Category Archives: Log Cabins

Rustic Vacation Destinations: Dunton Hot Springs

Dunton Hot Springs, a quaint and exclusive resort nestled amongst the San Juan Mountain of the Colorado Rockies. Once a ghost town this stunning resort is full of unique rustic qualities. Free of life’s technological amenities, the resort offers visitors a way to get in touch with nature and relax on a whole new level. Enjoy your stay in hand-hewn log cabins exquisitely furnished to take you back in time to the days of an old mining camp. Complete with saloon, dance hall, luxury spa and natural hot springs, you can find your own piece of heaven tucked aside one of the worlds most famous mountain range.

Enjoy moonlit walks, horseback rides, stunning views, a tumbling waterfall, a relaxing sit in one of their many natural hot springs and much more. The Dunton Hot Springs resort is a glimpse into the days of mining camps, when life was simple and nature was serene. With a world of activities to enjoy indoors and out, we’re sure that this will be a vacation to remember!

Whether you’re in need of a getaway alone, a honeymoon for two or a family trip, this is the resort for those of us who love the great outdoors. From cozy cabins to two-story lodges, there is the perfect log cabin for every size group. Cabins are fully furnished with rustic and western themed decor allowing you to submerge yourself in the atmosphere of true mountain living.

Visit the Dunton Hot Springs site to get a list of cabins to rent, rates, available dates and activities.


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Living Off The Grid- Appliances

When it comes to choosing appliances for your off-grid home there are several things to consider. One is your location. If you are completely reliant on natural resources, choosing appliances is a larger decision than those that live off-grid within city limits. When you live on an off-grid solar power system you have to select appliances based on the kilowatts your system can take on. Now a days we hear about “energy star” appliances. These are appliances that draw a low amount of energy which is a match made in heaven for off-grid homesteads.

Gas appliances are a great way to save on the draw from your solar power, but not every place allows easy access for gas trucks to deliver propane. Many solar friendly appliances and green appliances are not friendly to off-grid living. Instant hot water heaters though great, can become easily clogged when fed by well water. If this is something you desire be sure to install a heavy-duty filtration system. Solar hot water is a great way to take some of the workload off of your traditional water heater. With so many options to choose from we recommend doing research before you buy.

Running your entire home off the sun’s natural energy can give you a great feeling of freedom. Freedom from power outages, freedom from flexing your use during the day and of course from giving your hard earned money away every month and not knowing what the bill will be. Yes, solar systems are a large expense up front, but they quickly pay for themselves all while giving you the freedom to live anywhere.

Stay Tuned For more Living Off the Grid…Water Collection


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Living Off the Grid- Building Materials

When it comes to the construction of your off-grid home, the materials you choose are up to you. There are several ways to go about choosing materials and it all comes down to how much you want to spend and in some cases how “green” you want to be. We say “green” because many people choose to live off grid in hope of diminishing their personal eco-footprint (their negative effect on the planet). Just like the story of the three little pigs some common material choices are wood, brick and yes even straw. You may be thinking how and why in the world would I want my home to be made of straw. It can’t be durable nor water tight….

Strawbale construction has become very popular in the green living and off-grid living world. No, you won’t have a grass hut. This means of construction involves bales of tightly bound straw that is stacked like brinks to form your walls. It can them be covered with stucco and no one is the wiser. Plus it’s a great means of insulation.

If straw is not for you than traditional wood or brick construction may be the way to go. This is where you can decode to take a green path. Wood that is untreated provides a healthy indoor environment for you and your family. When you take out the harsh chemical treatments that are applied to most woods, you take out the harmful off-gassing. Instead of … Read the rest of this entry »


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Pinecrest Lake Resort In California, A Great Place To Camp

For years my family and I have been spending two whole weeks at Pinecrest Lake Resort in California. Pinecrest is a great campground with lots of great activities for the whole family.

