Arctic Adventures: Volume 10—Inside the Cabin

Arctic Adventures: Volume 10—Inside the Cabin

How is the hibernating going for everyone? While wearing the same clothes several days in a row and losing track of days is not so abnormal for our non-traditional work and life, we feel the pangs of this crazy new normal and hope you are all hanging tough and finding silver linings in daily life! 

We’ve been spending more time inside than we’d like because Alaska’s spring has turned the Earth into a slurpee and whipped the wind up to the wicked notch for a few weeks now. So I thought this would be a good time for a grand tour of interior details of our cabin! I mean, all the celebrities are doing it … Truth be told, you’ve pretty much seen all 300 square feet through various pictures, but indulge me as I focus on the finer details. 

As a reminder, when we purchased the cabin in August, it came fully furnished and move-in ready. The previous owners left us really nice furniture, decorative details, dishes, etc, but it was just strange! When we spent our first 5 days in the cabin after the purchase in August, it felt like we were renting someone’s AirBnB. When we returned in October, that’s when we started to move in. 

July 2019 – This is the first photo we took of the cabin.
Fun quarantine game: can you spot the differences between then and now??
April 2020

While the cabin is a solid build and all the included appliances are functioning, we knew there would be a few changes we’d need and want to make over time. I say over time because we’re still paying off the actual cabin purchase, so we can’t really be spending any big bucks on replacements (plus, we’re underemployed, as is everyone these days). Our biggest investment thus far has been a fridge (but of course Deal got a deal). The cabin came with a dorm-size fridge. Justin insisted we’d need something larger when we were living in the cabin for more than a few days. I was hesitant, but I am SO glad Justin convinced me it was necessary. We went with the 10.1 cubic feet size, which is just enough space. I believe our next appliance purchase will be a stove, as our inherited one functions, but seems like it could go out at any moment. 

Before: dorm fridge. I can’t believe I thought it would be enough.
Anyone else love magnets on their fridge? Justin is not a fan, but I always win that battle.

I personally don’t love the color scheme left by the previous owners. I’m not sure what our “color scheme” is, but I do know maroon/mauve/pink are my least favorites. Over time, we’ll swap things out. We found someone selling a lighter-colored rug for $10, so we moved the maroon one into the “bedroom” and added some entryway rugs to soak up the snow. Oddly enough, someone gave us 2 freebie chairs to add to our dining room table, and they just happen to be mauve. We call them “parlor” chairs, and they are quite comfortable, but kind of ugly (see first pix in post). Beggars certainly can’t be choosers. I will definitely replace the comforter eventually (and we own a beautiful handmade one gifted for our wedding by our friend Tammy in Virginia). We also added Christmas lights (mood lighting, I call it), handles for the cabinets/drawers and switched out the kitchen light for a multidirectional one—all from thrift store finds—but I think those were our only other purchases. 

We knew we’d bring up our belongings bit by bit. Because even though we have been living nomadically on and off for the past 9 years, we still have storage units FULL of stuff! We are not minimalists, unfortunately. So every time we’ve flown up here (I think 3 times now?), we’ve come with our 4 checked bags that Alaska Airlines allows full of different personal effects. 

For example, we’ve amassed an incredible amount of special artwork, like this piece our friend Tracy in New Hampshire made and titled “Believe,” which she recreated from one of our Appalachian Trail photos. Or this framed Appalachian Trail map Justin’s mom had made for us. My sister gave us quite a few pieces, like the Healy sign, “Happy Campers Live Here,” and one of our National Park maps, while my mom gave us a recreated AT trail sign. We have plenty more where these came from! 

Our sister-in-law, Rachel, is uber talented and has gifted us many of her creations: a ski coat rack, placemats, napkins, our key holder (at the front entrance) … I’m probably missing some of her other gems. 

Believe it or not, we lugged our dishes, special glasses/mugs, knives and Staub Cast Iron Dutch Oven Pot (another favorite gift from Justin’s mom) up to Alaska. Justin’s stepmother had pottery dishes specially made in the 1980s and gifted them to us after we got married. We love them so much, and they are worth the heavy hauling it took to get them here. 

We have an endless number of books in storage, and it will potentially take years to get them all up here.

We dream of having ALL our stuff up here, and who knows when and if that will happen. We’d definitely need more than this 300 square feet to fit all our belongings, but you know us, always dreaming. 

Anyway, I hope you enjoyed the tour. We are not quite done with “no place like roam,” but it’s so nice to have a “no place like home” again!

5 responses to “Arctic Adventures: Volume 10—Inside the Cabin”

  1. ric says:

    thanks for the “tour”. you two are a welcome addition to the populace of this little town. hope you stay for a good long time… let me know when you want to expand the cabin. ric

  2. Paul says:

    Looks like you ditched the microwave and old tv too. This cabin suits you two so well

  3. Misti says:

    LOL you’ll have to build a second building for an office!

    Love how you’ve made it into a home! Hope we get to visit y’all some day!

  4. Jamie says:

    Nice shout out to Rachel! I think you could use another coat rack!

  5. mary says:

    Love the cabin. It looks like mine with all the hooks! I am fortunate to still be working. It’s odd because I feel like I’m having a really different experience than most.

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