Howdy From Dogtown Lake Camp Resort

June 8, 2017

We’ve been dry camping for three weeks. The past week has been action packed. There’s lots to tell so this will be a long blog post.

On Monday (June 5th, 2017), we signed the purchase contract on the 36 acre parcel and put down the earnest money. Close of escrow will be in less than 25 days. After signing the purchase contract we relocated from our previous Kaibab Lake camp site to our new Dogtown Lake camp site. We’re still camping on National Forest land so the rent is cheap - $0.00 per day.

The 25ยข Tour

I have yet to give a tour of our camping setup. Join me in a tour. Please forgive my appearance. I haven’t shaved in a few days simply because I’ve been a man on a mission and haven’t taken time. In the video, I comment that our generator is 200 Watts. It’s 2,000 Watts.

Dogtown Lake Camp
Dogtown Lake Camp Resort Tour

Ladder up to our queen sized bed

(Click image for a full sized view)

Our bed loft

(Click image for a full sized view)

Joy's Crate and integrated table (note the microwave oven)

(Click image for a full sized view)

Here’s a short video of our new camp site as shot by my drone.

Dogtown Camp From Overhead
Dogtown Camp From Overhead

To Perk or Not To Perk - That Is the Question

A contingency I put in the contract is the land must pass the county’s required perk tests for a conventional septic system. Alternative septic systems can run as high as $25,000 and require contracted maintenance which add to their long term cost. I would rather back out of the land purchase than to spend more money for a septic system (long term) than what I paid for the land to put it on.

To answer the question if the land will support a standard septic system, I’ll be meeting with a county licensed geotechnical engineer on Saturday morning to dig some test holes to perform the perk tests. He tells me that other properties in the area have passed perk tests for a standard septic system. I’ll know more on Saturday. I’ll post photos of his testing in an upcoming blog post.

We Bought Our Arched Cabin

Today, I made the downpayment for the cabin to get its construction date locked in. It’s that time of year when Arched Cabins gets real busy. Thus, the cabin won’t be built until October. Not to worry, though. We’ll have a wood burning stove in the yurt that will keep us nice and comfy on the cooler October nights.

Since it’s just Judy and I, we’re going to start with an open studio concept with the cabin. The loft with sub-flooring will be built as part of the initial construction. However, we plan to finish it out into an office/bedroom later. For now, the loft will be used for storage and a few nice art pieces overlooking the main floor.

Cabin Floorplan

I didn’t want to take up limited space on the main floor by putting in a stairway to the loft. Instead, we’ll be installing a pull-down staircase. To get larger items up to the loft, I’ll have a 9,500 pound 12VDC winch and block affixed to the apex of the ceiling just a few feet beyond the edge of the loft. Only the block will be visible. The winch will be mounted further back in the loft.

I discussed my original idea of a 30 ft. cabin with a 10 ft. front deck with Arched Cabins. They made the interesting suggestion of building a 40 ft. cabin and setting the front end cap (front wall) back 10 ft. and finish the last 10 ft. with decking. In this way, the side walls of the cabin will be extended to cover the deck. I thought that was a fantastic idea and had the cabin design changed to a 40 ft. cabin with a covered 10 ft. deck. That should look pretty impressive when it is finished.

I also had the foundation design changed to a raised pillar and steel beam design that will raise the cabin several feet off the ground and accommodate the gentle slope of the land where it will be built. They will install insulated skirting around the cabin to keep the floors warmer in the winter.

I was originally planning on building a power shed for my solar power plant but now, with the raised foundation, I can place the batteries, charge controller, and inverter under the cabin. I can also place the standby generator under the cabin too with a little duct work to vent the exhaust. It’s a propane powered electric start generator so I can relocate auxilary controls to a weather proof box on the side of the cabin. I can also place the water pressure pump under the cabin where it is less likely to freeze in the winter. And finally, with a raised foundation, it will be much easier to install plumbing.

A Cash Crop Possibility

The property has a significant number of Pinion Pine trees on it. They produce the pine nuts you see in the grocery stores. They sell for $5.00 for a small bag and they are tasty. I’ll probably eat all of the pine nuts I can harvest but it was at least amusing thinking that there’s a harvestable crop growing on the land.

Pinion (or Pinyon) Pine Tree

(Click image for a full sized view)

Pinion Pine Nuts

Pinion Pine Nuts

The Neighborhood Critters Welcomed Us

On our first visit to the property, we were welcomed by three does and a bull elk. I’m told that elk and antelope frequent the property. It will be fun watching them from the cabin front deck.

Speaking of elk, we’ve been hearing the bulls bugling in the early evenings. Sometimes close to camp. Then there’s the usual noisy coyotes singing up a storm later in the evenings and early mornings. It sure beats hearing car horns and tires screeching back in the city. Yes, I think I can get used to the noise makers out here.

Here in our Dogtown camp, a little humming bird flew right up to me as if to ask, “which way to the feeder?” I pointed over to the tree where we hung it and said, “there it is. And be aware that it is organic nectar - no food coloring or preservatives.” I guess something got lost in the translation as he flew off rather than making a bee-line to the feeder.

Y’all take care and I’ll put together another blog post soon. Our love goes out to our family, friends and those who are following our adventure.

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