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So, this is the beginning. These boxes are my sawmill.  They are in my driveway in Sebastopol.  From here, I have to drive them to the logging site in another County.  I have to learn how to assemble it.  I have to cut hundreds of giant douglas fir trees.  I have to learn how to use the mill properly.  I then have to transport beams up to 40' long over 50 miles (I will have to hire a truck I think) to the woodworking shop. I have to learn how to make mortise and tenons. I have to make each piece fit perfectly. Package hundreds of beams and other building materials. Arrange for transport and delivery in Alaska (this requires getting a bulldozer on my land to get a space big enough for big rigs to turn around).   I need to sell my house.  I need to get rid of a lot of stuff and pack everything else.  I need to arrange for the safe transportation of my dogs, including getting their health certificates.  I have to arrange space on the ferry.  I need to get myself, my family and the ot…
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So, I am about to embark on a new adventure that I will chronicle here and on Youtube.  My wife thinks I am crazy.  And I might be. I am going to build a timber frame home on my land in Alaska.  Nothing crazy about that.  But I am going to build it here in California FIRST and ship it North next year.  Next year.  Next year I am going home.  So I have started gathering Douglas Fir beams here.  I bought a 20 foot deck over trailer.  I bought a 1954 forklift for a few hundred bucks.  I rented a space in a timber framers shop for $500 a month.  I can use all his equipment.  We are going to build the frame here and take it north next June and put it all back together.   I bought a small metal detecting wand and I am going over every beam looking for, and removing nails and screws.

It is going to be a 3000 square foot house with an adjoining 40 foot high tower and a two car garage.  I am also going to build a shop with a greenhouse on top.  I don't the money for this yet, but I won&#…
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So, time flies.  It has been three months since I have posted.  Wow.  Some things have changed since September.  Perhaps the most exciting is that I have bought land in Alaska!  9.22 acres of land where I will build my dream home.   We had an amazing trip to Alaska at Christmas.  We flew into Anchorage and then took the train up to Fairbanks.  It was an amazing ride and one I hope to do again.  I dressed up in top hat and tails.  The wife was Mrs. Claus.  The girls all dressed in matching red dresses.  12 hours through the prettiest country on Earth. In Fairbanks we rented the Moose Walk cabin, a super neat little cabin in North Pole. The kids played ice hockey for the first time and I saw the Northern lights again. We went up to Chena Hot Springs and soaked in the hot water. We got to go for a dog sled ride (towing a Rhino) and I had a drink at the Ice Hotel. I took the kids to Santa Claus Village where they met Santa and his reindeer. We then went down to Kenai and spent a fe…
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So.  Ten years ago today I arrived in Alaska.  I will never forget the sense of amazement and wonder as I arrived.  It was, as John Denver sang about, coming home to a place I had never been.  Ten years.  Gone.   I was given some advice by Jeremy the other day.  He said I should learn to appreciate the journey more.  Sage advice.  I am so focused on my return in June 2018 that I often find myself unhappy.  That is foolish.  Like always, I will miss these days when they are gone.  It is true that I am not that interested in being a lawyer much anymore and I feel time pressing on me.  But it also true that being a lawyer has allowed me to come to the US.  And, if all goes well, it will allow me to retire in a place I love at 44 years old.  And that is pretty cool.  Ten years.  But I will be back.  And next time it will be for good.
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So, ten years.  Ten years ago today I left Grass Valley for Alaska.  Just me and 4 dogs (none of whom are alive now).  It remains one of the greatest things I have ever done.  I must admit it has put in a a bit of a foul mood.  The quick passage of time is bad enough.  Ten years!  But what is worse is that I continue to struggle.  Having three kids and one income continues to stretch me.  I have been struggling to find my blessings (which are considerable) today.  It is frustrating to work so hard, and be good at what I do, and yet have to struggle like this.  Of course, I live in one of the most expensive housing markets in the US.  $585,000 for a small, moldy, rat infested house beside a major highway.

So, I need to change the narrative.  Instead of bitching about how far I have to go, I will instead remember one thing.  I AM going home to Alaska in June of 2018.  In about 640 days (plus or minus a few depending on things), I am leaving here for the last time.  If I can go with eno…