On the Road Again — The Lost Coast

First driftwood photo of trip, near Mattole river yesterday

I took off at 8AM Sunday, driving through Petaluma to get on Hwy 101. The Nicasio lake is full to the brim, the hills a verdant green — both from late rains. The fog of the beach gradually gave way to the sun of inland. Orange splashes of poppies amidst the green … Roadkill — during the day: two skunks (neither smelling), a fox, a raccoon, two deer, today two squirrels; must be spring fever … giant piles of redwood logs in Cloverdale lumberyard … Hwy 101 narrows down to two lanes north of Willits. It’s relaxed, very little traffic, you can make a U-turn in middle of road … it clears the head to get out of the Bay Area where everything by comparison seems congested, every inch spoken for and/or ridiculously high-priced … south fork of the Eel River is turquoise … getting into crackpot roadside territory with rock shops, bears-carved-out-of-chainsaws shops, kind of like the reptile farms that used to be along Hwy 66…

Ended up camping at the Mattole rivermouth, then drove through back roads today to Shelter Cove … tomorrow 8AM, I’m getting a ride back to Mattole, will then backpack along beach 30 miles back to Black Sands Beach near Shelter Cove, hoping to find driftwood beach shacks to photograph … have decided to expand and reprint the driftwood shack book … just had great fish and chips down at Shelter Cove boat ramp…

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Tiny House Truck Made from Salvaged Materials



This beautiful tiny house on wheels was constructed on the back of an old Bedford truck. It’s off the grid, using solar power for energy and was built almost entirely from salvaged or reclaimed materials.

The tiny home’s interior is stunning and packed with timber, giving it a wonderfully warm and welcoming feeling. There’s a large lounge space with wood-burning stove and a decent-sized kitchen for this couple who love to cook…

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Lloyd House's Leaf House

…It seemed like a light roof was needed to compensate for the heaviness of the forest. Built the roof first; then the floor, and last the walls. To me roofs have become umbrellas that say anything can happen under them. When the roof is finished, you can stand it — feel the space, be in touch with the house — love it…

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Island Cabins Built by Bruno Atkey and Wayne

In the early 90s, Bruno and Wayne built a number of houses on a small flat island off the Pacific Coast. They had to go out every day from the mainland, anchor their boat, and somehow get on the island. Wood came via helicopter and on barges from the mainland. All of the wood came color-coated for assembly. “We flew enough wood in for two houses in less than three hours.”…

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Off–Grid Tiny House



This tiny house has everything this young couple needs. It’s set up to be completely off the grid, running on renewable energies. The home has solar power, captures it’s own rain water, uses solar water heating and even generates it’s own gas via a bio gas digester.

The bio gas digester works to turn household food scraps and garden waste into useable gas, which the couple can use for cooking and could also be used for heating water for the home. Living off the grid in this remote location, it helps the couple to be even more self-reliant.

Inside, the home has absolutely everything the couple need. The design of the home is light and open plan, with kitchen, bathroom, lounge, office and storage stairs which lead into the loft…

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Handmade/Homemade: The Half-Acre Homestead

When I start working on a book, it’s like setting out on an ocean voyage without a map. I get a theme, an idea, some kind of coherence on a subject, then start.

When I built my first house in Mill Valley in the early ’60s, my friend Bob Whiteley and I laid out the foundation lines in chalk on the ground. “What do we do now, Bob,” I asked.

Bob said “This,” and took pick and shovel and started digging the foundation trench.

It’s been my M.O. all my life. When I don’t know what to do, I start. Things (usually) sort themselves out in the process. (I know, I know, I’ve said all this before…)

This book is about the tools and techniques Lesley and I have evolved in building a home and growing food (and creating a bunch of things) on a small piece of land over a 40+-year period.

I started by writing it in chapters: The House / The Kitchen / Kitchen Tools / The Garden / Garden Tools / Chickens / Food / Foraging / Fishing / The Shop / Shop Tools / Roadkill / Critters … What we’ve learned; what’s worked, what hasn’t…
Read More …

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Tiny House in Davis

Hi, Lloyd,

I can’t thank you enough for your continuing work; your vision is inspirational.

I wanted to send along a shot of the granny unit that we finished last year in Old Davis, where my kids go to school. I know it looks a little glossy, but the windows, doors, siding, flooring, and appliances are all recycled. 15½ feet by 25 feet, I think that still qualifies as tiny, although the ten-foot-high walls (for a loft) give it a larger feeling.

I still have my original Shelter mag, plus all your more recently published material, and every time I tune in to your blog, I get a recharge.

–Fred

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New Small Homes in Chico, CA

It may be the wall color or the slant of the roof that catches your eye from Humboldt Road, but two new small homes could be a trend for the Chico rental market.

Laurie Norton and his wife, Ingrid Norlie, are the builders behind the two homes, with a third rental house on the way. They are tiny — just 576 square feet for a one-bedroom, one-bath house. But they have struck a chord. Two are rented weeks before they’re finished — at 1902 Humboldt Road, just west of Overseer Court — and the third that’s waiting to be built already has had inquiries.

Named after a small, one-story home, the “Bun-ga-lows” is what British-born Norton calls the rental project, which the couple plan to own and maintain.

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Custom Sauna by Travis Skinner and Marc Goodson

The Steam Roller is a custom collaboration project with Marc Goodson of Engaging Environments. Marc is a very talented carpenter and welder and he visited me in Olympia to see the Snail Shell Sauna. We decided to collaborate on another sauna that was his main design in his shop in Portland, Oregon. Over the past few months we have met for a few days at a time and chipped away on all the details. After a lot of on and off work we spent Easter weekend jacking up the sauna and getting it on to a trailer and out of Marc’s shop!

What to do with this beautiful sauna? We are not entirely sure. It has been a terrific project and we hope to use it to showcase our work and potentially find a buyer. I think Marc is a bit attached to this sauna, but for the right price he could be convinced to let it go. For now it will live outside of his shop in Tyler Smith’s yard, but if you have any interest in seeing this building or taking a sweat, don’t hesitate to contact either Marc or me.

–Travis Skinner

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