Our first visit to Cloudcroft was in 2004. We had recently moved to
El Paso from Oregon and had heard that Cloudcroft, just a short
drive away, had forests like we enjoyed in Oregon. We decided to
take a camping trip with our one-year old boy and our dog. After a
great campfire cookout, we called it a night. At about 2:00 am, we
heard our dog barking and opened the tent to quiet her. Instead we
found ourselves face to face with a large black bear. (They seem
even larger when you are laying on the ground looking up at them).
We managed to scare the bear away, but I found myself a little
uncomfortable spending another night sleeping with just tent fabric
between the bears and myself. We went into town the next day to look
for a rental cabin. While we were waiting for the cabin, we drove
around Cloudcroft and completely fell in love with the village and
the forest. We saw some property for sale that backed into the
National Forest and bought it the same day. A year later we began
construction on a log home and named it Bear Ridge Log Home. We had
the bear paw carvings included in the design in memory of our bear.
What is a handcrafted log home?
A handcrafted log home is a home built with full round logs using
many handheld tools such as axes, chisels and scribers. It captures
the authenticity of log homes built many years ago. Log homes
usually fall into two categories, milled (or manufactured) and
Handcrafted. With a milled homes mechanized high-speed woodworking
machinery are used to precut uniform logs. The logs are usually no
more than 8 in. in diameter and 12 ft. long. With a handcrafted log
home logs will vary in size and shape and are limited only by the
trees. Bear Ridge log home is a Handcrafted log home built by three
expert carvers at Pioneer Log Homes. It uses an average of 16 in
diameter logs some over 35 ft long, and integrates many of the
unique characteristics of the logs in the home. The artistic logs,
benches, front arch, and bear paws were part of the creative
woodworking skill of the carvers. There is no other home designed
Construction of Bear Ridge Log Cabin
Construction of Bear Ridge Log home, began in the summer of 2005 and
was completed in spring of 2006. We cleared the land and prepared
the foundation while the log home was being carefully carved and
built in Canada. In October of 2005, the logs were transported down
on two 65 ft trailers and reconstructed with a crane in two days.
Four of the trees that were cleared from our property were also
included in the home. Below are a few pictures of the
What are the square wood blocks in the house for?
A handcrafted log home will shrink and settle as it finishes the
drying process (approximately 3 inches in three years.) Every few
months we adjust the logs to allow for the house to settle. Behind
the wood blocks are the settling jacks. The entire house has been
specially designed (including windows, doors, cabinets, fireplace,
and loft) to allow the logs to settle. The extra space above the
trim, doors, and windows will shrink in the next few years to almost
nothing as the house settles.
Click image to enlarge.