Up at 6am to head to the ranch. Etna Motel looking chilly in the wee hours of day light!
of course 6am felt like it fiiiiinally came around after "sleeping" in two double beds with four kids and a dog. I had been up since 2am when all four children inexplicably sat up whining and crying. They fell back asleep. I didn't!
We met the contractor to look at the little house and the big house with us. It was cold. REALLY cold. But I shouldn't put that in print since my husband said "I'm most impressed of anything today you haven't even complained once about being cold." Yup. I'm hardcore. Only complain on the blog.
We spent most of the two days up here trying to figure out which of the two houses makes the most sense to fix up - there is a little house and a bigger house. I was pulling for the beautiful old Victorian - but it might make more sense we live in the little house at least at first and then decide what to do with the big old house!
The lttle house was built in 1919 as a creamery for the ranch, it's got a good foundation, a root cellar, one foot thick cement walls and a bit of an unfinished attic space. It's 900 sq feet, two bedrooms (one of them maybe 7 feet wide at best) and one bath with living room, wood stove and kitchen dining area and a mud/utility room in the back. But it's really cute!
The big house was built in the 1800's (some records show 1848 some say late 1800's) without electricity, heating or plumbing. It's been slightly upgraded since then with an addition on the back that is not on a foundation but holds a kitchen, bathroom, laundry room and a 'cold room' you can use as a fridge itself in winter! Upstairs are five bedrooms most built floor, walls and ceilings in old timber milled in the property. Not a light switch in sight up there and still no heat. Downstairs three bedrooms, a double living area and a big wood stove.
those are the basics but when you start to peel back the layers, the big house needs a lot of work and might be more that we want to unravel just yet!
the girls spent the day exploring new trails behind the houses and along the pastures while we worked. They named the paths so we could tell them how far they could go if we didn't walk with them. So far they've got "high road north" with "arrowhead curve" and "badger hole turn" (not sure there are badgers but I didn't tell them that;) and yes they double pj'ed when we got up at 6am and never changed into real clothes
while Brian was in the shop for a bit we hiked all the way from the houses to "echo mountain" (named by Maisie who found a triple echo spot from the bottom of the draw) which is in the distance behind me to the right in this photo. More of a knoll than a mountain - but it's a beautiful spot up there with views of the whole valley. That's one place I'm dreaming of building a house one day!
The little girls got tired when the dry weeds got taller than they were so I had to double pack on my back with my jacket as a jerry-rigged ergo ;)
view from echo mountain top and a moose on the loose. And happy kids running around in the dirt and the sunshine all day long!! Loving ranch life already.