Friday, April 6, 2012

Historic Northwest Log Cabin

This Sunday marks the start of the US Ski and Snowboard Hall of Fame's annual Skiing Heritage Week. The event kicks off in the historic Timberline Lodge in Mt. Hood National Forest.  The Timberline Lodge has a rich history having been built as an ambitious, elaborate WPA project during the Great Depression using large timbers, local stone, striking woodworking, and intricate architectural features (and later being featured in numerous Hollywood movies, and now an official National Historic Landmark).  During its dedication in 1937 FDR expressed his vision of the lodge as a winter sports playground for future right he was!  The Magic Mile chairlift (the 2nd chair in the country) opened in 1939;  and today the Timberline Lodge Ski Area enjoys the longest ski season in North America!  (**By the way, it looks like Timberline is rolling back lift tickets to $19.37 for Ski Heritage Week and to commemorate its 75th anniversary!).

As much as I'd like to,  I can't consider the massive historic Timberline Lodge a ski "house" but there is a ski house nearby that shares its history with the Timberline the Ski House of the Day is the Dancing Bear Log Cabin in ZigZag, Oregon, near Mt. Hood.

The Dancing Bear is an historic Steiner Log Cabin and (according to its rental listing) the Steiner brothers who built this cabin (and other local log cabins during the 1930's) also worked on the construction of the Timberline Lodge.  The Steiner style (just like the Timberline Lodge) used local trees and rocks to craft unique designs...often using naturally shaped wood to artistically create functional elements.  Steiner included signature elements such as tree branches for door knobs, Dutch-doors, and one-of-a-kind curved tree limbs for things such as banisters, and sometimes even windows.  You can see some of those Steiner signature elements woven into the Dancing Bear...such as the door knob and curved wooden window in the Dutch front door, and the stone fireplace with its thick custom stone mantle and unique rock ledges, and the unique log staircase with naturally curved log banister and split logs for stair steps.

The Dancing Bear Log Cabin is a 3-bedroom, 1-bath warm, cozy and historic step back in time (with a phone on the living room table that appears to be from the 1930's?).

I wonder how many skiers have enjoyed pancakes in the quaint log kitchen of the Dancing Bear before a day on the slopes. (Let's see...about 75 years worth of the longest ski season in the country...has got to be hundreds of thousands of pancakes!).

The Dancing Bear Log Cabin is located right on the Hackett Creek (with its own wood plank bridge)...and there's even a hot tub just a few steps out the door of the cabin.

This log cabin is an historic work of art as much as it is a ski house!
And with all of its quaint charm and historic significance it seems perfect for Skiing Heritage Week in the Pacific Northwest.

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