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 other builders, along with tools to Alaska. Before my house is built, I need to arrange for land grading and the foundation, including radiant heating, to be built. I need to order SIPS. I have to find labor in Alaska. I need to arrange for the utilities to be put into my land. I need to rent heavy equipment with lots of time to spare to build the frame. I need to arrange housing for my and my family, as well as temporary housing for the builders I am bringing up. I need to assemble the frame. Install the SIPS. Send the timber framer home. I have to find, hire and supervise contractors to finish the house in Alaska. I need to build the shop. A million other details. And it all starts with this pallet. I have 14 months to do most of these things. On top of working, finishing my house in Sebastopol, spending time with my family and everything else I am doing. It is nearly, but not quite, overwhelming.
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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.
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…