Our version of retirement: Living a childhood dream

Gary O'

Well-known Member
We moved here the very next day after I retired…

I plan on this thread to be quite lengthy
Mainly,my thought is to use this as a secondary place to park my jottings and thoughts in regard to our cabin build and the actual move to the cabin, off grid.
It’ll be another book one day
But I’m in no rush
Comments,questions are encouraged

We bought our land back in ‘99
The first few years we’d sneak away (250 mi south) when we could, and gently clear the land in places for our cabins, utility buildings and places for our vehicles
We tried getting there in winter, but found snowshoeing in four feet of snow a bit more arduous than we cared to experience more than once

I cannot create a design on paper
The angles so vivid in my mind do not readily transfer from brain to nib
I build scale models to prove structural, practical and esthetic thoughts
We’ve maintained one rigid rule, and what has become our religion, to not use huge equipment or other folk’s help in preparing our place
Here’ssome pics of the model and actual build;



Wow, going to be a nice place! Would it be considered a "tiny home"? Are you going to be totally off the grid? I don't know if I could do that. I see you are from Oregon, is this place in Oregon? I lived in Dallas, OR for a few years and graduated high school there. It will be interesting to see the final project.


Endlessly Groovin'
I love the outdoors and can appreciate cabin living. It's great that you're doing this and building your home with your own hands, nice job....kudos to you and yours!

Gary O'

Well-known Member
Original Poster
Thanks, guys

Yes, maggiemae, we are a bit off hwy 97 tween Chiloquin and Chemult. On the right (sunny) side of the Cascade range
Yes,we are fully off grid.
I didn’t think I’d be OK with that either, but one adjusts, and one amasses generators like a normal person would collect spoons for cooking (we have six, all sizes for varying applications…two of those are for backup)
I may go solar, but those prices hafta go down and/or those batteries hafta get better….much better.
Our Honda 2000 is my go to genny
It supplies all we need for the cabin we live in
I’m getting ahead of myself
Here’s some pics of our progress (feel free to ask questions);


Gary O'

Well-known Member
Original Poster
as a side note, I enjoy capturing nature while its not looking

we get the sun rises

Here's one I put words to;


Gary O'

Well-known Member
Original Poster
we get considerable snow here
five and a half feet last winter

here's a pic of our second (living) cabin when the snow was still cute

Gary O'

Well-known Member
Original Poster
Love your poetry Gary. Don't see a shower etc. Looks very cozy. How often do you get supplies?
No shower

We do use the trough in summer

The meadow warms the water...sorta
then let ol' sol dry ya
I'll talk about this later
gonna be on the road a couple days

oh, we go to the city once a week in summer
once a month in winter
it's a 100 mi round trip


Senior Meanderer
I'm glad to see that you have begun building this home-spun Diary, and look forward to visiting and reading of your adventures! Good Luck, Gary! Your pictures of warm wood and cozy corners sure are inviting! Thank yee!:encouragement:

Gary O'

Well-known Member
Original Poster
I'm glad to see that you have begun building this home-spun Diary, and look forward to visiting and reading of your adventures! Good Luck, Gary! Your pictures of warm wood and cozy corners sure are inviting! Thank yee!:encouragement:
Thank YEE, Meanderer
We just got back from town (Bend Or)
spent the evening in a very nice motel
I'm mentoring our grandchild in the Oregon Youth National Guard there in Bend
He's 17, but been essentially on his own since 14
He's becoming quite a man
I'm so honored he chose me


so missed the cabin, the sounds of nature, the unbusy business of hands on living
so very glad to be home

A bit tuckered from it all

Funny how doing not much in town can make ya tired, yet sleep is fleeting
But work sun up to sundown here, ya eat better, and sleep is but a moment after hitting the pillow

a gentle turning down the lights don't hurt...


Gary O'

Well-known Member
Original Poster
...a bit more on this;

Took a overnighter up to Bend to attend the first mentor session for my grandson

Quite the honor
Wunna the nicer motels, a La Quinta (pronounced luhkeenta, I found out) Inn
Big firm soft bed
Caughtup on all the nekid and scared and now shivering in a hut episodes

Their complimentary breakfast was more than pastries and fruit
You could make yer own waffle
Had the world’s greatest waffle iron
Am a waffle slut
Turnsout I can still consume six of ‘em
Prollymore if I woulda laid down

The coffee in the waffle feeding room was delicious
The coffee upstairs in our room was made by wunna those tiny pouch things…not good…for tea maybe, not coffee

