Monday, August 2, 2010

Roughing It. But, Not Really.

I apologize if my posting becomes a bit sporadic over the next few weeks.  Between day trips, weekend trips, overnight camping trips and a week long trip, we're home and then we're not.  And then we're home.  And then we're not.  When we're home we're washing eggs, picking raspberries, picking tomatoes, determining what's ready to can when, spreading what's not yet ready over every available counter/table to ripen, watering the garden, walking a 13 month old around by our fingers because (even thought we're sure she can walk on her own) she prefers the company, and doing the other hundred or so things that seem to need to be done this time of year. 

Update:  For those of you who requested your free book, I have not forgotten!  I am so excited to begin reading it with you (if you've been able to keep your curious eyes out of it:-)).  I requested one when I first posted about it and haven't gotten mine yet.  When I do, I'll ask you to vote in a poll {again} and when it looks like most of us have gotten it, we'll begin.  I'm all ready and chomping at the bit to start.  You know me.  I have a plan.


This past long weekend we found ourselves in the mountains staying in a three-room cabin with a total of 18 family members on 400 acres in the middle of nowhere.  Yes, it was by choice. 

Many years ago, my grandfather and several other men bought some land together to hunt on.  First they tented there.  Then, they put down a concrete slab to set their tents on (comfy).  Then, they built a one room cabin.  It's in that cabin (with bunk beds lining the one wall of the only room) where my father remembers falling asleep as a boy while listening to the grown-ups stay up, talk and play cards.


Eventually, an upstairs room and a living room were added, but the cabin remains small.  It still has no electricity- the refrigerator, lights and stove/oven are run on gas. It still has no running water- although a nearby spring and gravity bring water to the kitchen and bathroom faucets.  If you want warm water, well, you have to heat that up for yourself on the stove.

When I was young, there was only an outhouse, a stone's throw from the cabin.  Now, it's like staying at the Hilton because there is an inside bathroom complete with a real toilet (that you have to flush with a bucket of creek water) and a shower (that you can use if you heat your own water on the stove, fill the five gallon bucket in the shower and then, using a pulley system, raise the bucket above your head, then open the fancy little shower head contraption under the bucket to get the flow going).  If you have long hair, you better move fast or else your bucket will empty before you've rinsed and you have to call someone to bring you more water. 

The upstairs is one large room with 6 beds in it (two of which are doubles) and there are a couple mattresses for the floor in the living room downstairs.  Privacy?  Not to worry.  Upstairs, there are a series of curtains that hang down the middle of the room.  Between the curtains and yelling, "I'm changing!", it's like having your own room.  If you're there in the winter, you use the two wood stoves for heat.  If you're there in the summer, you use the creek to cool off in since fans and air conditioners are things of civilization.  And who needs civilization anyway?


Our days at the cabin are always spent playing in the creek, taking hikes to the beaver dam or the water fall or an old ghost town (that used to be a logging town), picking wild blueberries, watching for wildlife (deer and bear), eating way too much good food and playing games late into the night while being super quiet so as not to wake the kids and babies.  We make smores, sit around the fire, look up at the stars and listen to the creek.  We talk, hold babies, watch children, make plans, and laugh.

I want to go back.

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  1. Oh, that sounds AMAZING!! Can I come too?! :D

  2. Sounds lovely, and the history behind it all is so special.

  3. a real cabin! Most people have all the modern amenties when they talk about a cabin. Yours sounds like an actual break. What a lovely heritage.

  4. I requested my free book when you posted.
    It was in my mailbox when we got back into town this weekend.
    Excited to get started with it!

  5. This looks like an amazing place! How lucky that you have this in your family! What a nice place to have a vacation.

  6. Your cabin and property look heavenly! We have a little place in the Mt. Hood National Forest, and my heart sings when I am there.

    I must say I am getting quite inspired reading over your site! I think I may even make your large batch of pie crusts... printed the recipe this morning.

    Quick question: What breed of chicken have you used for your meat birds? I apologize if this is redundant and I missed the answer somewhere:)

  7. If I had to spend a weekend alone with just 2 of my relatives I'd need a muscle relaxer... but 18 of them? Holy Cow... I might need the whole bottle!

  8. Beautiful pictures--now I can see why you enjoy it so much :)

  9. Heather, The meat birds we liked best were the ones we got last year. They were called red roasters and came from a hatchery near my parent's house. They are very attractive birds and are bred to enjoy foraging and therefore take a little longer to bulk up for harvest. If you're in no hurry, these are the traits we'd recommend looking for in a meat bird. Here in a link to a post I wrote last year about them (they are the brown ones)...

    Happy pie crust making!

  10. I can't recall how I found your blog but I have enjoyed browsing through it :-)

    What a beautiful story behind a lovely cabin! We have lived like that before and you do hurry when you have long hair :-) Although my hair never seemed quite clean during those 4 yrs :-/

    Lovely to find you~ Cinnamon

  11. That sounds absolutely glorious! I'm glad you get to go and relax with your family.


Just a friendly reminder, if you know me personally please try to refrain from using my name. There are those who may try to locate me, break into my pantry and steal my pickled beets. Thanks:-).

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