This Round Goes to Mother Nature

If there is one lesson we have learned over and over again throughout this process it is a lesson of patience.  When you're building a little house half way up a mountain inaccessible by car and by hand, sometimes you just have to give in and decide that Mother Nature is bigger, stronger and more powerful than you are.  This weekend, she won.   

We were up in Asheville this weekend.  We would have gone anyway because the first night of our trip we were celebrating our anniversary.  It isn't actually until tomorrow, Valentine's day, but we'll be celebrating 17 years together. The forecast had predicted cold so we got a hotel for both nights and just figured we would go up to the mountain during the day on Saturday and do a few little projects.  As Friday evening progressed, they began to predict snow.  Possibly several inches in Asheville proper, and more in the mountains of course.  This was just our luck because the weekend before (when we weren't in Asheville) had been 60 degrees and the following weekend was also predicted to be around 60.  But this weekend - the weekend we were actually there - Snow.

When we woke up on Saturday, the snow was coming down around the hotel.  We talked about our options and decided that we might at well head up to the mountain and at least drop off the stuff we had in the car and maybe do a couple little things inside the house like put together the kitchen organizers that go in the cabinets.  We bundled up in our long-johns, hats and mittens and headed out to Mt. Matt. 

As we drove toward our mountain we joked that it wouldn't be snowing anywhere else, just on Mt. Matt.  It was a joke, but we got a little more nervous when we saw it was quite possible.  We finally made it to our little up the mountain and you could tell no one else had been up or down since it started snowing.  We've always been a bit head strong though, so we decided to forge ahead. This is a good thing, usually - if it weren't for our stubbornness we may have never built a little house in the mountains in the first place. But occasionally, the decision turns out more like this one.  We made it up past our neighbors house and past the most difficult turn, but then as we got closer to our own land, the car wouldn't go any more.  We were in Matt's Honda Crosstour, If we had my Element we might have made it up, but then we started to get worried about getting stuck.  The main problem at this point was not being able to turn around.  Both sides of the road have dips and if we backed in or pulled in, there was a good chance we weren't getting out again.  The only thing we could do was back up down the mountain. 

The aftermath of the snowpocalypse in 2009.
I walked slowly down the road in front of the car as Matt masterfully backed up down the most difficult curve.  At this point, I should have gotten some photos of the snow covered mountain, but I was much more concerned about making sure that the Honda didn't go careening off the side of the mountain. It took a while, but slowly we made it down the mountain just past our neighbor's house.  That's when they came out to see what was going on.  "Guess where we can't go!" I joked.  I told them we couldn't make it up the mountain and that we couldn't turn around either.  They are used to our willingness to take on any challenge even if those challenges seem a little, well, dumb. The first time we met them was because we had managed to get a box truck into a ditch and we went to their house to ask for help. We didn't want to have to call a tow truck again this time for our own car, though.  When Matt got to their driveway, they pulled their car out of the way and Matt was able to pull his car in and back it out so we were finally facing the right directly.

In hind sight, we figure we should have just left the car where it was on the mountain and at least taken the things we had in it up to the barn.  But it was getting colder and snowing harder even as we were backing down, so maybe we made the right decision.  We stood and chatted for a few minutes, laughing about how ridiculous Matt and I can be when we're determined to do something, but it was cold and we soon got back in the car and headed back to Asheville.

It was only noon on Saturday!

We had a hotel for Sunday night, too, so it seemed silly to waste the rest of the weekend.  We warmed up in the hotel room for a little bit and then bundled up again and went out for a walk.  We ended up at Barley's Tap Room for a late lunch/early dinner and then wandered over to the Greenman Brewery.  It was still light out when we were there and we were only going to stay for a little bit but then we got to talking to a guy at the bar, which is one of my favorite activities.  We very much enjoyed the conversation but finally, it was getting late and not any warmer so we decided to walk back to the hotel.  We stopped off for a snack on the way back.

We're back in Atlanta now thinking about our next trip to the mountain and all the things we have to accomplish to get the tiny house done.  We'll be back in a couple of weeks and we seriously hope it doesn't snow again.


  1. It sounds like a fun adventure and at the very least you have earned a good story to tell. I am glad you shared it.
    The mountains are tricky like that. I lived for a bit in the Swiss Alps and I know just what you mean, it can be horrible on one mountain and perfectly lovely on the next one. If you watch them over the days they appear and disappear too with the fog or something. I don't know, I did not live there long enough to figure it out, only long enough to be baffled by the magic of them.
    Laura - Tiny House Ontario

  2. Hey Laura, Kristine here. I don't know if you remember me, but we grew up together, went to school from elementary through high school. We used to play with toy horses together. Wow, this project with the tiny house is great. I never pictured you doing so much construction, and woods living. I was surprised how much we have in common still. I also enjoy beer, I love hiking. I'm a vegan,currently a chef, and in school to be a vet tech. I gasped when I saw the picture of piglet, because I did my first year internship in a catery that breeds Sphynx cats!

    1. Hi Kristine! I am so happy to hear from you - it sounds like you've been doing great. I would love to catch up with you so feel free to email me (lmlavoie at gmail dot com).

      You know, I never saw myself doing so much construction or woods living either! But one day it just made so much sense. I can't imagine doing anything else now.

      And how cool that you got to work with the Sphynx kittens. Piglet is going to be 11 in April and she is the best cat ever.


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