Cabin-Less Camp

The word “camp” means different things to different people. Loners or groups? Tent or cabin? As with almost everything, the meaning you attach depends on one’s personal experience. And the meaning is changing for me.

For now, Camp Many Moons remains cabin-less. In the five years since I spent 50K for this 300-foot waterfront lot, people have often asked “When are you going to build?” As if the desire to build is a foregone conclusion.

It wasn’t foregone for me. We turned a swampy parcel that others passed by into a park-like waterfront, with emphasis more on the outdoors than on comfort. That’s what “camp” meant to me, and it was enough.

Until now.

What’s changed? Camper life gets old, especially in winter, and campers are ugly. Plus, I want family to visit and most of them want a flush toilet. (I think the compost toilet works great, but most people can’t get used to it.) The lot has been building-ready for years. The well, septic system, electricity and even the building site are ready. And, finally, so am I. Nervous, but ready.

I was actually ready two years ago but The Great Loop and a scary economy intervened. I was frustrated then but now see that the time wasn’t right. Have you noticed how that works? How something that seemed like a barrier is later seen as a blessing? Patience is so important sometimes! And for someone like me, who gets very focused once I make up my mind, also hard. Ah, well. Important things are often hard.

So, onward? We’ll see soon! Jeff and I attended a building show yesterday and we’re close to a housing plan after finding a perfect planning partner (a former general contractor) among our Huron Bay neighbors. I’m excited and scared all at once, which I hear is typical for new home-builders. The budget is daunting, of course. The economy and product availability remain a concern. We’re going to see what we can do on our own, hiring labor as needed. Jeff knows his stuff but it’s still unnerving to me. Without a general contractor, I guess I’ll be acting as one…dealing with permits, paying for laborers, etc. It’s kind of like setting off on the Great Loop. Many unknowns ahead but an adventure nonetheless! Just take the first step….

You may soon see a new choice on the blog menu called “The Build.” Meanwhile, see photos of our current cabin-less Camp Many Moons, and Jeff’s little cabin in the nearby woods, below…

The 24-foot camper has been “home” for several summers but is too cold for winter use. The tiny brown camper on left has a wood stove inside, and that’s what I use every day to write and read. (In the summer, I often set up a tent on the waterfront and sleep outdoors. Who does that in their 60s? Me! 😉 )
This is the building site where I hope to see our 28’x36′ cabin (with loft) taking shape this summer. You can see the frozen bay at upper left. Once a building exists, we will take out more trees to improve the view.
Deer tracks crisscross the ice in front of Camp Many Moons. They come down from the hills in winter.
They’re starting to get used to me since I began putting out corn. Feeding deer is a thing around here in spite of their nuisance-making. Local stores sell big sacks of deer corn. One neighbor attracts about 20 deer daily.
This was our last addition to Camp Many Moons. Jeff and I put up this fence ourselves last fall. The open space in front is our septic field, necessary in rural areas, which borders the neighbor’s field. So we had this big open space on the property line. Trees and shrubs weren’t growing fast enough–thus, the fence.
We added the “No Hunting” sign this year because coyote hunters have joined beer hunters on our road. The local conservation officer tells us you need to post your policy. So we did.
My “Many Moons” rock sign, at the turn to camp, is half-hidden by snow in winter.
I hope Roscoe lives long enough to see a cabin. He’s over 13 years old, elderly for a Siberian. We thought we were losing him more than once, but he’s doing well! (Now on a daily dose of doggy Glucosamine.)
During this winter visit, I’ve been staying in Jeff’s 12’x16′ off-the-grid cabin just a mile or so from Camp Many Moons. That’s a sauna with flush toilet on left. Water is trucked in by Jeff himself. Power comes from a generator. Heat comes from wood stoves. It’s a lot of maintenance, but no sweat for Jeff.
We’ve had one or two good snows this winter, requiring Jeff to pull out his old plow truck.
The driveway to Jeff’s cabin is beautiful, especially when the sun comes through the snow-laden trees. We have a kind of his-and-hers situation here; his camp in the woods, mine on the nearby waterfront. It’s a nice arrangement, even if unconventional!

One thought on “Cabin-Less Camp

  1. Taking That Leap is a big deal! A big commitment! Enjoy building your new future cabin that will allow Spring, Summer, Autumn and Winter time at Camp Many Moons! Congratulations! Diane K


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