Wednesday, August 28, 2013


I have a good friend in Boulder who has a similar respect for small space living and she has been a great inspiration for a lot of the creative aspects of this cabin project. My primary influence has been my long time neighbor and good friend Mike. He was the first to pioneer the particular solar panel we are using, and he has helped greatly with most of the major construction ideas.(putting the cabin on barrels to keep it away from the bears, putting in a new floor to replace the sagging one, and re-roofing the cabin with new OSB and roll on shingles) What I have learned through the process is that small details can greatly improve living in a small cabin and sunlight matters greatly. As you can see, I have replaced all the windows with ones that Mike donated from his home remodel. This involved cutting out studs and reconstructing all four walls to various extents. This last trip I installed a new window courtesy of my friends at doors and windows in the eastern gable end. With the help of friends, we hauled in all the tongue and groove for the walls and ceiling and I installed it all with a finish nailer and compressor donated by a friend. My goal was to create a small space that would be comfortable, modern, and bright. Just because the outside is a little rough, doesn't mean the interior can't be bright and energetic. The wood stove was custom built in soldotna and heats up the well insulated cabin very quickly. The electrical system consists of a solar panel purchased from cabelas($100) which comes with an in line regulator that will prevent the panel from over-charging the marine battery which stores my energy. The battery was donated by a friend who happened to come across it at the dump and snagged it, Chad also helped install my new roofing. The solar panel is supported on a 1.5" pipe about 13 feet high and articulates to different angles to best capture the sunlight as the seasons change. My interior lighting was purchased at and ran 15 dollars a light. They are small LED can lights that are countersunk into my ceiling tongue and groove. My exterior lights are all LED flood lights purchased on Ebay. I have a cigarette lighter to plug in cell phones and two USB ports for other electronics. All the electronics run through a switch panel and then through a fuse panel. My entire solar system cost roughly $200. The latest addition to the cabin was the front deck. 10 X 6 deck is great for keeping the cabin clean and is a great way to get out of the cabin and bbq or hang out. The deck frame is 2x6's and is decked with treated 2X4's. The deck is supported by 2 glue lam beams sitting on concrete blocks. When I look back at the progress so far i'm amazed at how much crap we have packed from the airstrip, over the beaver dam to the cabin. It's not an easy trip with a bunch of lumber on your shoulder.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Landing in the rocks

Elegantly landing the airplane in medium to large size rocks can be a hard thing to do. Cache Carr and I set out to do some practice last spring on a perfect day. Touchdown feels horrific, but you have to trust that the 31inch bushwheels are doing their job and absorbing a lot of the impact.

Monday, August 26, 2013


Last spring Dusty Vanmeter and I flew east to Montague to do some beach combing. There were a lot of good finds including a bunch of junk sports teams knick knacks that fell off a cargo ship down in southeast. Fly swatters everywhere.....

Saturday, August 24, 2013


I access the cabin via snowmachine from Mikes cabin during the winter, or I can also land on the strip nearby. As you can see the place gets a lot of snow and the roof has to be shoveled often.
The last shot is taken from mikes lake looking back toward the west.

Friday, August 23, 2013


When I found the cabin it wasn't insulated so once we began the restoration process, it included insulating the walls and ceiling. This sounds straight forward, but of course there is a story. Two falls ago I insulated the cabin and put up vapor barrier only to have a bear break through the door that spring and rip all of it down and out of the cabin.
So of course i had to haul in more insulation and start all over. I put in a new, much stronger door also...... After the new roofing was installed we put up new shingle material also and a metal roof is in the future.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Clean up

The next step was to clean up the interior more thoroughly and cut down a few remaining trees that had grown up around the structure. After clearing around the cabin a friend hauled in some new roofing material for me in his larger plane and we put up the new roof.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

"New" Cabin progress

I have made some good progress on my cabin across the inlet this spring and summer. This will be the start of a series of posts on the progress from the original discovery of the cabin, to near completion this fall. Hope you enjoy! I first stumbled upon this place 2 years ago and it needed a lot of attention as you will see. We began by removing
the logs from the roof and cleaning out the interior. We also stripped off all the old roofing and let the wood dry out a bit.