View of the meadow from the deck. Charlie's entrance gate is visible in the distance.
How come I didn't know it was supposed to be a "working vacation"?
16-Nov-04. The morning after the election, Ray and I headed north to an undisclosed location in Mendocino county to spend a week at Ray's cabin. We would be joined later in the week by Jim, Angela, and Bob. It seems I was the only one who didn't know this was a work party!
Road to an undisclosed location.
Ray started building his "cabin" eight years ago with a little help from his friends. (I, for example, am particularly proud of the subfloor, which does not squeak or move in the least.) You get there by traveling north past Willits, California, then turning off the highway to follow narrow, twisting county and private roads inland and up into the mountains. There, Ray and his neighbors are off the grid — way off the grid.
There were big surprises this visit: Ray now has a genuine stove and refrigerator. Kitchen cabinets and a sink are said to be due this week, and the solar power system will be installed later this fall. Let's just say, these items would have been much higher on my list of priorities than they were on Ray's.
It's a fabulous stove!
It even makes ice!
The two big tasks for the work party were to add balusters to the deck railing (Hey, it's only been seven years) and lay pavers in the walkway.
Adding balusters to the deck railing.
Angela laying pavers.
As usual, there was plenty of time for lolligagging about enjoying the view and for the customary scrumptious meals with the neighbors. This year there were wild turkeys to watch, and we even got to see them fly. They made an amazing whooshing noise as they flew.
I made a huge vat of boeuf bourguignon for the Friday night dinner. There were seven for dinner: Ray, Jim, Angela, Bob, Charlie, another Bob, and me.
Another treat was getting to see Charlie's new hideaway cabin, tucked alongside a river a few miles from his regular house. Charlie always goes first class, and the new cabin is no exception.
Charlie's new cabin.
I've known Charlie now for about a dozen years, and he's always building something. You'd think his last name might be Winchester, but it's not. (If you don't get the joke, read about Sarah Winchester and the mansion she never finished building.)