Thursday, January 31, 2008

Our Montana Cabin, July 2006

I've found it difficult lately to post anything about France. I've mined our trove of pictures again and again and come up with zilch. I think we covered our daily lives in France pretty well last summer, and I don't have too much to add about the summer right now. So, how 'bout I post some pictures of our cabin? Most of you never got there. Since it looms large in our life, I thought you would enjoy seeing what it looked like. I have often felt that the years building the cabin were some of the most enjoyable of our lives.
The top picture shows the kitchen. It had two stoves. Both were recycled and ancient. One was a gas stove from the 1920's which we did most of the cooking on, when we didn't barbecue. The other stove was an old wood/electric stove from early in the last century. When we got it, mice had pretty much chewed up all the wirng, but we only wanted it for the wood burning function anyway. You can also see the sink and water container. We would haul water up from Livingston to drink and to cook with. Wash water was collected as rainwater off the roof into an old 500 gallon redwood hot tub via a series of gutters, linked to a small electric pump at the kitchen sink. The massive cast iron sink was scrounged from nearby and it drains into a buried, sand filled garbage can with holes in the bottom. A "French drain".

Then, a picture of the front porch with it's array of comfy chairs. There was always a spot in the shade and always a sunny place and the view of the northern end of the Absaroka Mountains was ever changing and always magnificent. You could sit out on that porch on some really cold winter days in the sunshine and be perfectly warm. And on hot summer days you could sit there for hours under the porch roof, drink a beer and take in the view.

The next picture is of the dining room end of the great room. You can see the woodstove which was the major source of heat in the winter. That cabin could be absolutely tropical if you threw in enough wood. And the next picture is of the view out the back door. We would often watch moose or deer or elk grazing the lush grass. The trees there are thinned somewhat because that's where the logs for the cabin came from.

Moving along, you can see a view of the cabin from down near the road, showing the solar panels and the bath house. The bath house was an afterthought. Once we put in the solar system and had electricity we had a way to pump water and therefore a way to bathe. It contained a very luxurious shower which used captured rainwater and a composting toilet. Off in the woods was an outhouse, the second building we built on the property. The last pictures are of the living room and the little sitting area off the kitchen. Except for the leather couch and the front porch rocking chairs, most other furniture and belongings were garage sale or second-hand store finds (does that surprise anyone?).

You know we miss the place. But we wanted to move on to other adventures. We sold the cabin to some great folks who are a perfect fit for the place. She sent us a letter around Christmas. I had asked her to tell us some of their adventures. Linda said they hadn't had any thing that qualified as "adventures" yet. "Mostly what we do is just go up there and hang out, admiring the work you did and feeling grateful to you for making this fabulous place. Walking up to the top of the ridge to look at all the mountains you can see from there. Watching the sun come up over the Absarokas. Wandering around checking out all the tracks and scat and trying to reconstruct the little wildlfe dramas that go on when we aren't there." Well, we miss it but it's in good hands.

1 comment:

Judy said...

Nancy; Your photos of your mountain cabin certainly brings back some pleasant memories of those times that Ron & I visited you guys. Remember that Easter when we brought our friends from Oxford, Tom & Andree, and Omaha steaks for everyone?
You didn't show any pictures of you peeling all those logs or that hoist that you guys worked up or the "wonderful" condition of the road up to the cabin! You guys have more imagine than most people!