The Building of Camp
There were a couple of comments on my camp post that made me think it might be fun to blog about how our camp came to be. Mama P. asked if we owned a cabin or if camp was on our property, and Bonita said our camp reminded her of a yurt. Both of these points are relevant.
First, the property. With the passing of my husband's parents he and his children inherited the family homestead, property that has been in his family for 175 years. It consists of a farmhouse and a small barn on 200 acres of land on Eagleshead Mountain, which overlooks the Black River Valley and is, to my eyes, one of the most beautiful places on earth. Down the lane from the farmhouse his father had built a log cabin that had, over the years, begun to rot into the ground.
My husband and I had spent many summers pitching a tent and camping in the yard in front of the old cabin when we decided to raze it and build a place of our own for weekends and summers. Our first thought was a yurt, but they are expensive and we wanted something more personal. After some deliberation, we decided to build a camp of our own design and to build it from the trees available to us on our mountainside. Willie cut and dragged the trees from the forest, removed their limbs, then rolled them to me and I stripped the bark with a Peavey. Beams and boards were cut and stacked to dry.
Because we liked the appearance of the yurts, Willie designed the building with eight sides to give it that rounded look. The first summer we managed to complete the framework and the roof. The following winter Willie designed and built a door and the cupola, which he topped off with copper. The next summer the sides went up, the windows went in, the cupola was placed on top and we finished up with the door. That fall we installed an antique wood stove that had been in the farmhouse, put in some old rugs, bought a futon and finally got to spend our first weekend under our roof. We had the first snowstorm of the season that night and our friends all drove through the heavy snow to join us in a camp warming.
It has been a few years since that first incredible weekend and we have added kitchen cabinets, sink and stovetop and a lovely table for dining. The cabinets and table were both built by my husband from the old butternut tree in the front yard and, like our camp, are a work of art. Camp is cozy and warm in the winter, comfortably cool in summer and shows off my husband's considerable talents. It is my favorite place to be.