Alright, to continue my story. I know you were on pins and needles and just couldn’t leave your computer for fear you might miss the ending, well fear not!! Now, where was I…oh yeah…we had just placed the foundation of our cabin and had the appropriate logs in place. Much celebrating took place then, back slapping, hand shaking, Lord you’d have thought we reconstructed the Biltmore Estate the way we were carrying on! When we all regained our senses our cabin was still only four logs on the ground. Looking around at one another, the thought must have occurred to us all at once, “we’re gonna need more logs.”
Trucks, tractors, four-wheelers, and a-foot, we searched, felled, and drug logs from afar. Big ones, small ones, short ones and tall ones (better be careful I’m falling into rhyme)-we piled our stock and began selecting the most worthy logs for our project. After measuring for length, we hoisted the logs into place and notched them to fit the matching logs. Notching the logs was actually the most difficult because they had to fit perfectly to get a good seal between the logs.
Needless to say we didn’t finish our cabin that day. Rather, a series of days and a couple hundred hours found our cabin taking shape. We moved from using whatever logs were available, even rotten ones, to making sure the logs were rot free and had minimal gaps. After all the effort we want it to last a long time.
I have to say during the whole process I couldn’t help but think of those pioneers whose cabins were built for living. I mean they had to build their homes quickly to beat the winter, make sure their belongings were situated and weatherproof it to some extent. The drive and perseverance those folks had to have.
When it came to cutting the door out we had some interesting discussions! I thought it should be fair sized because we all hate squeezing through tiny doors. But Grant, he thought it should be fairly small, his reason being so when the ole grizzly bear chased you into your cabin you had a small enough door he couldn’t quite get in… haha he should be so lucky! We had a similar discussion when we cut out the window, only this time it had to big for when that old grizzly slithered through that small door you so carefully cut out you had enough room to jump through the window, slam the shutters, and run around your cabin and lock that old grizzly inside!
WINNER! Take that you ole’ grizzly! Then…while you’re congratulating yourself, you hear the bear settle in for a long winters nap and then the snow begins to fall….hmmmm….now what?
Probably the most unique feature of the cabin is the half round roof. The original plan was to put a straight roof on it. But, we were able to shape five cottonwood branches, that already had a slight bend in them, to fit almost perfectly, and I do mean perfectly in place!
Rafters installed and all the logs tied down it was time to move our cabin to its new home about a mile up the river. Using the four-wheel drive John Deere tractor, we hitched up our cabin and prepared for take-off. The John Deere pulled tight the chains and gave a mighty groan and the cabin moved an inch then stopped! It soon became apparent that our cabin was much heavier than we expected. In order to move it we resorted to pulling it with the John Deere while pushing it from behind with the backhoe, what sight it was.
An hour later, after a lengthy pull across the prairie, the cabin came to its resting place along the Cheyenne. It was quite a process but the end result was well worth it. The best part was seeing it put to use by all the artists imagination during the 2013 Artist Ride. So now you know…the rest of the story!