Welcome to "Our Little Mountain Cabin" 
in the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia. 

Our Journey Begins:  Searching for Our Land

In 2006 we purchased our almost 10 acres of land after a year of seriously looking. We knew we wanted to be in Virginia. We had researched over the years and knew what type of land we needed to fulfill our dream. We would be living off the grid and making and growing everything we would need to sustain ourselves.

We went on weekend trips to a lot of areas the Blue Ridge and the Appalachian mountains surrounded. Driving for miles and miles we covered a lot of area. Luckily we had a car with really good gas mileage. We camped at different areas on The Blue Ridge Parkway and many places in between. During the week we would chart our course for the following weekend based on areas we didn't have time to see but looked interesting the weekend before.

We had certain criteria we knew we had to have in order to live a sustainable life. We would have to have a water source - cleared land as well as wooded. We wanted fairly high elevation so we would have an average wind speed of about 7 mph for our future wind turbine.
A south facing area on the land would be a must, so when the wind wasn't adequate we could use solar or vice versa. There were a lot of other criteria to many to mention right now.

Around October 2006 we received an email from a realtor. We had contacted her quite a while before and given her our detailed information about the land that would meet our needs. She felt the right place had just come on the market. We set an appointment to meet. We met in a near by town and traveled about 15 miles to the land. As soon as we arrived, we both had a really good feeling about it. We walked a lot and looked at every corner of the property.
Later that day we drove home excited that we had actually found land that met our needs and a lot faster than we had anticipated.

We went back around a week later. We spent the day walking and soaking up the fresh air.
I felt like I had finally gone home. I could tell Dan felt it too!

The Surrounding Area:  
The New River and The Cardinal Flower

The New River

There are so many beautiful places to see in the surrounding area.  We are within walking distance of the New River settled in the Blue Ridge Mountains and the New River Valley. At approximately 350 million years old, the New River is thought to be the second oldest river in the world by many geologist. The New River is also one of the few rivers in the world to flow south to north. 

We are very fortunate to have a beautiful sloping water fall that flows from one section of our land to the other. It narrows into a stream that encircles through our entire property. Also there are natural springs coming up below the ground in various places.

There are many wild flowers, herbs, and berries that grow along this area. We find more with every season.
We have a never ending supply of Jewelweed (Impatiens capensis) growing along both sides of the waterfall and streams with which we have made soap and salves.

The Cardinal Flower (Lobelia cardinalis) is prevalent along the stream banks and all along the tractor road we travel down to reach the cabin.

Annual Old Fiddler's Convention

Another interesting local area attraction is the world's oldest and largest Annual Old Fiddler's Convention.  The convention was started in 1935 and continues today.  It is held before the second week in August and has grown steadily every year fast becoming a tradition in the country and mountain music circles.  Read more about the Annual Fiddler's Convention here.

Old Fiddler's Convention at Felts Park

1953 Allis Chalmers Tractor
Our first contribution to the land would be a 1953 Allis Chalmers tractor.  We bought this tractor to cut grass in the meadow, but we have since realized we would use it for many more jobs.  
It climbs all over the hills with no problem.  Our neighbor is very impressed with the tractors ability.  That says a lot since he has been using farm equipment his whole life.  It is truly a workhorse. 

One of the first jobs the tractor tackled was to put a road in through the meadow.  We needed access from the top of the land to the already existing tractor road, which was put in years ago.  The tractor cut the road for us with no problem.  A distance of about 300 feet. 
I converted the tractor to a 3-point hitch, so I could use the box blade to cut the road. 

Breaking the Ground:  
Getting through the tough grass and soil that hadn't been 
worked for a long time, took a bit of patience. 

A few weeks went by and then with more persistence
it actually started to look like a road:

One month after starting, we finally have a road ready for gravel:
We had the gravel delivered and the rest is history.

Now we have a drivable road to get to the hollow, where we will start building our off grid cabin.