Each of the lodge partners has a particular thing that they’ve been looking at and just itching to fix or change or improve or otherwise put their stamp on. For one it’s unearthing all the vintage treasures they’ve caught glimpses of over the years, for another it’s adding storage space to the kitchens. For Tim it was protecting the exposed roots of the tree that shelters our communal picnic table. For the past few years Tim has been looking at that tree and fretting that it would die, so the minute we bought the place he moved into action, designing and building a sturdy structure. (Take a look at it when you visit, you’ll see that it’s engineered and built really well.)
So where did Tim learn his skills? Now this is where the coincidence comes in. Or kismet or whatever you call that small world moment that you’d never believe if you saw it in a movie. Turns out that Tim learned building and mechanical skills and a deep respect for craft from Charlie and Ed Graham who ran an auto repair garage in Mill Valley where Tim worked all through high school and college. Tim says, “they spoke often of their property ‘up on the Eel’ and I always wanted to see it, and particularly the saw mill Charlie had built with a WWII-vintage airplane 12 cylinder radial engine as the power plant.”
Well, right after Tim finished building the tree surround, he ambled up the road to visit our immediate neighbors and learned that the property directly across the river from us is in fact the very same place that the Grahams had talked about! Happily, it’s still in the family so Tim can finally ford the Eel River to see the stone house that Charlie and Ed built. Oh, and that saw mill? It was built to replace the original one that the Grahams and Ace Anthony used to mill the lumber that was used to build Big Bend Lodge.