On the Island, Off the Road, In A Ditch

Oh yeah…

I mean I’ve been stuck before — in the mud, snow, sand, and even in ditches — but never like this. Backing down a narrow country road on Hornby Island one evening, my left rear tire went into a 3′ deep ditch, the truck went wham! There was broken glass, I couldn’t believe it, I was watching it happen in slow motion, saying this can’t be happening. I pulled myself up out of the upper door and walked to the closest house. This happened to be Wayne Ngan, a gentle soul and, it turns out, an internationally known potter. Wayne called a guy who might be able to get me out and about an hour later Tim Biggins arrives in a big flatbed truck. Within 5 minutes we had established that he knew my book SHELTER well and further, that his own house on the island had been in the book HANDMADE HOUSES, THE WOODBUTCHER’S ART. Tim studied the situation a long time and concluded we should come back in the morning, so I went home with him and slept in the loft shown below. Tim is a story himself, a cowboy of the northwest, builder, welder, trucker; he reminded me of Neal Cassady.

Pole rafters are radial, all at a differnt level, and bolted to a central log.

Exterior of Tim’s house

We got up at 6, had oatmeal and good coffee, loaded his truck and set off. In about 2 hours, with a combination of come-alongs, cable around 2 trees, various jacks and luckily a neighbors tractor, the gringo’s truck was gently lifted back on the road. Whew, broke one window, some denting, but nothing that can’t be fixed. Sometimes I think the Lords of Karma watch over me and send along the right people to get me out my dumb predicaments.

About Lloyd Kahn

Lloyd Kahn started building his own home in the early '60s and went on to publish books showing homeowners how they could build their own homes with their own hands. He got his start in publishing by working as the shelter editor of the Whole Earth Catalog with Stewart Brand in the late '60s. He has since authored six highly-graphic books on homemade building, all of which are interrelated. The books, "The Shelter Library Of Building Books," include Shelter, Shelter II (1978), Home Work (2004), Builders of the Pacific Coast (2008), Tiny Homes (2012), and Tiny Homes on the Move (2014). Lloyd operates from Northern California studio built of recycled lumber, set in the midst of a vegetable garden, and hooked into the world via five Mac computers. You can check out videos (one with over 450,000 views) on Lloyd by doing a search on YouTube:

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