This project of building a log home in the mountains, mostly by myself with simple tools, started out in December of 1990 after my wife, Ellen, and I both read the book "The Education of Little Tree". The book contained the story of the childhood of an Indian boy. In it were vivid, beautiful images of a log cabin in the mountains. After reading this, Ellen said that she would like a log cabin in the mountains, which had been my dream for a long time, so I told her to start looking for property and we would build one.
Ellen and I both love to hike in the mountains and we have always been impressed by their majestic beauty. Some of our hikes are featured on this web site.)
We found the ideal site in Washington's Cascade mountains and bought the property in March of 1991. Then in May of that year, Ellen and I both took Skip Ellsworth's fascinating two-day class on how to build log houses. This gave me the a lot of valuable techniques and methods as well as the confidence that I could do the job myself.
This project is the fulfillment of many of my lifelong dreams. When I was a kid, I built many primitive 'houses' and cave dwellings in the backyard, but I never had any good, not to mention new, materials to work with. I even got my nails by scrounging rusty ones from the streets. When I was in High School, I worked as a carpenter and loved to build.
I spent 30 years in a computer related career where I couldn't build anything that anyone could see. The only building that I could do was various remodeling jobs around the house. I also loved the mountains, but my career and raising a large family prevented me from spending much time in them.
Now, I feel like the luckiest guy in the world. Everything has fallen into place for me to enjoy and succeed at this project. I am retired, so I have the time to spend on it. Ellen is still working and doesn't mind me spending that amount of time on it. I have the skills, the interest, the health, the strength, the resources, and the opportunity to do all of the various jobs required.
There is a large component of invention involved and applying the basic principles of geometry and physics all of which I enjoy. For example, as a kid I was fascinated by the mechanics of levers, pulleys and such, but I never had the opportunity or the equipment to do anything very big or complicated with them. Now with this project I do -- big time.
It goes on and on, from having the gray jays and chipmunks eat out of my hand, to shoveling through deep snow to get down to whatever I am working on, I enjoy every minute of it. I even mentioned to a colleague of mine before I retired that not only do I enjoy digging with a spade, but I savor every shovelful of dirt.
I work up at the property nearly every week the year around. I have skipped a few for pressing reasons like family needs, forest fires that close the roads, or avalanches in the winter that close the passes, but I am sure that I average 50 trips per year. I have been keeping a journal of all of these activities and this web site contains the entire journal.
If you have any questions, concerns, advice, or comments, I would love to hear them so leave me an email. Otherwise just keep checking in from time to time to see how I am doing.
©2002-2003 Paul R. Martin, All rights reserved.