Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Our Rustic Cabin

I have come down off the mountain and returned again to civilization, following a restful long weekend up there.

Just in time for the Halloween festivities.

And, with just enough time to wash the clothing and repack for another long weekend up there.

Although I come and go a lot, one wouldn't exactly call me a jetsetter.  It's not as if our digs up there in the woods are ultra-glamorous or anything.  In fact, they are fairly rustic.  And actually, most people would feel that our little place up there on the mountaintop is just too primitive for their liking.

However, I've been going there for weekends and vacations for the last fifty years or so, and I've grown to love the place.   I have so many fond memories of adventures that happened there when I was a child, and since then when I take my own children and grandchildren.

Many people have asked me what it's like up there where we go so often, as it's a fairly private place, waaaaaaaay back into the woods.

Since I've shown exterior photos before, this time I'll show a smattering of quirky photos from inside the cabin - things that have been there as long almost as I can remember, things that are part of the personality of the place.

Here is our custom propane hot water heater, installed in the corner of the kitchen.  It is so efficient that it even heats the entire kitchen.  We use the hot water heater when baths are needed or mountains of dishes needing to be washed.  The little glass tube on the upper right side is an indicator to show us the water level.  I wish I had a photo of the rudimentary hot water heater that preceded this one.

Since there is no electricity to our cabin, everything is powered by propane - propane lights, water heater, stove, and refrigerator.  In addition to light, these propane lights give off a lot of heat.

We have simple plumbing.  A pump at the sink, some water lines running into the bathroom, and a flushable toilet.  Usually it's flushable, unless the water in the spring is low.  Then we have to dump a bucket of water in the toilet bowl to force flush it.  We always keep two buckets filled with water near the toilet for this purpose.

Although some of the roads on the property have been upgraded recently, in general a four wheel drive vehicle is necessary to get around.  Here is a very old map of some of the roads:

If a room or rooms aren't being used, we generally keep them closed off in order to preserve the heat in the other rooms.  This is an old heavily used door stop:

Being located in such a remote place, we are all keenly attuned to safety in every way.  Wearing orange during any hunting season is a must, whether we are hunting or not.  Even our puppy has a wide hunters' orange collar.

A plaque hanging by the front door pretty much sums up all our feelings.

No electricity means no exterior illumination.  Notice the "porch light" hanging there right inside the front door.

My father made these two toy guns for my two brothers and I when we were very young children.

Even way back then, he began instilling in us the importance of handling weapons safely.  He didn't necessarily care if we were to become hunters or not;  he just wanted us to be proficient in handling firearms and to be safe.  To the best of my calculations these toy guns are over fifty years old.

Being so far into the woods, once in a while a mouse thinks it's OK to get into our cabin.  Although we keep mouse traps set just in case, we also developed a way to keep our food pantry mouse proof.  Because the wooden doors had somewhat warped over the years, we installed tighteners at the top and bottom.

Since we've put the tighteners on, no mouse has gotten into our food stocks.  We can go for years without any evidence of mice, then one stinker gets in and we have to trap the mouse, and find and seal the entrance crack.

Since we are so far from civilization, in case of a fire, we are on our own.  These three large fire extinguishers are always kept in an easy to reach spot.

I realize that this sort of rustic getaway may not appeal to everybody, but it has suited our family well.

No, we are not all hunters.  In fact, only one family member still actively traps and hunts.  The rest of us are just generally lovers of nature and the outdoors.

We are just blessed to have a place to gather and enjoy each other, and one certainly can't put a price on that.


  1. That looks terrific! My cabin is rustic-er, and I'm deciding how posh I want to go. Never considered that I could go all-propane - thanks for the ideas.

  2. I know exactly what you are talking about. When I lived in Pennsylvania, I always loved going to our family camp. Yours is really nice. Makes me homesick, especially this time of the year.

  3. Compared to my brother's cabin, it could be a deluxe suite:)

  4. Reminds me of visiting my grandparents farm. It wasn't until the early 70's they installed the plumbing and a toilet. Now that farm only exists in memories but the real property is now a housing development. Be Safe and Enjoy!

    It's about time.

  5. We grew up with a log cabin in the woods just like this. It was built by my grandfather and his best friend. No electricity - we used oil lamps and flashlights, no heat - only the mammoth rock fireplace - it was so big 3 of my cousins and I could stand in it - and no running water. We walked into the woods to the stream and brought it back to cook/clean with. Oh, and an outhouse. It truly holds some of my fondest memories of childhood. When my grandfather passed he left his 50% to my Dad and when his BF passed he left 50% to his son. Unfortunately the son took his 50% to mean "all his" and we were never able to go again. Last I heard the son passed and his 50% has been split up between his 5 kids and his grandkids.
    I can see why you love your cabin so much. If we were ever to buy a vacation home it would definitely be something like that in our mountains here.
    Thanks for sharing. :)

  6. It reminds me of the hunting cabins my uncles had up in Newfoundland. You don't need much to have a good time!