Cabin Update – Spring 2016

It’s been pretty exciting lately at the mountain property!  Things seem to be falling into place pretty rapidly now that the permits are ours!  I’m amazed at how quickly the county gets people out there to do progress inspections!  We’ve been very lucky with the cooperative weather most of the month of February and the first part of March.  But we did just get 8 inches of snow up there and there’s another storm coming in on Wednesday – so I’m not sure about much progress the rest of this month…  which is sad, because our concrete guy is ready and waiting!

As you can see below, the basement foundation has been dug out and there was NO BLASTING REQUIRED!  WOO HOO!  Mama and I are very excited about the tree right off the back deck and the boulder in the upper left part of this picture!  There’ll be a thermometer placed on that tree, I’m sure.  And Scott has talked about shaping a chair in the top of that boulder for me to use for a meditation spot!  I can’t wait to sit myself there with a cup of tea and just listen!


Below is our new septic drain field and retaining wall.  This is way down the mountain from the cabin (gravity assisted).  And the retaining wall is actually pretty.  We’re going to seed it with indigenous wildflowers later in the season.


And, coincidentally, we get 3G cell service if we stand on our (now buried) drain field!  Which, as anyone who lives in the mountains knows, is AWESOME!


The picture below was taken the weekend before they dug the basement and water lines.  We were mapping things out and dreaming and it was SO MUCH FUN!


Love him!


I knew the water lines had to be pretty deep, but I was completely shocked when I saw the trench they had to dig in order for the water lines to be deep enough to meet code!  I told my Mom that it looked like there had been another landslide!  And I think everyone was surprised that the bottom of the trench was hitting water, but we weren’t.  Water was way closer to the surface when we had our original perc tests done!


Another improvement to the property will be that we’re having water taken to the garage this time.  We never had water down there before.  We originally thought that the garage would serve as the workshop for building cabinets and interiors, but we’re using every inch of it for vehicle storage right now…


See how deep that scary trench is?  There’ll be a completely different trench for the electricity…  it doesn’t have to be near as deep!  AND…  the electrical lines will be going directly underneath the landslide path.  The power authority inspected the site and decided that’s the thing to do…  Alrighty then…  

We’ve been told that we have to keep the landslide path dug out and free and clear of debris.  That’s where the water will try to go in the event there’s ever another flood in our lifetime.  We’re thinking, judging from how quickly sediment has accumulated so far, that the trench will have to be dredged every couple years.  

My Dad mitigated for fire, when in 2002 a forest fire came within 100 feet of the house and then the following year he mitigated for flood because the wildlife experts told us we were in danger of flash flood from the fire damaged forest above us.  He did an incredible amount of work, trying to make it a safe place, building a water diversion canal and cementing river rock in it.  We had no idea that we were going to be facing a 1000-Year-Event and that his work wasn’t nearly sufficient enough.

Mother Nature took care of the mitigation this time and we have a very sufficient water diversion system!  We now just have to maintain it.


I’m still very excited about having a retreat in this Aspen grove eventually. See picture below.  (another meditation spot!)  This is where the front deck on the original house used to be.  The hummingbird feeder still hangs in the tree.  I sat on that deck many days, mesmerized by the hummingbirds!

I’m so happy and pleased with our team!  One of our priorities was preserving the trees and they haven’t destroyed one tree in this whole process.  Our excavator says he’s disturbed very few roots!  We’re beyond happy about that!  I mean, DAMN, the poor trees survived an epic flood and landslide.  We are not about to take them out now!


Scott and the boys started on the property line fence and it’s BEAUTIFUL!  It’s going to provide added guardrail-type safety for a steep and curvy driveway that can be tricky in the winter too!


There’s been a lot of discussion as to where the driveway is going to be located.  Most of the time we were assuming that we’d park  behind the cabin.  But now that the basement is dug and we can actually see where it’s going to be, we’ve decided to park on the north side, which means the boulder in the shot below gets to stay!  I was very happy with this decision because this is my number 1 meditation spot.  It’s behind the house, there are trees between this boulder and any neighbor.  All you can see from here is forest!  It’s PERFECTION! 


So below are the most current drawings and already the county has made us change some things…  The downstairs walk-out basement windows have to be much larger to meet code.  That’s the boys’ bedroom down there.  The French doors walk into a den/playroom area for the kiddos.  8 foot wide deck all the way across the front and the back!  (although the back deck might end up being an enclosed sunroom – we aren’t sure yet.  We’re thinking about enclosing it so that we have a completely enclosed path to the dog run.  BECAUSE WHO WANTS TO LET THEIR FUZZY CHILDREN OUT TO DO THEIR BUSINESS AT NIGHT IN A WILDERNESS FULL OF MOUNTAIN LIONS AND BEARS???)  

The dormers are the Master bedroom!  We have already realized that from the elevation of our bedroom, we’ll be looking out at the tree tops!  It’s going to be gorgeous!  We’re planning red fiber cement siding and charcoal metal roof.  (all with fire safety in mind.)  Fireplace will be on the main floor right side with the main living room taking up the whole front of the main floor.


The door on the back will lead into the kitchen and the window is located in the main floor bathroom.  We’ve since added another window in the middle section that will be at the base of the stairs that lead to the master bedroom.


Nothing terribly exciting on the south side except that there’ll be another large window upstairs in the master bedroom.  County required an Egress in all bedrooms.  The more natural light,  the better for me!


On the North side LOTS OF NATURAL LIGHT!  These windows will be looking into the main living areas:  the living room and the kitchen!  They look out onto TREES!  This is the side that we’ll be parking on as well, but the cars will be below the windows.


Right now, snow has slowed progress, but we’re hoping with warm weather coming up again that we’ll have an enclosed cabin by June!  At that point our priorities will be the bathroom and heat (and a Keurig!)  We’ll probably be spending every free minute and every spare dollar here!  AND LOVING EVERY MINUTE OF IT!

I already walk around with love and peace in my heart for this place.  It’s as if the land has healed and is welcoming us back.  I already love it here again!








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