of my childhood too. That must have been a potent loss. There is a comfort in knowing trees have a longer view than us. When they are gone, the anchor to all lives touched by them is also lost.

Dave, I should talk to you about what constitutes an old growth remnant. I'm only an amateur forest enthusiast. This particular area is about 8 acres or so in size and does not show evidence of logging. There are only about 10 - 15 of this size tree located there, although I don't know how old the smaller surrounding trees are. They may also be old, just under restraint by the tough growing conditions.

Jaye Wells said...

Do you rent that thing out? It has writing retreat written all over it.

Jeff said...

Very nice!

Anonymous said...

What a gorgeous log cabin!