Cabin Rising

The mast and mainstay . . . .

The mast and mainstay . . . .

This center pole is a Big Horn spruce and rises from the roof down to the main floor of the new cabin.  Dudley (my brother, who has been tagged with that name since Rocky and Bullwinkle days when we were kids) is pouring his soul and spare cash into building this wonderful retreat on the divide of the Big Horns.

The loft, where short people sleep . . . .

The loft, where short people sleep . . . .

When I say “short people,” it includes people of normal height, which does not include Dudley, who is 6 ft. 5 inches tall.

Ranger ramp? . . . .

Ranger ramp? . . . .

Doubt the Ranger will be able to drive up this ramp to unload groceries, but it still makes an easy walk from the parking lot into the cabin.  A stairway is planned going down the other side of the deck.

Structural supports should make for a good dance floor! . . . .

Structural supports should make for a good dance floor! . . . .

I doubt there will be a “load factor” for structure.  Even though we have all put on a few pounds, we shouldn’t rock the boat.

Imagine two bedrooms . . . .

Imagine two bedrooms . . . .

These are sizable rooms, and when you add in the loft, should afford sleeping for at least a couple dozen (just kidding, Dudley)!

Curbside critics . . . .

Curbside critics . . . .

Big John Moses, in the grey hoodie, is the master builder and all agree it is a fine job.

The great basin . . . .

The great basin . . . .

A bit hazy on the day this was shot, but the Big Horn basin rolls out to the west and makes for great viewing from the deck.

Uh oh, water in the hole . . . .

Uh oh, water in the hole . . . .

This culvert is deep and was planned to be where the outhouse would sit.  Trouble is, this spring when it was time to move, it was full of water.  What to do?  Guess Dudley will have the only flush toilet on the SEBH (South End of Big Horns).

The little house in the pines . . . .

The little house in the pines . . . .

Neighbor Tom’s ingenious outhouse is finally on solid ground and over the culvert that was pumped and filled with a few sacks of concrete to stem the tide of water flowing into it.  Oh well, we don’t really need a flush toilet!

A gathering is planned before snow flies and by then the roof and windows will be installed and the cabin will be 95% complete.  Dudley has three sisters who will have all kinds of ideas for the fun part – decorating!

 

Christmas at the Cabin

a perfect storm . . . .

a perfect storm . . . .

Christmas morning with a new dusting of snow was just one more of a string of events that led us to believe a winter visit to the cabin could be great fun and comfortable too!  A circa 1930’s fishing shack, the “cabin” as we refer to it has been modernized and improved over the years.  But never in recent history (50-odd years) has it housed winter holiday visitors.  We decided to be adventurous, brave the cold, and take a chance.

Sam's pond covered with ice and snow . . . .

Sam’s pond covered with ice and snow . . . .

I had hoped to skate on the pond across the road, but snowfall on the ice was daunting.  We strapped on our cross-country skis and enjoyed an invigorating hike through the neighborhood.  Gnome Lane looked enchanting, with all the little elves and forest people peeping out from the snow.

gnomes under the snow . . . .

gnomes under the snow . . . .

In lieu of a Christmas tree, decorations were Ponderosa Pine boughs, dried flowers, pine cones and a few old glass balls.  A fire in the pot belly stove kept us cozy, albeit with many trips to the wood box!  And new flannel sheets, duvet and down comforter were soft and warm.

dressed in flannel finery . . . .

dressed in flannel finery . . . .

We attended candle light services at a nearby church, hung our stockings and settled in for a long winter’s night.  Let it snow, let it snow!
013A delicious, piping hot bouillabaisse, crusty bread, cheese and wine, followed by dessert of dried fruit and cognac, and all is right with the world.  We lit the oil lamps, found one poor little candle in the cupboard and had a feast.

a table laden with good things for all to enjoy--even the mice . . . .

a table laden with good things for all to enjoy–even the mice . . . .

A serious collection of music more than compensated for lack of television.  The I-Phone and Bose speaker added immeasurably to the occasion.  We were rewarded with soft snowfall on Christmas Eve, followed by a bright morning with snow piled everywhere, and beautiful moonlit skies thereafter.

hmmm, the fragrance of pine . . . .

hmmm, the fragrance of pine . . . .

The clock on the mantle chimes once on the half hour, and once for each hour of the day on the hour.  The soft ticking of the ancient wind-up clock is somehow reassuring and fills the silence of the hours.

it wouldn't be Christmas without Santa . . . .

it wouldn’t be Christmas without Santa . . . .

This wooden Santa has was carried from Kansas to bring some holiday joy to the cabin.  He was found packed away among family treasures, along with Rudolph, the red-nosed reindeer.

won't you guide the sleigh tonight? . . . .

won’t you guide the sleigh tonight? . . . .

Christmas morning we opened our gifts and had a slice of coffee cake before heading out to greet the day.  We put on our skis and found the new snow that had fallen gave us lots more options for travel. The last leg of our journey took us past the museum and some relics nearby.

all we need is a horse . . . .

all we need is a horse . . . .

Imagine what winter was like when this was the only means of transport!  Lots of quilts, heated stones to warm your feet and perseverance.  And a good old Dobbin to do the heavy lifting and pull you down the road.

Another old time treat that has special effects in winter is the frosty lid of an outhouse seat.  Since we had the water shut off and pipes drained, we hauled our water, heated it for dishes and bathing, and headed “outback” to the little house rather than use the indoor facilities.  What a shock!  I can remember childhood days on the ranch before we had indoor plumbing – how did we do that?