It had always been our plan to return to beautiful Vermont, the site of our honeymoon, for our 25th wedding anniversary. Instead, we’ll be spending it looking at the spectacular Blue Ridge mountain range from our own back deck.
On an earlier visit to Asheville, NC, we knew that this was an area that would receive serious consideration come retirement time. Our first official land/house-hunting excursion to the area was mostly focused on traditional homes close to the city. On the way back to DC after this trip and after much discussion we realized that we didn’t want a second traditional home, and so began to talk about log homes as an option.
On our next trip to the Blue Ridge mountain area we began to look at more remote land. The first property we saw was on Gateway Mountain about 25 miles from Asheville – 2500 feet elevation and a long-range view of seven rolling ridges, culminating in the vista of Mt. Mitchell – the highest peak east of the Mississippi. We continued on, looking at 10-15 additional lots in and around the area, but never found one as dramatic as the first one we saw on Gateway Mountain.
After settling on this small piece of heaven, we reviewed and spoke to several different contractors and log home companies. Eventually, we selected Log Homes of America and Al Pierce, Asheville Log Homes, as our contractor. It was a smart decision that felt right from the minute we met with both – a decision we never regretted.
Following a few design sessions, we began construction on a small but comfortable 1624 sq. ft. log home with 3 bedrooms (master loft) and 800 additional sq. ft. of deck and porch space where we spend a great deal of time taking in the view. The 9-month building process included ice storms, bear-sightings and a seasonal drought, but our builder continued throughout to help us modify and improve the initial design – never missing a beat. Being an 8-hour drive from the DC area, our contractor kept us well-informed on an almost daily basis, through over 800 digital photos. These photos allowed us to see all the fine details of the progress in between physical visits to the site.
In May, 2008, we moved into our new log home, and on July 4th hosted our first family gathering with family from across the U.S. Thanks to Al Pierce and Log Homes of America, we are now the proud owners of a home that transports us to another place in time! We’re looking forward to many more anniversaries here.
Chad and Missy Callaghan