Chris(tine) Czajkowski(sounds like Tchaikovsky) has done what many of us dream about: she built a log cabin in the wilderness. By now she has built more than one, but Cabin at Singing River is about her first adventure in log building in the Coast Mountains of British Columbia. Here she describes moving into her new home:
It is a strange collection of items that eventually finds its way into that remote corner of the wilderness. There is the huge, clay water pot from Afghanistan that I did not really want, but the man sitting beside the dusty road took a 10-Afghani note from my hand and started to give me mountains of change—the pot cost one-tenth of a cent. I dragged it all cross Asia and the Antipodes; it is now being backpacked over a frozen trail in British Columbia. Then there are the shells from the South Sea Islands, brought to me my the children in the palm-fringed villages where I stayed, with memories of an environment that could hardly be more different from the place where I am now living.
There is the great, round bell from the cow I milked one summer in Switzerland, a water gourd from Uganda, burned with a design of dark loops and swirls, and a model reed boat from Lake Titicaca. There is a pinecone from a monkey puzzle tree in Chile and a penguin egg from the Falkland Islands, as well as a box of old bottles of watery green glass that I dug out of a dump there. And there are books, books and more books. The dog is the only one who does not appreciate my library, for she is the one who has to carry it.
All these things have travelled long and strange journeys, and they have now come together in the house that I have built. Within these log walls is the history of my life.
I definitely recommend her books to anyone with an interest in wilderness living. She writes beautifully about nature and humourously about her struggles to carve out a place for herself in it. She also runs the Nuk Tessli Alpine Experience, a fly-in mountain camp where you can stay in one of her hand-built log cabins on the shore of a remote mountain lake.