In the previous post you may have gotten the idea that the trip was not a succss. We did get our supplies safely there and inventoried as I stated. We also located a site for two more cabins. The cabin that we were able to start will be for Von and I and then the third cabin will be for visitors (also read refugees.)
Even though it was our desire to dry-in (all four sides and a roof) the cabin during this trip, upon reflection, I am proud of what we did accomplish. First, site selection and preparation.
Site selection was done last summer when Von and I could look at the area together. After looking for such attributes as; access, drainage (not a big problem on the side of a mountain), areas for snow to accumulate and line of sight with the “Main House” and visibility.
(A) Access is important reasons such as being able to get your materials to the construction site but also for moving your belongings into the cabin when you are finished. In our situation we want enough access to accomplish these two tasks but want it remote enough to discourage access by others, i.e. trespassers, brigands, outlaws.
(B) Drainage is not a significant problem because we are on the side of a mountain but it can be a problem if the water runoff loosens large rocks and brings them down onto your doorstep. So in our case “rocks roll where the water flows.” Note in the photograph that the slope is actually TOWARD the mountain. This will give us some protection from rocks. Also, the blue tank in the background just below the level, is one of a pair of 3,000 gallon water tanks to keep us supplied with fresh drinking water. And, no, they will not always be visible and they are located at the “Main House”
(C) We have numerous trees on the property and this helps keep the depth of the snow more or less even and we are not subject to large snowdrifts. We do have plans to begin thinning the underbrush this summer and fall. When we begin thinning and clearing we will have to keep an eye open to potential problems we could create by allowing too large an area of open land near any cabin or trail. The walls of cabins and the banks created by the hillside along the trails will make natural areas for snow to accumulate.
(D) Line of sight is important to us because we do not want to have a situation where any one cabin can be cut off from supporting fire from another cabin. In the scenario where our site is overrun by brigands each cabin will be able to support all the others.
(E) Each site is selected so that it will have a nice view, this is one type ofvisibility. What I am refering to is not what we can see from our porch but rather can our porch be seen from another position? When we discuss visibility what we are actually talking about is a certain degree of invisibility. The next photo gives you an idea of the type of cover that the cabin will have once it is finished. If you will look closely at the 2″x6″s in the photo you will see that the straps that were used to hold frontend loader assemblies on the pallet are still in place. All the wood for this cabin and even the roof are second use materials. Total cost, $0.00.
His is a photo of my worksite. As you can see it is close to my cabin site, I
am standing at the rear of the truck and the truck is parked in front of the Main House. Later, after the underbrush is cleared we will have a direct line of sight between cabins with less than 200 feet from each other.
I am sure some of you are wondering what type and quantity of tools are needed for this type of construction. In the next photo you will see all the tools we used with the exception of the generator and the compound mitre “chop” saw that is visible above.We used a chainsaw to clear the site, a shovel to level the foundation blocks, posthole digger to install the treated wooden piers 2′ into the ground (more on this later) and in the white tool bag I had the usual assortment of handtools, i.e. levels, square, hammers, pliers, wrenches, builder’s cord. A note on the tools, in building the Main house I used only hand tools and no power tools of any type. So having a generator is nice, as is an assortment of power tools but you can build a nice home in a short period of time using just handtools.
lThere is nothing like a nice hot bath to make you feel better and more relaxed. Here is the Codger’s hot tub. I invented this little beauty about 20 years ago and have thought about taking out a patent on it. We use thirty gallon feed tubs to gather rainwater or melted snow as it drips from the roof. In the winter these tubs freeze over at night. Some we use for bath water as you can see in the photo, some are used for our makeshift refrigerator and the others can be used for drinking water after being put through the Berkey water filter. And, Yes, there is a tub indoors for the more timid.
I know my way of life is not for everyone and I know that I will not convince anyone to leave the comforts of home and join me but I bet a worldwide economic collapse would. Thank all of you for your prayers, concerns and comments. I know we may never meet in this world but I pray we will in the next. God bless you all in 2012 and beyond.