I spent days renting paddleboats with friends, swimming, hiking around the lake and fishing. As a kid there was nothing better than having all the fun outdoor activities in one place. There was never a dull moment, never a time when I looked to mom and dad with boredom inquiring what to do next, there was always something new to try. We even spent one day out of the trip each year and hiked to Cleo’s Bathes. It’s a beautiful cascade of waterfalls hidden up on the ridge that we could swim in, and even slide down one of the falls. Mom and Dad had the pleasure of relaxing Read the rest of this entry »


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Modern Day Cabins

The New York Times had a great article about modern day cabins. “Across the country, cabins are being reimagined in sustainable yet stylish ways. Some combine industrial materials like mesh, oxidized steel and concrete with traditional wood. Others employ reclaimed or recycled material to stay eco-friendly and keep costs down…And despite the advances in design, cabin owners want the same thing they always did: a place that provides an escape into the natural world.”

As we move forward into an age of technology and the strive for sustainability blossoms, home owners are taking the necessary steps to be sure that their homes work with the planet, and cabin owners are no different. Those who live amongst the outdoors are not just building a home in the outdoors, they are building them for the outdoors. The Hamilton’s took their time as they chose materials for their home that were good for them, and the environment.

To read more about one couple’s strive to create the home of their dreams click here.


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What Types of Wood are Used to Build Log Cabins?

Eastern white pine is commnly used for log cabins.   It’s plentiful, easy to work with and it looks beautiful.  Here is a list of some other wood types:

  • Oak is strong and heavy, with a tight grain,  great strength and hardness and is very resistant to insect and fungal attacks.
  • Western Red Cedar is a soft red-brown timber. It is valued for its distinct appearance, aroma, and its high natural resistance to decay, being extensively used for outdoor construction in the form of posts, decking and siding.
  • Englemann Spruce is very straight, light in color with a touch of red. It also has a specialised use in making acoustic guitars and harps.
  • Douglas Fir is very strong with good fungal and mildew resistance. It is excellent for structural uses. Douglas-fir is also one of the most commonly marketed Christmas tree species in the United States!

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    Follow our 101 Rustic Decorating Ideas on Twitter!

    Here at we are all about Rustic & Western Decorating! We’ve built an impressive list (1o1 to be exact) of rustic and western decorating ideas.  Each idea is a quick, informative tip less than 140 characters- perfect for Twitter!  We will be posting a new tip every few days over on our Twitter page.

    So plug in in your laptop, cozy up in a comfy rustic rocking chair– and Follow us on Twitter. We’ll share  new cabin decor ideas, design inspiration and more. We look forward to a conversation with you.


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    Tour an Amazing Log Cabin

    “Tour a gorgeous 7800 square foot log home in Southern Georgia. It features round handpeeled logs, big timbers, and beautiful grounds. The home was designed, manufactured and built by Strongwood Log Home Company of Georgia.”

    Posted by on May 9, 2010 in Log Cabins, Video


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    John Oliver Cabin

    I just stumbled upon this great, rustic cabin photo on Flickr.  This is one of over 70 historic buildings in the smoky mountains. This is the John Oliver Cabin. It can be reached through the scenic loop road at Cades Cove.

    The cabin remained in the Oliver  family until the park was established.  The cabin contains no pegs or nails because gravity locks the beams together. The open spaces between the logs (chinks) were filled with mud to seal out the rain and wind. The small windows and doors conserved heat and help maintain the building’s strength.


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    How to Steer and Paddle a Canoe- Using a J Stroke

    Calm water, warm weather, birds chirping and it’s just you, nature and your canoe. Nothing beats a day on the lake.

    If you’ve never canoed, you’d probably be surprised to learn the technique that can be involved. For example there are several types of strokes:

    • Pry Stroke
    • Sweep Stroke
    • Draw Stroke
    • Reverse J Stroke
    • J Stroke

    In this video, Bruce Lessels teaches the subtle but efficient J stroke for flatwater canoeing.

    J-Stroke Directions:

    This is a canoe paddling technique that will allow you to keep the paddle on one side of the boat, and steer the boat with the way you finish your stroke.

    Start by reaching forward and pulling water. From there, about half way through your paddling stroke, twist the paddle and finish the stroke by pushing away from the stern or rear of the canoe. When you paddle from the right hand, you will pull the boat to the left. by pushing away from the stern of the boat, it will correct the boat direction and keep it going straight. The stroke looks like a J, thus called a j stroke.


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