The Mighty Norway Reds

Today was a great day. An incredible day, monumental really. I spent 3 hours on the road and 2 hours trudging through three and a half feet of snow in the woods in the middle of literally nowhere. I then drove the three hours back home, and couldn’t have been happier with the result.

Today, we found the ridgepole and cap logs.

What? Why is that a big deal?

In a log home, at least the one we are trying to build, the ridgepole and cap logs are the most important logs in the build.

These are the three logs that sit on top of the wall structure and hold up the entire roof. In particular – the largest, straightest, and most badass log you can find, needs to be your ridgepole, the one log at the the very top, spanning the entire peak of the roof. The two cap logs sit lower on each side.

These logs need to be 50 ft long, and large enough to support the roof.

We have 45 logs sitting on our land, waiting to be stacked. Although many of them are big, in line, and beautiful, I just never felt confident we had found the one that could claim the title of, ridgepole.

Why do I keep using bold font for that word? I don’t know, just makes it sound bigger and more important. Well, because a ridgepole is important.

Anyways, I am ecstatic because we found three candidates (and many more that will be part of the build).

Aren’t they beautiful? We have searched all over northwest Wisconsin, and these are the largest, most beautiful, natural growth, Norway red pines that could be found (in my opinion).

These trees are about 24 inches in diameter, and must be 70 ft tall. When we cut them off at 50 feet, they will still be 14 inch diameter. Fairly large logs



I was going to start my first (real) post by sharing the results of heading north to hand pick the last batch of logs we need to source, but instead we have had a bit of unsavory weather.

First, pretty much two weeks of ridiculous sub zero temps (everyone in the country felt this one), and now we have more snow piled up on our front steps than we have had living in this house. See below.

Out our front door

So what does a log home builder (amateur) do when the roads are closed, 3 ft of snow smothering the stored logs up north, and the ground is frozen 10 ft deep???

Cross country skiing and ice skating of course! We are fortunate enough to live next to Willow River state park with their great trails.

On the trail
Day spa for the ducks
At the rink learning to skate

Only planning can be done with the winter like this.

The Journey Begins

The reason for this website is two-fold.

First, it is to document the process of building a log home and share it with those who want to follow along.

Second, is to share my family’s adventure in doing so. You see, we embarked on this journey three years ago to start the process to build our own northwoods retreat. Our own little slice of heaven. A place to escape the routines of life, when needed. A place to connect our boys with nature and tradition. A way to start a legacy property, about financial freedom.

We could not do this alone, as we do and will require a ton of support from others along the way. We have a lot of work ahead of us, still.

Since this my first post (ever), it makes sense to start by setting a few expectations.

Numero uno: I am not a ‘blogger’. Yes I realize the irony in that statement. What I mean is I am not a writer. In fact, I am probably pretty awful. By now, that should seem pretty obvious. I will make numerous grammatical errors, run-on sentences, and spelling disasters. Most of this is done from my cell phone.

If you can get past that, please read on 🙂

Also, I may jump around a bit, as we are three years in and will flashback somewhat.

Number two: I am a bit out of my element, here. I consider myself to be one who lacks creativity, so it takes something to put thoughts to words, and words to website, for everyone to see.

I’ll try to make this entertaining.

#3: I am also using this as a forum to share specific photos with my fellow log home builders to help me get advice an insight on how to tackle problems I’ll come across. So there may be unexplained photos that are really just posted here so I can share elsewhere.

Thank you to our friends and family, we could not navigate life with out you all.