1. In spring we built stone steps down from the road and added some access improvements. Now you can get up and down without too much of a scramble. (Thanks dad)
2. Late summer I built the first deck. 64 sqft, 8x8 ft almost-square. On the hill it's so sloped that a stable level space is a wondrous thing to have. The current size is good for one to camp, a bit tight for two. (Thanks Mt Evans for buffing me up so I could work at high altitude)
3. Meanwhile I dug into the hill a bit and diverted some drainage into a water filter bucket. Come spring and the rains we'll see how much water flows through. I'm hoping it will be enough to fill up a small reservoir. (Thanks again dad)
4. Early autumn we fiddled around with a temporary outhouse concept. Impromptu steel tube construction shows some promise, with a little more planning. (Thanks Dante)
5. In a few days will be the first anniversary of closing on the property. (That means the loan I took out to pay for the land will be 20% paid off. Four more years and I'll only be paying county taxes, about $160/year.)
6. As of this evening the Patreon account has a few pennies short of $275. That covers all of the materials for the work that's been done up there so far. (Thanks to every single one of you)
Next year I'm hoping to do a lot more. Keep improving the stairs and access. Get two 55 gal barrels for the water reservoir and install a simple gravity feed system to get the water from the barrels directly to the deck. Add another 120 sqft of deck space. Maybe a little bridge connecting two decks. A high quality waterproof tarp or similar type of roof. Figure out the outhouse cover. Dig a gravel drain and prep for a urine-diverting dry/compost toilet setup. Possibly put up some walls and enclose an area rather than just decking everywhere. Drag up a wood stove for reliable cooking and heating. By the end of next summer I'd like to be able to host four people comfortably in colder weather.
So again, thank you for your belief in me or this project or whatever brought you here. There were a lot of times this year when I felt discouraged like nothing was getting done but you kept it real for me and gave me the kick to get out and do the work. Thanks to the ones who've been here since February and to the ones who just arrived.
This has always been about building a place we can share. More and more every day it seems important to have access to places that are wild and free. Because of you I've been able to make a place like that come true in a small way. Thank you.
Here's to 2018 on the mountain.