Handy location
Wallyworld was across the street
We’djust missed the rainbow people caravan
A fellow retiree I’d met in the McD coffee line up told me the entire parking lot was overflowing with ‘em last week
Right here I’d like to personally thank Sam Walton for his far reaching foresight in establishing a sorta KOA (Kooks Of America) haven
They did manage to leave a dozen heaping vehicles that wasn’t gonna make it the entire way to Madras, Oregon’s eclipse epicenter, along with some stragglers willing to lag behind and rifle thru what their fellow ‘bow folks so generously cast to their rest stop parking lot

Glad to be home
Never so glad
Worth it for my grandson

Nobody else

Gained two lbs


Thanks Rw
Not sure if it was you, but I partially read a really cool post earlier today while on the phone, and couldn't wait to settle in this evening to enjoy it

now can't find it
Sorry Gary, I did post a much longer response. I have a habit of monopolizing a conversation. I'm trying to tone down my responses. I was just telling about my camping in Oregon. Mainly central OR. I have camped along the Pacific Coast @ numerous spots, also I have camped in 3 sites up & over the Santiam Pass, Paradise, Mckenzie Bridge & Sisters. I have camped at Whittaker Creek, Clay Creek & Bogus Creek (must like creeks!). Been invited to camp with my friend @ Prineville out on BLM land watching the wild mustangs. He moved there last winter. Haven't taken him up on it yet. I have boondocked near Burns along the Majheu (sp?) River. Stayed at the rest area @ Ontario for the night.

I posted a pic of my latest t-trailer on the 'Outdoors' thread so I won't be redundant with reposts. I have acreage in another state that after I moved is now 700 miles away but still use it once in awhile for free camping, my son also uses it since he is closer (1 hour away). I have camped @ many places in the western US. WA, MT, WY, CO, NM, AZ, NV, OR, UT, ID & N CA. Still maintain a home in the PacNW used as a rebooting station for repairs & restocking supplies. Retired after working at a LG manufacturing factory. Live on my pension, savings & SS. Adequate income to do what I want & go where I want.

My 25 reasons for RV (travel trailer) living.

1. My TT_RV has taken me all over the West.
2. Breathtaking views. Different with each move.
3. Detaches me from my laptop/tablet/phone/TV. Reading more.
4. Cooking is mostly done outdoors, except my morning coffee.
5. I'm not being crushed under a giant mortgage.
6. Living frugal is less stressful.
7. TT_RV lifestyle promotes being outdoors.
8. The TT_RV paid for itself in < one year.
9. I have no utility bills. Except for supplies & fees.
10. TT_RV living is like speed dating for friendships.
11. A TT_RV teaches you to be clean.
12. I can pee without having to make a pit stop.
13. I can decorate for the holidays on a cheap budget.
14. It takes ten minutes to clean the entire house.
15. TT_RV living is a great conversation starter.
16. When you want to move, roll up the awning, hookup & move on.
17. TT_RV living can help you eat healthier.
18. You can live on the road for less.
19. You’ll do without things that are non essential.
20. It allows you to be somewhat nomadic (follow the sun).
21. Easier if you want to sell, no realtor fees.
22. You don't get homesick. Home is where you are.
23. Whenever you want to remodel, a can of paint changes everything.
24. TT_RV lifestyle helps you grow as a person. Things are always breaking.
25. It teaches you to value experiences & relationships over belongings.

See what I mean about long winded & monopolizing

Gary O'

Well-known Member
Original Poster
'See what I mean about long winded & monopolizing. '

I....I think there's ample room

I also like the way you think
and live

I have been to some of where you listed
Central and South America
Mainland China
other places...

I really don't care to go anywhere I can't get back home before dark

Thank you for reposting, pard

Gary O'

Well-known Member
Original Poster
Had a small blackie inquire into the contents of wunna our garbage cans
it's bungeed down pretty good
was bungeed down

he prolly was ran outa the deeper woods from the wild fires all around us

3am is a bit early for breakfast
maybe it was his midnight snack

had my camera and 357

too quick for me


on my second cup

coffee is so good

here's a pic from last winter when we were favored with a horde of nutcrackers

this one seemed to be saying;

Gary O'

Well-known Member
Original Poster
We get a lot of feathered friends stopping by here
Used to just go ‘whazzat?’
But starting to identify their sounds and songs and actually match them up

Of course my prize pic is of a baldy that perched in a tree 100 feet from the cabin

Sat there for two straight days
Began to get concerned
The morning of the third day he flew off after I started the genny to draw water